Finding the Next Big Stars in Real Estate

Finding the Next Big Stars in Real Estate

  • The Hollywood Reporter
  • 08/24/23

When mega-selling agents Oren and Tal Alexander of The Alexander Team left Douglas Elliman last June to co-found a new brokerage, they vowed they would do things differently.

Now their new firm Official — which focuses on residential real estate deals for ultra high net worth clients, including Hollywood names — is rolling out what they see as a new model for growth.

Unveiled today, Prodigy — spearheaded by Official co-founder Nicole Oge, the brokerage’s chief growth officer — is a data-driven, invitation-only recruitment tool that evaluates potential new talent for the company amid the wide sea of real estate agents in the United States, where an estimated three million people have an active real-estate license.

Official says it doesn’t want to grow large in terms of the number of agents at the brokerage. Instead, with its focus on the very tip-top of the luxury real estate market — among Official’s current listings is former WeWork co-founder Adam Neumann’s NYC penthouse, for sale at $32 million, and a $69.5 million property in Malibu dubbed the Cantilever House — the brokerage is looking to identify agents who show the potential to do a whopping $1 billion in sales in their career. To date, the Alexander brothers have done more than $8 billion in sales in their careers and their celeb and mogul clients have included music producer Timbaland, model Adriana Lima, designer Tommy Hilfiger, and hedge funder Ken Griffin (whose 2019 purchase of a penthouse in New York for an eye-popping $239 million remains the priciest residential real estate deal ever in the U.S.)

“Unlike other firms that measure their strength by agent and office counts, we are singularly focused on the highest caliber of agents. Prodigy allows us to evaluate the quantitative and qualitative KPIs of a potential candidate using two proprietary tools,” Oge tells The Hollywood Reporter.

Those tools devised by Official comprise a Prodigy Score — which the brokerage describes as a “curated score that is the direct measure of an agent’s business relative to their peers with the same tenure and in the same market” — and a Scouting Report, which provides “an outline of specific performance metrics, allowing them to see a map of their strengths and weakness,” says Oge).

“These reports, combined with a rigorous interview process, ensure we deeply understand the potential of the candidate and the areas of focus their business would require in order to be optimized,” explains Oge.

Official is among a number of high-profile luxury brokerages that have launched in the last few years — such as Carolwood Estates and AKG Christie’s in Los Angeles, Ryan Serhant’s Serhant, and Hedgerow in the Hamptons — that are looking to stand out in the marketplace.

Official’s talent identification program comes at a time of notable churn in the residential real estate industry. In May, the National Association of Realtors released statistics showing that more than 60,000 agents had left the business in the prior six months amid a nationwide slump in the housing market largely attributable to high interest rates.

Official, which lists a select 41 agents on its website across its five markets (New York City, the Hamptons, MiamiLos Angeles and Orange County) says that agents who qualify for its Prodigy program must have a minimum of three-years experience in real estate sales; a minimum of $12 million in annual sales volume; an average price point of more than $500,000; and at least five transactions a year.


You can read the article on The Hollywood Reporter here

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