ABC Family's 'Next Step Realty: NYC' looks to pair young professionals with 1st apartments

BySandy Kenyon WABC logo
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
ABC Family's 'Next Step Realty: NYC' offers window into 20-somethings
EMBED <>More Videos

ABC Family's "Next Step Realty: NYC" looks to pair young professionals with their first apartments

NEW YORK -- The young executives and brokers who work at a Manhattan real estate brokerage firm aimed at assisting young professionals find apartments in New York City are about to step into the limelight, thanks to a new docu-series on ABC Family.

"Next Step Realty: NYC" is a new show that opens a window into the world of 20-somethings, those looking for their first apartments and the ones who help them find a place in the toughest rental market in the country.

"The amount of space that you're going to get for your money is so much smaller than anywhere else in the country," Next Step Realty's Director of Client Relations Erin Wilson said.

And Next Step Realty is focused on helping recent college graduates.

"The advantage of us being the same age as our clients is that we've done this before," broker Matt Bauman said. "But we did this yesterday."

Given that they are young and single, watching them work is bound to be quite entertaining, especially when one of the brokers starts dating the boss.

"It's not easy," CEO Blair Brandt said. "And I didn't want to originally do it."

Brandt is the co-founder of the firm, an entrepreneur featured in Forbes' 30 Under 30. But seeing their relationship play out on camera wasn't exactly easy.

"I was aware of the risks, but in this case, I think the rewards outweigh the risks," broker Margit Mary Weinberg said. "I think it's really capturing our business."

Business at the offices of Next Step Realty is clearly booming, making them a ideal partner for a show highlighting the ins and outs of a start-up life in the competitive, commission-based real estate industry.

"The market is hugely expanding, and the unfortunate thing is there's not much inventory," Bauman said. "So you have 40,000 kids coming to New York City and less than a 1 percent vacancy rate."

And the drama of that makes for good TV and a different sort of show than those found elsewhere.

"The other real estate shows have a very high price point," executive producer Danielle Rossen said. "They're selling million-dollar apartments. What we really wanted to do was make it relatable."

Rossen points out her show is about renting apartments, not buying them, but the costs can still be very steep. Many landlords in Manhattan now require those renting apartments to have an annual salary 40 times the monthly rent.