How a fake Rolex set Ryan Serhant on the path to success

Real estate mogul Ryan Serhant has revealed how a fake Rolex watch changed his life by giving him the confidence he needed to succeed in the competitive property industry. 

In a deeply personal and reflective Facebook post the star of TV shows such as Million Dollar Listing New York and Sell It Like Serhant, said when he started in the industry he made the mistake of dressing down and found he only attracted clients who were unable to provide him with the opportunities he needed. 

He explained that if he wanted to attract high-end clients, he needed to look the part.

“One of the biggest mistakes I made when I was starting out in sales was dressing poorly,” Serhant said in the post.

“I was essentially wearing whatever I had in my closet; clothes that felt comfortable. 

“And, if you dress like a typical twenty-something, you’re likely going to attract other typical twenty-somethings (or people that behave like them), and they probably won’t be able to provide the money or opportunities that you’re looking for.

“I mean – ‘let’s grab a beer’ was not a message that was going to resonate with the audience I wanted.

“If I wanted to get attention from the ‘right’ audience – people that could afford seven-figure homes – I had to look like I was already working with those types of clients.”

Source: Facebook

Serhant’s solution was simple – fake it until you make it.

“I went to Chinatown and stood on the street hoping I wouldn’t run into anyone I knew while I weighed the pros and cons of various fake watches,” he recalled. 

“And that’s how I ended up with a fake Rolex. 

“But, for a while, that cheap, yellow knock-off watch was like my secret security blanket.”

Serhant said the fake Rolex was a “symbol of success” and one that would make it look as though he dealt with high-end clients.

He began to act like a top-performing agent. 

“By going from a guy who wore t-shirts and hoodies every day to the agent that wore suits and an expensive-looking watch, I felt more like a top-performing agent… which made me act like a top-performing agent!” Serhant said. 

“It sounds funny, but I was essentially just pretending. I was pretending to be the version of me that I was inspired by: the one that dressed well, worked hard, and over-delivered for clients. 

“But, in pretending to be that person, I became that person!” 

Serhant said it may sound silly to advise other agents that buying a suit and a fake watch could influence the trajectory of their career, but it had a positive message.

“If you want to get to the next level, pretend,” he said.

“Pretend to be the version of you that is outgoing and has lots of confidence. Pretend to be the person that over communicates. Pretend to be the person that works really hard.

“And, eventually, if you pretend for long enough, you’ll transform into that person.”

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Kylie Dulhunty

Kylie Dulhunty is the Deputy Editor at Elite Agent.