‘Million Dollar Listing New York’ star Fredrik Eklund on his secrets to success and new tell-all book
He could sell ice to the Eskimos — and a $20 million penthouse to J-Lo. And now he wants to teach you the tricks.
“Million Dollar Listing New York” star Fredrik Eklund, the city’s number one residential broker, has put out a part-memoir/part-business-manual/all-fabulous book that he hopes will inspire and, more important, entertain.
“I’ve done New York,” Eklund told the Daily News about his book, “The Sell: The Secrets of Selling Anything to Anyone,” out Tuesday.
“I’ve seen and done so many amazing and rewarding things — and I wanted to put all that in a book and send it off and see what happens. It’s a message in a bottle.”
In “The Sell,” Eklund spills some of the trade secrets that helped him rise from a Swedish start-up failure to a New York City powerbroker so beloved and talented that he’s closed deals with Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Lopez and Leonardo DiCaprio.
In 10 years, he’s sold $3.5 billion in New York real estate.
And Eklund’s main secret is no secret at all: Be yourself.
"When you're new to a workplace, the biggest mistake you can make is copying the people around you or other people in the industry rather than being the authentic you,” Eklund says. “Be the unique, crazy eccentric you that your friends and family love and people will gravitate towards you and trust you."
What does that mean when you’re Fredrik Eklund?
“Jump out in the middle of Fifth Ave., stop traffic and scream, ‘I love New York!’”
Eklund may be famous for selling multi-million dollar pads, but the book — a cross between an autobiography and a guide to being a business executive — is remarkably accessible and a good read for anyone with ambition in a city fueled by it.
“It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in,” Eklund said. “After all, we’re all selling ourselves all the time, whether you’re on a date, on a job interview or just negotiating with your dog.”
Fredrik Eklund is a handsome Swede — but why does this 37-year-old think he can teach business techniques in the U.S. of A.? Here’s a guy who experienced his fair share of failure — a tech start-up he co-founded ran out of money and he even did a short stint as a porn star.
But you who know what Nietzsche said — and it’s especially easy to get stronger from failure when you have a personality like Eklund’s.
Since moving to New York in 2002, his antics sent him flying up the ranks — and earned him his biggest break, being cast in “Million Dollar Listing” in 2012.
BRYAN R. SMITH/BRYAN R. SMITHFredrik Eklund, star of "Million Dollar Listing New York" has written a new book
"I used to sit near Fredrik when we both worked for a small boutique firm years ago," said Michael Graves, a top Manhattan broker. "Even years before all the lights and cameras, it was clear he had an extraordinary drive to be number one. He's worked very hard to achieve what he's achieved and it is clearly well deserved."
Another key to Eklund’s success? Letting go of past hurts.
“I’ve always had really long eyelashes,” he says in the book. “When I was 14 years old, the older guys in the schoolyard began making fun of me by saying I had ‘girl eyes.’ I became so scared to pass those boys in the hall that one day I went home and used my mom’s manicure scissors to cut off my eyelashes.”
But the bullies didn’t have the last word.
“Last week, I was out with Jennifer Lopez showing her $20 million penthouses. We were standing on a terrace overlooking all of downtown Manhattan. She turned to me and said, ‘You have the bluest, most beautiful eyes.’ I thought of those boys back in Sweden and forgave them.”
It’s also important to dress for success, says the impeccably coiffed Eklund.
“I’ll confess that every three weeks I spend $275 on my haircut,” he says. “Does that sound terrible? Sorry, I’m not sorry.”