By Phebe Wahl By Phebe Wahl | September 15, 2022 | Home & Real Estate Home & Real Estate Feature Home & Real Estate
Tal and Oren Alexander
Tal and Oren Alexander launch OFFICIAL–reimagining the industry with the first global property advisory firm for the high end of the market.
“We selected the name OFFICIAL because it is synonymous with the benchmark achievements we are recognized for at the highest end of the global market,” says Oren Alexander of the recently debuted property advisory firm he launched with his brother Tal and partner Nicole Oge (officialpartners.com). The power pair have accumulated more than $7 billion in sales and jaw-dropping transactions over their careers, like the most expensive residential sale in the history of the U.S., a $240 million penthouse in New York— and the best is clearly yet to come. Yet, OFFICIAL is about so much more than these record-breaking transactions.
“Yes, we represent buyers and sellers in real estate deals, however, the nature of our business is much more nuanced. This nuance is reflected in OFFICIAL’s mission statement: to transform the client experience by creating a relationship that transcends the transaction,” says Oren. “We built the No. 1 team in the country with this mentality,” adds Tal. “And we plan on building a truly game-changing brand on those same principles,” he offers. The team will not be about number of agents but quality over quantity. “In our superprime markets, OFFICIAL teams will have transacted at least $1 billion in their careers,” says Oren. “At that level, we are all one to two degrees away from the clients our business is built around. You will never be handed an OFFICIAL business card from someone who is not at the very top of their game in their home market,” he adds.
Designed with the very pinnacle of the market in mind, the Alexander brothers partnered with Side (sideinc. com) to support OFFICIAL behind the scenes with tools and services including proprietary transaction management technology, legal support and business guidance. The firm is already operational in New York City, the Hamptons and Miami, with several new markets launching before year’s end, including Aspen and additional South Florida locations. “The traditional brokerage operating model was not designed for high-net worth individuals,” says Tal. “We created OFFICIAL to fill that gap as the first company specializing in a private office approach to the high end of the market. Whether the guidance is on what property to buy, which real estate investment to make, or the best options for a client’s son or daughter moving to one of our markets for the first time, there is no limit to the lengths we would go to support our network.”
We polled the partners of OFFICIAL for an inside look at their industry-innovating firm.
PHOTO COURTESY OF OFFICIAL
What inspired you to found Official and how did the partners come together?
OA: After being recognized as the nation’s No. 1 team for three consecutive years, it became clear that we had achieved all we could in a traditional brokerage company and the only path forward was to launch our own firm. Our clients expect more from professionals like us, and the only way to deliver for them at the highest level is by building a platform catered specifically to their needs.
TA: We were also inspired by many of our clients who are extremely successful entrepreneurs and industry leaders. The common theme among them was never being satisfied with today’s success and surrounding themselves with exceptional people. We knew we would need partners like Nicole to bring the vision for OFFICIAL to life.
NO: The three of us have known and respected one another for many, many years. I believe we are all inspired by the rapid changes taking place in other industries when it comes to customer service, tech, data and marketing. Our clients demand more from brands today and we are excited by the opportunity to up-level their expectations of real estate professionals.
How do you hope to fill a void in the market?
OA: There are more than 107,000 brokerages operating in the U.S. today. The world doesn’t need another one, which is why we see OFFICIAL as more than a traditional brokerage. Our clients don’t buy and sell every seven years. They transact with extraordinary frequency and have needs that extend beyond the transaction.
TA: We take a private office approach to our business, which means our role is part agent, part portfolio manager, part wealth adviser and part lifestyle concierge. This is true for all agents servicing the highest end of the market, which is why we created a brand solely dedicated to this clientele and the agents who service them.
NO: Our observation is the traditional brokerage model caters to generalists, which is how thousands of agents can coexist in one branded ecosystem. In the last decade, however, we have seen a shift to hyperspecialization in every industry apart from real estate. Whether these brands specialize in a product/service—take Allbirds or Drybar as good examples—or they specialize in a consumer segment, like Lululemon or Aman hotels, these brands deeply understand their customers, they have a clear purpose, and they deliver products and services those customers need and love. OFFICIAL is the first hyperspecialized real estate brand.
What did you see as the benefit of working with Side?
OA: Our comparative financial models made the decision easy. The model with Side as our vendor demonstrated a faster path to profitability, higher midterm returns and the ability to expand into other markets quickly and easily.
TA: Side’s CEO, Guy Gal, has proven himself to be a successful serial entrepreneur and his input has already proven valuable to OFFICIAL. We are building a business at the end of the day, so having advisers like Guy and Side’s impressive board of directors is very valuable to us.
Where do you see the higher end of the market going in the future—and how does this brand unapologetically cater to that?
TA: This is a good opportunity to clarify what we mean by the pinnacle segment of the market. Our business is presently concentrated in the best neighborhoods of arguably the best real estate markets in the world: New York City, Miami and the Hamptons. By default, those buyers and sellers represent the pinnacle segment of the market.
OA: We also happen to specialize in one-of-a-kind trophy assets; however, everything about our business and our brand revolves around the client. We take a private office approach to everything we do. If a $20 million buyer has a daughter looking for her first apartment in Miami, she will receive the same level of service as her father.
TA: There is proven resiliency in the higher end of the market during periods of market volatility, however, let’s be clear: No one can predict future conditions with any level of accuracy. What has proven true time and time again is that our core markets are where people feel most comfortable investing, during the highs and the lows.
How are you planning to build the ultimate dream team for the top tier of the market? And why do you think building a unique brand like this is so essential to the ultraluxury market?
NO: We are going to take our time to meet with potential partners in markets we wish to grow in and grow into. OFFICIAL’s specialization means it has performance and expertise thresholds for teams that partner with us in our existing markets—each will have transacted at least $1 billion in their career and have new development experience.
OA: New development is a critical piece of our business model. All our partners have deep expertise in this specialized area and we believe we offer a fresh perspective on the classic approach. Our predevelopment experience, relationships and connections in multiple industries, and an operating model that is aligned with our clients and their lenders, is an appealing and differentiated narrative.
Where do you hope to take this new brand? Or how do you hope it grows and evolves over the next few years?
TA: Aspen is on the horizon for this year as are one or two additional markets. Our hope is to continue attracting the best talent in the industry, which we know will be the key to our success.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE STANDOUT PROPERTIES YOU HAVE AT THE MOMENT?
27 STAR ISLAND DRIVE, MIAMI BEACH, $400,000 PER MONTH
Situated on Miami Beach’s most coveted address, Star Island, this new modern masterpiece with bespoke details offers a sprawling 25,000 square feet of handcrafted and intimate interior living space designed by starchitect SAOTA. Sitting on a generous 40,000-square-foot lot with 100 feet of east-facing waterfront, this home offers a total of six bedrooms, 12 baths, a sky sunset rooftop lounge, a 1,400-bottle wine room and a top-of-the-line chef’s kitchen with appliances by Gulio. This smart home includes rich materials throughout, a gym overlooking the water, a full spa, a cold plunge, a jacuzzi, a pool, a cabana, a massage room and a hair salon, making sure no detail was overlooked.
281 PARK AVE. S, MANHATTAN, $135M
RFR’s beautiful building garnered press recently for its role in the Netflix series Inventing Anna.
432 PARK AVE., PENTHOUSE, MANHATTAN, PRICE UPON REQUEST
529 BONTONA AVE., FORT LAUDERDALE, $31.5M
This recently built estate on Fort Lauderdale’s Las Olas Isles has the rare distinction of occupying its own private peninsula, with approximately 700 feet of dockage on three sides, including a protected 250-foot boat slip that can easily accommodate a megayacht. Meanwhile,the 10,590-square-foot residence offers such superlative amenities as a vaulted formal living room, copious balconies and protected loggias for gracious outdoor entertaining, an elegant waterfront pool with spa, a lavish primary suite, a Crestron smart home system and a stately motor court, which provides access to the four-car garage. The fireplace and book-matched marble floors in the living room complement the elegant bar, perfect for a grand reception or an intimate nightcap.
1 SUTTON PLACE SOUTH, MANHATTAN, $37.5M
PHOTO COURTESY OF OFFICIAL
One of the most legendary co-ops in New York has more wall space for art than one could believe, plus more than 7,000 square feet of wraparound terraces.
636 N. SEA MECOX ROAD, SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y., $9M
Overlooking picturesque farmland in the heart of Southampton, this impressive 1.6-acre landscaped property frames a 7,500-square-foot custom residence of exceptional finishes, modern interiors, seven bedrooms, seven full and two half-bathrooms, an attached two-car garage, a heated gunite pool and a well-equipped outdoor kitchen for resort-style indoor-outdoor entertaining surrounded by a landscaped garden and expansive great lawn with tennis permits.
Photography by: PHOTO COURTESY OF OFFICIAL