Move over “Million Dollar Listing.”
It’s time for the 99 percent’s version of the real estate game.
Many brokers — especially young upstarts working in rentals — aren’t actually raking in the dough, according to a new comic reality web series called “Thousand Dollar Listing," documenting 30-year-old agent Noah Kaplan as he struggles to get his foot in the door — literally when taking clients to see units in Bushwick and East Williamsburg.
“Real estate is really hard to get going in,” Kaplan says in the pilot. “So many people have their real estate license. There’s like 30,000 agents in New York.”
Want to know what this fledgling agent earns a year?
“Two years in, I would say that it’s been a struggle,” Kaplan says onscreen. “Last year I made $31,000. The year before that I made I think $9,000.”
His earnings took a dip the past month while he was busy making the pilot instead of doing real estate, he told DNAinfo. Plus, he shelled out more than $4,000 of his own money, along with cashing in on favors from friends, to get the show made.
"I have no money," he said.
His remarks are antithesis of the boasts and brags of the incredibly well-suited brokers on the Bravo show, where Fredrik Ecklund said on an episode early in the series, “I was already really quite strong in the $2- to $5-million [range of sales prices], but lately it’s been a lot over $10 million.”
Real estate is Kaplan’s day job. He's also a musician and wrote the show’s theme song, “I’m a thousand-aire." He’s played guitar for Liquid Blonde, the band of gym impresario David Barton, who was one of the notable figures expected at the premiere of the show at SoHo’s Georges Bergès Gallery.
“A friend from high school told me I should do real estate because I had the personality for it,” he said. “But it’s hard to get started unless you’re older and have friends with money or are a buyer’s broker. It’s like, dude, how am I going to make money off of shared rooms. Ultimately, when all is said and done you make like $600 on a rental, and a lot of work goes into it.”
He just moved out of his parents’ house in Riverdale last year and now rents a room in a Park Slope home with several other roommates.
An avid watcher of "Million Dollar Listing," Kaplan worked at the front desk of the CORE Group six years ago when Ecklund’s team was based at that firm, he recounted.
Ecklund actually asked him to be his assistant, said Kaplan, who turned the gig down because he thought the pay was too low — and that he’d make a “terrible” assistant.
“That was before [Ecklund] blew up,” Kaplan said.
He’s still in touch with the superstar broker, and a few months back got an invite to a new development Ecklund was marketing.
“I whispered in his ear, ‘I’m about to compete with you. I’m creating a show,’” Kaplan recounted. “He thought I was talking smack, but it’s true.”
Kaplan now needs to figure out how to raise enough money to continue creating episodes while retaining creative control of showing the grittier reality of the business, he said.