Ryan Serhant – for those who don’t know – is an American real estate broker famous for his role in the TV show Million Dollar Listing: New York.
In the last couple of years he’s done a great job of transitioning his success from traditional media (TV) into social media, creating high-production YouTube videos and other social media content. Irrelevant of your opinion of his brand, this brand awareness strategy has done a great job of turning him from being “that guy from Million Dollar Listing“, to gaining control of his personal brand and selling billions in real estate.
So, what did he do with that additional brand recognition? Launched a global real estate brokerage, of course, dubbed Serhant.
How is Ryan growing his brokerage?
Whilst the initial launch of this brokerage is reliant on Ryan’s social media reach, the brand’s long-term success is based on its ability to grow independently. It aims to do so in two ways; through innovative advertising techniques that edge out its competition, & through social media content to solidify it as a household real estate name in 5 or 10 years time.
This content includes a new YouTube channel featuring original weekly shows centring around real estate, in addition to the content Ryan is putting out regularly. The idea being that they’ll build the brand recognition and reach that Ryan experienced with Million Dollar Listing, whilst making their brokerage the product that is pushed (rather than advertising other companies like TV shows typically do).
To look so far in the future shows Ryan’s marketing genius, and that his business-acumen isn’t just storytelling for a TV show, it’s genuine and translates outside of entertainment.
He’s not just banking on the future, though.
How they’re listing current properties online is already impressive, and adds some interesting new ideas to advertising properties. From creating dedicated websites for building developments, to breaking down local amenities clearly on each property listing; their approach to website design is impressive.
What can we learn from his approach?
Plan for the future, but don’t forget to optimise the advertising now, too. Brand awareness is necessary for long-term growth, but ultimately you need a way of funding it, and that’s only through regular revenue.
Don’t feel obliged to simply follow your competition, look at ways of differentiating without venturing into absurdity.
Additionally, if you have a personal brand, use it when possible. Ryan knows he can’t rely entirely on his personal brand, but he’s happy to use it to his advantage.
Gurus like GaryVee would probably suggest Ryan using more of his personal brand, but it’s clear Ryan doesn’t want his own image to overshadow his workforce’s. After all, the majority of customers will not be dealing with Ryan, so why pretend he’s the only one worth talking to?
Who knows what the future holds for Serhant. So far, though, it looks promising.