Check out the Instagram feed of 27-year-old real-estate mogul Tal Alexander, and you’ll see him and his brother Oren throwing up peace signs on camels in Doha, Qatar.
That’s the nation they recently represented in the sale of a $US100 million townhouse, the most expensive ever sold in New York City.
Scoot over to 26-year-old Oren’s feed, and you’ll find the Alexanders — who co-founded The Alexander Team at Douglas Elliman Real Estate two years ago — out to lunch on the slopes of Aspen, Colorado, while The A Team’s feed includes photos of their multimillion-dollar listings in Manhattan and Miami.
“On Instagram, we’ve sold two properties in the last six weeks just based on brokers following us,” Tal told Business Insider.
The brothers’ social media savvy is a major shift from traditional real estate sales tactics. After they sold the most expensive mansion in Miami for $US47 million in 2012, they tried to capitalise on the news by spending $US20,000 on ads in in-flight magazines for business and first-class travellers. But they didn’t get a single phone call.
Social media has become a major marketing platform for the Alexanders, whose current listings include a $US95 million apartment on the Upper East Side, a $US58.5 million estate in the Hamptons, and a $US49 million mansion in swanky Alpine, NJ.
They have personal and business accounts on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, with a combined following of around 25,000. As important as the exposure, though, is the tone it sets for the brothers: They have fun with their work.
“It has to be fun,” Tal said. “These homes are some of the biggest transactions our buyers will ever make, especially if they’re accumulating multiple properties and have a lot of their portfolio in real estate. It takes the edge off if it’s fun. We can make it fun.”
The Alexander philosophy has always been about selling a lifestyle, not just a property. In an interview last year, Oren told Business Insider
he meets many of his wealthy clients — whom he likes to call “friends” — by living like they do. That means spending New Years’ in St. Barts, going to the clubs they frequent, and even dressing like them.
They try to be well-versed in the things their clients care about, said Tal, including art, planes, yachts, cars, and of course, real estate. It helps that the Alexanders grew up in the world of luxury real estate. Their father, Shlomi Alexander, is a major developer in South Florida.
Their strategy is paying off, so far. Since selling the Qatar townhouse, they have fetched the highest prices per square foot for non-penthouse units at 102 Prince Street and The Time Warner Center in New York City.
The brothers also have a serious work ethic and are eager to build their team, often meeting with other brokers who can give them the scoop on properties that are not publicly listed.
On a typical work day, Tal said he gets to the gym in his suit and tie by 7:15 a.m. After a workout, he walks to Balthazar, a power breakfast spot, for meetings with developers, clients, branding and creative directors, or his brother.
Tal gets to their office at 42nd and Madison by 9 a.m. for meetings with their seven-person team. Most brokers have cubicles, but they have a private office with walls covered in news coverage of their sales and pictures of their high-profile clients, from Middle Eastern royalty to business tycoons.
Then it’s off to lunch for more meetings at Hatsuhana, a Midtown sushi joint, followed by showings through the afternoon. Every night the brothers have dinner reservations to woo a new or existing client.
“Depending on the profile of the client, there may be a night on the town after that,” Tal said.
The Alexanders should be looking at a lot of nights out on the town in the near future, as they plan to expand their business to Aspen and further into the Middle East.
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