A New York City realtor whose team sold over $800 million worth of property last year says a simple mental shift will make you a better salesperson forever

Hollis Johnson/Business InsiderThe Serhant Team, the top New York real-estate team by sales volume, closed deals worth more than $US838 million in 2017.

  • Ryan Serhant stars on Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing” and is the head of The Serhant Team, the top New York real-estate team by sales volume in 2017.
  • Serhant said a phone call with his brother in 2006 mentally shifted the way he approached real-estate sales.
  • Serhant said the key thing to remember as a salesperson is to assure people of their choice: “People don’t want to be sold, but they love shopping with friends.”

To be a top performing real-estate broker in New York City, it takes more than knowing about property – you have to connect with people.

Ryan Serhant stars on Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing” and is the head of The Serhant Team, the top New York real-estate team by sales volume, which closed deals worth more than $US838.2 million last year. His book “Sell It Like Serhant” comes out in September.

Serhant said on an episode of Business Insider’s podcast “This is Success” that a simple mental shift helped make him a better salesperson.

“People don’t want to be sold, but they love shopping with friends. If you can remember that, it will change the way you go into any sales pitch for the rest of your life,” Serhant said.

Serhant said when he first got started in the real-estate business in New York City in 2006, he wasn’t making any money, but one guy in his office was “crushing it.” Serhant said he called his brother for emotional support and instead of making Serhant feel better, his brother told him to stop complaining and get back to work.

“So that was kind of an aha-moment for me, because the first couple of years in the real-estate business in New York City are terrible – like, you make no money,” Serhant said. “And that [phone call] really woke me up to figuring out kind of how to build a career instead of just having a job where I was showing apartments.”

Serhant went out for Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing” casting call in 2010 and got the gig. Even though he said he didn’t feel qualified for the show at first, his confidence came through. When asked at the casting call who the best real-estate agent was, Serhant said “You’re looking at him.”

During more than a decade of working in real estate, Serhant said he’s learned to start every sales conversation as if he were meeting a best friend.

“Sales isn’t about pushing,” he said. “What a good salesperson is able to do is to assure someone of a choice that they were going to make anyway, or of a choice they should make because it’s better for them than an alternative choice.”

He continued: “So if you just remember that people hate being sold but they love shopping with friends, you will change your sales game.”

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