Fredrik Eklund: From Adult Film Star to Real Estate Mogul
When Fredrik Eklund won the 2004 Gay VN award for Best Solo Performance in The Hole—an erotic spoof on The Ring—few could have guessed the Swedish native would soon leave behind a budding adult film career to become a New York real estate mogul. However, for Eklund—then known as Tag Eriksson—a future in adult films was never an option. “First of all, it was only a week of my life, accumulated,” he said in an interview with Out. “It was spread out over a few months, so it was a very short period of my life. It was something that I tried and quickly decided that I was done with. But it’s not as dramatic as people put it out to be.”
Eklund came to Manhattan in 2004 and began to explore the world of real estate on the recommendation of a friend. “As soon as I moved here, I got my real estate license and I got started at a company that doesn’t exist anymore. It was owned by Robert Dinero’s uncle, Jack Dinero, in Chelsea actually,” said Eklund. “I didn’t have any real estate experience; I didn’t really know the city either. I didn’t know people here, or the streets really, so I got my license because I wanted to try it. A friend of mine said that I would be good at it because I like people and also because I’m analytic and number-driven and all those things you need on both sides.”
Eklund quickly became a major player in the New York real estate scene and has closed over $1 billion in deals since the start of his career. His success paved the way for his latest venture into reality television as a star of Million Dollar Listing New York—which debuted March 7thon Bravo—a move Eklund views as a natural development of his business. “I think that the future of real estate is going to be based around technology. It is already. If you asked me eight years ago when I started, I was one of the only people in real estate who got the Blackberry. It was big and blue, and I felt so cool communicating with my clients in real time over email. Today, we have listing systems and you need to have an international outreach, and everything is much much faster for a realtor now. And I pride myself on being the new guard of real estate and social media. And video is coming quickly. So it's natural to get yourself on television because it's all about building a brand, and the old ways are being replaced with a new agent. Where I’m from, Sweden, it’s a big show. In the U.K. it’s a big show everywhere you go. My business is already international buyers buying from New York, so this is a very good way of getting myself out there.”
Read the full interview at Out.com.