A Long Island real estate agent has found an unlikely partner in a Brit known for his role on Bravo’s yacht-based cable TV reality show “Below Deck Mediterranean.” Together, the two have created a reality show of their own.
Ryan Tanacredi, an agent for Keystone in East Northport, says he was looking for ways to generate more business. As a viewer of “Below Deck,” he had seen Conrad Empson, 24, tell the cameras that working on a yacht was a means to an end for him: He was really looking to work in real estate.
“He reminded me very much of myself,” says Tanacredi, 35, who started working in finance in the early 2000s with dreams of owning and investing in real estate someday.
In Empson, Tanacredi saw a mutually beneficial opportunity. He could teach Empson about the industry, and Empson would bring across the pond a robust social media following — more than 50,000 on Instagram — with high levels of engagement and an established personal brand.
Tanacredi suggested Empson come to Long Island to look at properties he could flip. Empson suggested they film it, and now the pair works with two videographers, an editor, a producer and someone who writes the descriptions and titles. Their show, “Conrad Renovates,” appears on Empson’s YouTube channel each Tuesday at 5 p.m. EST.
“I film every bit of it; it’s the ups and the downs,” Empson says. “It’s just me having a laugh, me learning, and following my kind of process.”
For now, Empson visits New York for a few weeks at a time, staying at Airbnb rentals. His permanent residence is in New Forest, England, where animals roam freely and sometimes stop traffic, he says.
“It’s a proper commute,” he says. “I don’t think ‘pond’ was probably the right description.”
Known on the show as “Ryan the Realtor,” Tanacredi is teaching Empson how to find, negotiate and buy properties. The Realtor, also an adjunct instructor of real estate finance at Molloy College, says Empson is an apt student.
“To this point, he was a complete and utter blank slate, which was great because he didn’t have any misconceptions about anything within the industry,” Tanacredi says. “He’s like a real estate sponge.”
The duo has been exploring properties in both Nassau and Suffolk counties. Leads come from both Tanacredi himself and Empson’s social media followers. Some houses are in better condition than others.
"Ryan, safe to say, has taken me to some hangin' places," Empson says (the British term “hangin' ” is a good thing to Empson, but a bad thing for the homes themselves — a home that is hangin' is one that has been left to decay.) But he sees potential in many of them.
American homes are "completely different" than the residences he has seen in the United Kingdom, Empson says. There, "every house is built in brick," he says, in contrast to the wooden structures he has seen on Long Island.
"I love American homes," he says. "They're really nice and open compared to dark and dingy British homes."
No stranger to the camera, Empson says being filmed this time is no different from what it was when he was filmed for “Below Deck.” But this time, he gets to see the final cut before the footage is released.
“It’s nice to be able to know what’s going to be released this time, I’ll tell you that,” he says.
Look who they met
During filming for what would become episode four of "Conrad Renovates," Empson and Tanacredi visit a house in Islip. There, they meet actresses Lexie and Natalie Foley, who live next door.
"I said, 'It's the paparazzi! They found you guys, finally!" their mother, Christine Foley, joked as the camera crew pulled up. Lexie, 5, appears as Sophia on "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel." Her sister, Natalie, 8, is known for her role on "Shades of Blue."
Natalie also makes a cameo during Empson and Tanacredi's show.