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“I think a lot of people get a little worried that if they get too specialized they’ll lose all this business,” Katie Kossev, panel moderator of “Why Hyperspecialization Will Win in Luxury Real Estate,” said on Tuesday at Inman Luxury Connect.
The fear of getting pinned into one area of specialization can be crippling. But the reality is, it can be extremely helpful in building a business, Oren Alexander and Nicole Oge of luxury brokerage Official told Kossev.
Oge, who has a background in marketing for well-known luxury companies, pointed out to the Luxury Connect audience that consumers gravitate toward highly specialized brands, citing Dry Bar and Lululemon as examples.
“Consumers gravitate toward brands that they have a connection with,” she said.
“The capital [and investors] has organized to support brands that are really specialized because that’s what consumers want.”
In creating Official Oge and Alexander are specializing on elite clients at the higher end of the market.
“Ultimately the business has been built on relationship, consistency and frequency in a certain set of the market,” Oge said.
To cater to those clients the duo focuses on recruiting agents who are at the top of their games. Those clients want experienced agents who know what they’re doing, Alexander explained.
“At the big brokerage, the model is based on scaling and growing to a large number of agents,” Alexander said. “Our model is just focused on the top level of the market.”
“We have an in-depth understanding of these markets, so our clients trust us to sell in these markets,” he added.
Oge explained that at Official they’re looking for “partner” agents who will work collaboratively and a trustworthy to deliver a certain level of service. “We think people succeed when they collaborate,” she said.
At Official, the goal is to “transform the client relationship by transcending the transaction,” Oge said.
“We are going to be building service, tools, data, and platforms to manage portfolios because we saw ourselves as more of a private office mentality, which requires a different skill set.”
For other agents who are looking to launch their own luxury brokerage or team, Oge said to focus on creating support systems and recognize when you need outside help.
“I think everything is about support,” Oge said. “If you’re building anything, the infrastructure or supportings around it … there are so many different companies constantly bombarding us with offerings. Know what you don’t know … Be disciplined with respect to what you do and what you don’t do.”
“Have humility. It’s ok to say ‘I don’t know, I need help,'” she added.
Alexander said one of his biggest secrets to success has been building a bigger network of elite clients by going to various galas and events and learning more about their lifestyles to become better “matchmakers.”
“My brother and I grew up in Miami Beach and started our business in New York City,” Alexander said. “It’s hard to develop a network. You’re either born into it or you get to it. And we got to it by traveling to different destinations.”