At 7:30 a.m. Oren Alexander's bed transforms into an office.
There the 25-year-old real estate broker for Prudential Douglas Elliman checks on new listings and recent closing, reads the Wall Street Journal and The New York Post, and fields emails and telephone calls that will determine his day.
Alexander, a young hotshot who recently sold the most expensive mansion in Miami, works purely off commission, so his day needs to start early and he must be productive.
He says he meets many of his wealthy clients — whom he likes to call "friends" — by living like they do.
What does that mean, exactly?
He does New Years in St. Barts, goes to the clubs his clients frequent, and dresses like them, too.
Alexander decided early on to focus on the luxury market and not rentals, a risky move that ultimately paid off.
"I knew who I wanted to be and to get there I had to be selling big product," he said. "It's the only way to get recognition. Otherwise, you're just another real estate broker. I didn't want to be another rental broker. It is almost a negative thing to be a broker, almost like being a club promoter. There are so many of them and it's hard to differentiate yourself. I wanted to bring a good reputation to the business and I felt I could only do that on the high end."
Alexander moved from Miami to New York City in 2008, only to be greeted by a dead real estate market.
He was nearly two months behind on rent before he closed his first major deal on a Midtown penthouse for $8.2 million. The deal made news because the market was so desolate at that time. When reporters found out his age, the sale became even more newsworthy.
Alexander celebrated his 25th birthday by selling the most expensive home sold in Miami, a $47 million estate in Indian Creek.
He says working off commission fuels him, and that the high-risk, high-reward aspect of the job is thrilling. He's often on the road, jet-setting from New York to Miami to Argentina.
For Alexander, real estate is a family affair.
He works alongside his older brother, Tal. The duo help each other avoid the scheduling conflicts that often arise as a result of having listings in both New York and Miami. Alexander's twin works in securities.
When Alexander is in Miami, he works with his father, a developer, on two homes he is building in Miami. One in Bal Harbor, will be listed for $25 million when it's completed in two years, and the other, on Indian Creek Island will hit the market for $35 million. Alexander is in charge of all the marketing for those properties, and gives design and aesthetic input. His father handles the day-to-day.
He may be an emerging force in New York real estate, but in some ways, Alexander is still green.
Since starting out, Alexander has had seek out clients and convince them he was the right man for the job. But that all changed Monday.
"I never felt business came to me," he said. "It wasn't until Monday that I got an email from a potential client telling me they would be in Miami and wanted me to help them find an apartment."
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