‘Million Dollar Listing’: Tyler Whitman Shares How He Got Into Real Estate

Although Ryan Serhant and Tyler Whitman from Million Dollar Listing New York snark at each other on the show, the two actually seem to have a pretty fun relationship.

Serhant and Whitman hosted a live webinar on Serhant’s website where they seemed more like close friends rather than bitter foes. The brokers hosted the webinar to offer advice and assistance to people who want to pump up their real estate game. But also for those who want to get into real estate and aren’t sure how to begin.

Fredrik Eklund, Tyler Whitman
Fredrik Eklund, Tyler Whitman |Greg Endries/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Before they dove into the nuts of bolts of real estate 101, Serhant asked Whitman to share how he got into real estate. Most Million Dollar Listing fans are already familiar with Whitman’s impressive weight loss journey. But they probably didn’t know he was waiting tables at Planet Hollywood before busting into real estate.

He originally came to New York City for only six weeks

According to his webinar bio, “Whitman runs the top-producing sales team at Triplemint, which he joined in 2013 as the company’s first hire and head of sales. In 2017, after a 200lb weight loss journey, Tyler formed The Whitman Team, which hit $1 million GCI in its first year. He doubled that in 2018 and is on pace to triple it in 2019.”

Impressive, yes. But Whitman wants viewers to know he didn’t start crushing the real estate world the minute he hit Times Square. “I’m from the south, born and raised and love being from the south,” he remarked. “I actually had a good experience being from the south. But I always knew I saw myself as a big city boy.”

He attended college briefly but meandered with what he wanted to do with his life. Also, “I was a very happy kid, just gayer and louder,” he says smiling. When he felt that college wasn’t for him, he left in 2006. But leaving college was supposed to be temporary. “My mom said, ‘I’m going to give you a semester’s worth of money.’ She’s like, ‘Why don’t you take like six weeks and go to New York and figure out what you want to do with your life,'” he recounts.

Six weeks in New York changed his life forever

Upon arriving in New York, he waited tables at Planet Hollywood in Times Square. “That was my first job in New York,” he recalls. He also crashed with a friend who was attending NYU at the time. “But I couldn’t pay rent so her dad kicked me out,” he says. “And then I moved in with a guy off of Craigslist who was a rental agent.” The roommate suggested Whitman get his real estate license. And the rest is history.

Serhant remarks that many people arrive in New York “by accident” and perhaps don’t intend to make the city their home. As many fans know, Serhant was actually a hand model before getting into real estate.

Serhant adds that Whitman’s story should resonate with aspiring brokers because neither he nor Whitman is from New York. Plus they didn’t arrive in the city with loads of cash or leads in their back pocket. “Neither of us were born with silver spoons or any spoons,” Serhant laughs.