From Blackduck to the Big Apple, Ben Anderson joins ‘Million Dollar Listing’ team

From a small-town student to a big city mover and shaker, with a boss whose face is instantly recognizable to millions of television viewers, and his dream job of working in real estate marketing in New York City, Ben Anderson’s star is on the rise.

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The "Million Dollar Listing New York" team from Douglas Elliman Real Estate, from left: salesperson Karishma Sani, Director of Operations Benjamin Anderson, KJ (Kirsten Jordan), and chief operating officer Jill Preschel. Submitted photo

It's not all that unusual for people to grow up watching television shows and imagining a future in that world, but not many are able to make that dream actually come true.

However, Benjamin Anderson has done just that.

“I used to watch ‘Million Dollar Listing New York,’ and think: New York City looks like a fun place -- I could see myself doing real estate and marketing there,” said Benjamin Anderson. “In fact, I could just plain see myself in New York.”

Anderson graduated from Blackduck High School in 2015 and from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management in 2019 with the goal of working in business management and marketing. But little did he guess that the Bravo television show that launched his New York dreams would eventually lead his steps to that very show himself.

“The job came out of nowhere,” Anderson said. “I had applied to a big pool of applicants where there was not even a specific job opening, just thinking this was a place where many people would search for potential employees. But real estate brokers tend to look for individuals rather than digging through those huge pools.


"Then I met Kirsten Jordan (called KJ on “Million Dollar Listing New York”) at a penthouse listing and she offered me a job working with her. She connected me with her brother, who handles her marketing and I started working with them the next week.”

Anderson’s story, however, is not quite the mercurial rise to glory it may seem on the surface. After graduating from the Carlson School of Management, Ben started researching and applying for marketing positions on the east coast, moving to New York City in 2020 to take a job with an advertising agency for an entertainment client. As a part of the job, he helped plan and implement media campaigns for television network programs with price tags of $1 million to $6 million.

Next, he helped plan and strategize campaigns for two pharmaceutical products with yearly media budgets of up to $200 million. After meeting KJ in October 2020, Ben joined her at Compass, where she worked prior to becoming the “New Kid on the Block” on “Million Dollar Listing New York.”

Working under the Hudson Advisory Team, Anderson became an executive assistant, which included helping to manage KJ’s schedule, operations for listings -- which includes scheduling photography, floor plans, property questionnaires and liaising with attorneys.

“KJ left Compass to start her own team at Douglas Elliman,” Anderson said, “and I’m the Director of Operations for her team at the firm. In this role, I provide support to all team members where I focus solely on transactions. I work on all deals, helping agents and brokers from contract signing to transfer of title, with a roaming brief across strategy and marketing.”

When COVID-19 shut down New York City in June 2020 with a firmer clamp than any other city around the United States and the markets with whom Benjamin was working took a hard hit and unexpected hiatus, Anderson himself took a hard hit as well.

“COVID just shut us down,” Anderson said. “Everything went remote and just five months after my new life took off, I was laid off when all TV filming went dark. My job was suddenly obsolete and I wondered if I would have to leave the city and come home.

"New York City is a very expensive place to live and it’s impossible to sustain even a modest lifestyle without a job that pays well. Surprisingly though, it was because of the layoffs that I met KJ and began working for her. Who knows? If not for the way COVID impacted my other jobs, I may not have ended up with the job I really wanted all along.”


Fortunately for Ben and the rest of the team, when KJ got back to work so did the rest of her team, and new episodes began airing on May 6 of this year.

“New York City is one of the most expensive real estate markets in the world,” Anderson said. “Studio apartments are selling for $600,000. ‘Million Dollar Listing’ highlights the super luxurious properties in New York City and gives a view into the lives of the brokers and what it takes to make deals happen as they navigate the negotiations with other brokers and clients.

"They find out what they like and if they are willing to raise their bids or lower their asking prices, and to highlight the listings themselves so that people who don’t have the opportunity to be exposed to these beautiful properties or the millions they sell for can get a glimpse into this very exclusive market.”

From a small-town student to a big city mover and shaker, with a boss whose face is instantly recognizable to millions of television viewers, and his dream job of working in real estate marketing in New York City, Ben Anderson’s star is on the rise.

“Accepting this job meant that I had to be comfortable on camera,” Anderson added. “Although I don’t expect to be in more than a few episodes assisting KJ. But ‘Million Dollar Listing’ inspired my move to New York, and it’s a blast to be with a show that captures all of the stress and tension of being a player in the NYC real estate market.”

“Million Dollar Listing New York” airs at 8 p.m. Central Daylight Time on Thursdays on the Bravo network.

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KJ (Kirsten Jordan) and Benjamin Anderson enjoy a mango meringue at La Bonne Soupe in New York City, where the team took Ben out to celebrate his birthday in March. Submitted photo.

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