“New York, New York – If I can make it there, I can make it anywhere”… What a song. What a city. There truly is nothing like it – the lifestyle, the architecture, the rich history, the exquisite properties, the opportunities and the cultural diversity. It’s a place where dreams are made! So when Fredrik Eklund, New York’s number one real estate broker and star of Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing New York (albeit, my favourite television show) invited me over to talk real estate, see ‘his’ New York and be on the set of the show, I obviously jumped at the chance!
Prior to the invitation, I was privileged to be participating in Fredrik’s industry first real estate and entreprenuerial mastermind course, which brought top brokers and business people from around the globe together to learn directly from Fredrik in an intimate online forum. Since first watching the show (MDLNY), I had admired Fredrik for his professionalism, real estate abilities, business savvy and individual style and had also looked towards Manhattan for inspiration, on both a real estate and a lifestyle front for as long as I can remember. So I was thrilled to be selected from the greater mastermind group to join Fredrik and get up close and personal in NYC, as well as represent Australia as the only Australian mixing it with this elite group from across the United States.
Enter New York. Boy was it good to be back. And what better way to start the trip than by filming a scene of Million Dollar Listing New York in a stunning Tribeca Penthouse. What a thrill. Cameras rolling, Fredrik did his thing as only Fredrik can, while myself and fellow brokers and buyers inspected this awe inspiring multi-level property with views and a location to die for (think views of the Woolworth Building and Freedom Tower.).
Next on the agenda was a glamorous dinner at Tao Uptown with Fredrik and other top real estate and industry professionals whom had also completed Fredrik’s mastermind course. Seated with Fredrik, I got to know the man behind the camera, talk real estate, the market and anything and everything in-between. The atmosphere was electric and so very ‘big scale’ New York. After one or two cheeky after dinner drinks at a near-by uptown bar, it was time to hit the sack and recharge for the day ahead.
The following day was full and action packed to say the least. We commenced the day by inspecting two property listings of Fredrik’s at the iconic Apthorp Building in the Upper West Side. Descriptors that sprung to mind were; exquisite, old world charm, pristine attention to detail and I-could-live-here-tomorrow. The Apthorp Building originally dates back to 1908 and is one of New York’s most celebrated condominium buildings. More recently, a limited selection of residences within the building have been newly revitalised by interior designer Stephen Sills, who boasts clients such as Vera Wang and Anna Wintour. High ceilings, expansive marble highlights, ornate ceilings and stunning finishes all combine to create an aesthetic that is not only very New York, but very luxurious and extremely liveable.
Now let’s get down to business. Those who follow the show may know that Fredrik is Managing Director at Douglas Elliman New York; New York’s leading real estate brokerage company. So we headed to the Douglas Elliman corporate office (residing in the same building as John Varvatos no less) to sit with Fredrik and his business partner, John Gomes (previously seen in ‘Selling New York’ and highly regarded within the real estate profession) to get down and dirty on what makes their business partnership tick and how they do what they do in the competitive world that is, New York real estate. Stories were told, ideas were shared and laughs were had. All in all, it was a highly stimulating experience and one that as a real estate professional and entrepreneur myself, I valued greatly.
Did someone say vino? I later joined Fredrik and crew at a gorgeous Italian restaurant, Bottino, located in Chelsea’s gallery district, to cap off a wonderful weekend of New York real estate, Fredrik Eklund style. In an exclusive private dining room, we enjoyed great wine (Malbec, Fredrik’s drink of choice), great food and shared our experiences of the last few days. Fredrik asked us to share our own individual stories, whatever they may be, to which I stood up and obliged. My story condensed 11 years worth of real estate experiences into 5 minutes (maybe a few more). But what was most important to me to impart was the following… Very rarely does one get an opportunity to learn from an industry leader like Fredrik in such a candid way. A man that is not only the best in his game in New York and a highly successful entrepreneur in his own right, but an honourable and deeply humble human being at that. Someone whom I related to from the beginning, because I could see that there was someone else out there that believed real estate didn’t have to be boring, didn’t have to be mediocre and conformed to, but could instead be approached in a way that challenged tradition, was authentic, fun, professional, stylish, sophisticated and yes, sexy.
Throughout my time spent with Fredrik and company in New York, I forged friendships and associations with elite brokers and business people from around the globe. I found a new friend in Fredrik and my love affair with New York rose to a whole ‘nother level. And I left, feeling incredibly grateful and inspired.
Big things to come.
PS To see Fredrik in action, check out Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing New York.