With over 20 years of industry experience, Nicole Oge—OFFICIAL’s (officialpartners.com) co-founder and chief growth officer—has redefined what it means to be a modern businesswoman. Here, the Oge gets candid about her carefully curated career path and lessons she’s learned along the way.
Nicole Oge, co-founder and chief growth officer of OFFICIAL.
FIRST AND FOREMOST, CONGRATULATIONS ON OFFICIAL’S RAPID SUCCESS! FOR THOSE WHO MIGHT NOT BE FAMILIAR WITH THE COMPANY, CAN YOU BUZZ WHAT YOU AND YOUR TEAM DO BEST? Thank you; that’s so kind and we can’t believe it’s been one year already. OFFICIAL is a high-end real estate brokerage presently operating in New York, the Hamptons, Miami, Los Angeles and Orange County.
HOW IS OFFICIAL DIFFERENT FROM A TYPICAL REAL ESTATE BROKERAGE?
I think we are different in every important way. First, we are very selective. OFFICIAL is the only firm with barriers to entry, meaning there are only two ways to be invited in to join OFFICIAL as an agent.
1. You and your team have achieved $1 billion in sales in your career, you are considered to be among the most well respected in your market, your clientele has a portfolio of properties in multiple markets OFFICIAL services, and you have integrity and value collaboration over competition. Not many agents of the 3 million licensed in the U.S. fit those criteria.
2. You are identified through our agent intelligence program called PRODIGY to be among the few agents on track to achieve $1 billion. As a PRODIGY, we will help you get there faster. Think of it as real estate’s first incubator program.
Second, we consider our agents to be partners. We have structured the firm more like McKinsey than a typical real estate agency where agents compete for the same business. Our agents collaborate; they don’t compete against each other. When everyone in each market is the best of the best, agents want to collaborate with one another. They feel proud knowing that we are safeguarding the brand and our clients.
Third, we are hyper-specialized at the high end, and that includes new development. New development is in the DNA of all five of us co-founders. We are so proud and so humbled to already be representing several of the most high-profile new-development projects in the world, including The Raleigh in Miami Beach, Nihi’s global residential expansion and 888 Brickell.
Fourth, we are creating a brand that will mean something to our clients. OFFICIAL will someday add a premium to both the properties it represents and the agents who carry its business card.
When asked about her driving force, Oge’s answer is simple: “I’m obsessed with brands, building transformative experiences for clients and working with brilliant people. It’s what I love and what motivates me. OFFICIAL is the culmination of all three.”
TELL US ABOUT YOUR FOCUS ON REAL ESTATE. YOU HAVE 20-PLUS YEARS OF MARKETING AND OPERATIONS EXPERIENCE, BUT WHEN DID YOU DECIDE TO WEAVE IN YOUR PASSION FOR REAL ESTATE?
I’ve been on a mission since day one in this industry to elevate the profession. There are 3 million licensed agents in the U.S. and it’s one of the most deeply distrusted professions for a reason. It’s far too easy to get licensed, and brokerages hire everyone and anyone without consideration for what clients’ experience will be like.
If you’ve ever worked with real estate’s elite, like my co-founders Oren and Tal Alexander, you know not all agents are created the same. The best agents are invaluable professionals, resources and mainlines into our communities, and OFFICIAL is building a home for these agents—for the absolute best in the country. In so doing, we aim to change people’s perception of what a real estate agent is.
WHAT HAS BEEN ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSONS YOU’VE LEARNED ALONG THE WAY?
To stop talking, and I especially love the WAIT technique: Why Am I Talking. This is really very hard for me because, as those who know me will tell you, I am incredibly passionate in my conversations, debates and with my teams. I know, however, that if I don’t leave time to listen, I will never grow. I will never learn. I will ultimately never improve. Stasis scares me more than anything.
ARE THERE ANY MILESTONE MOMENTS YOU CAN SHARE WITH US?
My son, Julian Wylde, was born a few months before we launched OFFICIAL, and after eight rounds of IVF. I cannot imagine any experience that has shaped me more than the journey to become a mom, and everything since feels absolutely possible.
DO YOU HAVE ANY UPCOMING PROJECTS OR NEWS YOU WOULD LIKE TO BUZZ FOR THE UPCOMING SEASON?
The Raleigh’s return to Miami Beach will be one of the most talked-about launches globally, and we are exceedingly proud to be part of this landmark moment.
Photography by: PHOTO BY JACIE MARGUERITE