Fredrik Eklund is the dazzlingly funny and ferociously successful power broker starring on Bravo's Million Dollar Listing (Season 2 kicks off tonight at 10 PM). High kicks all around!
The powerhouse broker has sold over $1.5 billion (yes, BILLION) dollars in residential real estate and in addition to dominating the New York real estate market, he's quickly taking over the Swedish market since launching Eklund Stockholm. Eklund took a time out to talk about everything from MDL season 2 madness...to his paradise wedding...to the differences between the Swedish and New York markets.
Fredrik Eklund: Before we start I want you to high kick.
MM: I just double high kicked!
FE: Double high kick! That’s what I do on Saturday nights [laughs].
MM: Season 2 of Million Dollar Listing looks mind-blowing. What do viewers get to see of your business and personal life this season?
FE: All of the above. Season 1 was a warm up. I wasn't controlling, but I'd say I was 5% guarded. I'd never done anything like that. I’m all in and all out this season. I felt the love, and it helped my business and in a way served as a catalyst to personal growth…with my dad and meeting Derek. This season I cry a lot, get married, and get confrontational [laughs].
MM: What sets you apart as a broker compared to your MDL co-stars Ryan Serhant and Luis Ortiz?
FE: I do see myself a lot in both. Luis is very passionate and emotional about his deals and clients. He’s grateful for everything and every deal is a blessing. Luis has that fire in his eyes which I love about him. Ryan is competitive…in a way too competitive for his own good.
I love and hate them. We’re competitive going after listings but I care for them and they’re the only 2 people that get it. There’s an unspoken bond. They know the intensity of filming for 8 months. You’re tired, or have a cold, and you still have to bring it on and juggle business. And there’s the nervousness of “Is it going to be a hit show? How am I going to look in this scene?” It’s intense.
MM: What's the funniest thing that happened to you this season either on or off camera?
FE: I had no idea I’m this crazy [laughs]. All the jokes, all the weirdness, all the quirkiness. That’s me. In the show, Bravo interviews us at our apartment, and in one interview I went completely bananas. I was sitting in the chair in my apartment talking about one of the guys and I fell off the chair - all while laughing hysterically and telling them to keep shooting.
Oh and the most hysterical thing was I get Ryan Serhant to high kick in the finale and it’s brilliant.
MM: The MDL teaser includes a clip of your paradise wedding. Congratulations, newlywed! How did you meet? How was the wedding? Please tell everything.
FE: I saw Derek in Greece. He’s 6’6" and was standing and his back was to me and he was the only guy there taller than me. I walked behind him and knocked him on the shoulder. That’s how we met [laughs].
A lot of people say their wedding is beautiful and you should say that but this really was beautiful. It was a full day and night event on a private island. I dissolved on a pink cloud of happiness. Having the cameras there at first was strange for my guests but they got used to it and it added so many layers to the wedding because now I have this beautiful footage.
MM: How has your relationship with Derek changed from season 1 to season 2?
FE: At the end of season one, things started getting serious with Derek. We have a picnic in the park. In this season, you see the hardships we experience. He was in London, I lived in New York. It was very tough long distance. Then he moved here but didn’t have a visa. He had to go back and forth, then we got engaged, lived together full-time and started planning the wedding. It was intense, we were stressed. Now we’re settled and planning on having a daughter.
MM: A daughter?! Congrats! Will she have a Swedish name?
FE: Yes. Milla. I’ve had the name picked out since I was very little. I’m sure she’s going to be an actress. I won’t allow her to be a broker. I’m kidding. I’m going to let her be whatever she wants. She’s not even conceived yet and I’m already planning her life [laughs].
MM: Will your very cool and sweet family be on the show this season? Do they watch the show in Sweden?
FE: The show is a huge hit in Sweden. My family is on a lot this season. My dad gives me a bunch of marriage advice. Both of my parents are in the wedding episode on the island. My mom can be a bit shy sometimes, but for my wedding episode, both of my parents went on a journey with me in real time with cameras watching and that was incredible.
MM: In addition to dominating the New York market, you also dominate the Swedish one. Go Eklund Stockholm! How does the Swedish real estate market compare to New York?
FE: Deals are much faster in Sweden. You don’t need attorneys, brokers sign everything. Stockholm is as expensive as New York. The market is doing really well, if not better than New York. I try to go once a month. I just posted on Instagram in the month of April our gross commission reached our annual goal. I wasn’t bragging. I was trying to inspire people. A lot of people walk around with an idea in their head. I had the idea to open my company in Sweden and I did it and you can do it, too.
MM: You once said the craziest thing you've ever done to sell an apartment is personally scrubbing it top to bottom. Have you done anything crazy since to sell a listing or get one?
FE: I was down on all fours cleaning. It was my first exclusive and it was a $545,000 apartment. I’ll never forget.
In episode 3, I make 14 brokers get into a shower at the same time at my listing to show them how big the shower is then I make them all get out high kick [laughs]. It was hysterical. I hate limiting in general. I see deals like a maze and I want to find a way out.
MM: You've built an empire in America and Europe. What advice would you give aspiring brokers?
FE: My number one thing is such a simple thing but very important - be yourself. A lot of brokers the first few years have no knowledge. The knowledge will come through hard work. So, in the beginning, the only thing you have is your personality. That’s why I always tell people “Don’t be afraid to run out in the middle of the street and high kick.” Clients will fire you because you’re boring. Don’t be afraid to show your unique personality.