Saturday, January 1, 2011

Selling New York' reality show makes big pitch, but we're not sold

The New York City luxury real estate market gets its own reality show treatment.

The New York City luxury real estate market gets its own reality show treatment.
TV shows giving viewers a look into multimillion-dollar homes out of the reach of most usually have some appeal. However, this show about the people who sell them - not so much.
The second-season return of "Selling New York," a show following real-estate brokers at boutique dealers of high-end homes in the city, is as thin as the first.
It looks good, it's shot well, but in the end, it's as diaphanous as white window curtains.
The premiere follows broker Michele Kleier of Gumley Haft Kleier as she tries to unload an $8 million penthouse apartment at the Lucida on the upper East Side. She's under pressure from building management to move the pad, which has great views of the city and more.
To entice fellow brokers, she doesn't hold just a simple open house, she stages a party, complete with models sporting designer clothes. This is, after all, an $8 million home.
"We're hoping that our right buyer walks in tonight and says, 'Wow, I want to throw a party like this and I need this apartment," she says to the camera.
Meanwhile, viewers are introduced to Richard Steinberg, a broker with Warburg Realty, who has 44 apartments to offer in a building on 29th St. He's pressuring the developer to complete a model apartment he can show to buyers, while the developer isn't really big on model apartments.
Discussions over timelines and getting ads done are about as dramatic as waiting for a copy machine to finish printing.
Steinberg and Kleier are nice enough people, at least based on what we see on the show. However, the series, launching today at 2:30 p.m. and then moving to Thursdays at 9 p.m., makes what they do seem too easy, too clean-cut, too antiseptic.
Steinberg gets his model apartment built and gets people in during an open house. During a walk-through, potential buyer Michael Silber says the first thing he sees out the window is a water tower.
"You know, that's the New York view," Steinberg says. "What can I tell you, we're not in Santa Barbara."
In another scene, Kleier has lunch with Raizy Haas, from Extell Development, which runs the Lucida.
"So, what is your game plan?" Haas asks. "Personally, I really like you, I think we have a lot in common, but that's where it ends."
There's an implication that what followed was a threat, but we don't see that happen.
"Selling New York" seems like porn for rich folks - and not nearly as good as shows like others in the genre - and not titillating at all to the rest of us.
There's a lot of glitz, and the apartments are beautiful, but the show has no drama, no tension, and no reason to care whether the brokers sell or not.
Muted colors may help when selling a home to buyers, but they do very little to persuade viewers to buy into a TV show about the people selling them.


Just like luxury hotels you get concierge service, doorman, laundry own parking space, etc. while the rooms shall remind you of home. These apartments reflect the taste of the owners.

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