If you’re a young adult seeking an apartment, it can help to have a realty agent who not only knows what you need, but who’s roughly the same age.
The New York firm The Next Step Realty has established itself on that basis, and it’s about to become better known as the subject of an unscripted series. ABC Family debuts “Next Step Realty: NYC” Tuesday, Aug. 11, focusing on interactions among the agents as well as their dealings with clients — who come from a variety of economic backgrounds, often challenging the realtors to meet their promise of showing up to 12 residence options in less than three hours.
“ABC Family has always catered to the Millennials, and now, they’re starting to cater to a new generation that they’re calling the Becomers,” explains executive producer Danielle Rossen, who also makes the Friday series “What Would You Do?” for ABC. “It’s from your first kiss to your first house, and this show fits in there perfectly.
It’s aspirational, it has drama, it has success stories and it has love stories … so it’s right in the genre of what they want.”
Rossen tells Zap2it she learned of The Next Step Realty because “a friend of a friend’s daughter worked there, and through that, we did some research and met with them. You know the feeling when you walk into something and you can’t get too excited, because you can’t let them think you want it more than they want it? I walked in there and knew this was gold.
“All the employees are under 30, and that’s very rare — sometimes, you have a company that has a lot of young employees but Mommy and Daddy are still there — and they’re all beautiful and well-dressed. It’s just a different feel, young and hip and sleek and cool. You felt alive when you walked in.”
The Next Step Realty’s business model isn’t centered principally on financial status, Rossen reports: “It’s based on what [clients’] expectations are, where they want to live, and how serious they are about signing. With a lot of these apartments, it doesn’t matter if the kids don’t have jobs; the parents are going to have to co-sign anyway, because Manhattan real estate is very expensive. You have to make, like, 20 times your salary to even qualify for an apartment.”
Still, Rossen — the wife of NBC News correspondent Jeff Rossen — stresses the range that “Next Step Realty: NYC” covers, not just $12,000-a-month rents.
“We run the full gamut, but some of these students who are coming out of Harvard and Yale are getting huge jobs in the financial industry. Then there are the three girls looking to share one apartment, and they really have to manage the money to figure out how they’re going to make [the rent of] $3200 a month happen, [but they] also can live the New York City life experience. It’s not out of reach even if you don’t have a job at a top hedge fund.”