Thanks to Donald Trump and his calculated use of media, it is no secret that people can make a lot of money in real estate. With an ever-increasing global economy, space is needed to house new businesses and these businesses’ employees. However, it does not suffice to simply build something. In commercial real estate, it must have functionality, efficiency, and be wrapped into a nice, aesthetically-pleasing package that was ideally designed by a top architectural firm. In the case of residential real estate, it is important to have a broker that doesn’t just understand what your basic needs and desires are in a home. The broker needs to understand and maybe even live your lifestyle in order to help you find or sell your dream home.
Commercial real estate is often the most lucrative since it consists of building office towers, shopping malls, apartment complexes, and hotels; all properties that will continue to generate revenue through leasing. This is exactly how billionaires such as Donald Trump, Richard Lefrak, and Leonard Stern made their money. Trump primarily handled apartment complexes and hotels; Lefrak dabbled in commercial, residential, and retail properties; and Stern focused mostly on industrial complexes. However, residential real estate can also be extremely lucrative if your clients consist of very high net worth individuals, or if you happen to be the president of your very own real estate brokerage firm.
Then there is another side to real estate, the side that perhaps requires the most innovation and where it may be an advantage to be on the younger side. This is technology, where many facets of real estate are being brought to the online world in ways previously unimagined.
The people featured in this list do all of those things. They work in commercial or residential real estate as associates, brokers, CEOs, and even presidents. They all have incomes and revenues that can be measured in the millions. And they are all younger than 30 years of age.
Here are some of the top people in real estate who are under the age of 30.
10 Sha Hwang, 29 | Design Technologist, Movity/Trulia
A number of years ago, Sha Hwang developed a tool that tracked crime, noise, and overall satisfaction statistics in various neighbourhoods in order to help people with their residential relocation decisions. The website was called Movity and received a lot of attention for shaking up the real estate market. Realtors could no longer have open houses during the quietest hours or steer clear of a dodgy intersection in order to conceal the negative qualities of a neighbourhood from potential homebuyers. Now, the website is no longer as it was acquired by Trulia, a large real estate website, for an undisclosed amount. However, we hope that Sha Hwang will continue to craft innovative ways of assisting people in the real estate market.
9 Brad Hardie, 29 | President, Regency Property Management
At the head of Regency Property Management is Brad Hardie, a guy who seems to fly so under the radar that it was difficult to find a photo of him, yet who owns 20 properties of his own and manages over 700 commercial and residential properties in California. To give insight on his down-to-earth image, upon visiting the “About” section of his website you can see that the page isn’t really about the company at all, but about the client and how much Regency values them. It would seem that Brad Hardie’s recipe for success is a strong real estate instinct mixed with being a pretty nice guy. Even better, there is a woman named Linda Hardie listed as his second-in-command; I would bet my last dollar that it’s his mother.
8 Blair Brandt, 26 | CEO, The Next Step Realty
Blair Brandt is the founder and CEO of The Next Step Realty, a company that aims to connect brokers with recent college graduates who are on the hunt for apartments to rent. The idea is that it will save college students time, money, and stress by offering recent grads discounted brokerage fees and setting them up with a broker who specialises in this type of market. Originally the concept was built for Manhattan but has since expanded to international heights.
7 Alex Hodara, 26 | Owner, Hodara Real Estate Group
The owner of the Hodara Real Estate Group is Alex Hodara, a 26 year-old Boston University grad who decided during his freshman year that the best person to help students find housing is another student. Thus he started the first student-run brokerage firm in the country and to this day it remains that way, with the exception of a few employees. Initially, his goal was to provide rentals to students but now his focus has shifted to selling and developing properties. Three years ago, his company was worth $17 million, so one can only imagine how much it has grown.
6 Ryan Serhant, 27 | Associate Real Estate Broker, Nest Seekers International
If you happen to watch television regularly, chances are that you’ve seen Ryan Serhant before. With his polished good looks and his educational background in acting, it is no wonder that he is the star of Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing New York. However, it cannot be overlooked that he can actually sell, and really rather well. After five years of working as a real estate broker, he has closed $1 billion worth of real estate deals. There is certainly a reason that he is considered a real estate expert on networks like CNN and NBC, and the star of his own show.
5 Josh Flagg, 28 | Real Estate Agent
Josh Flagg is another celebrity of the Million Dollar Listing television show variety, but his constituency is Los Angeles. Some of his most jaw-dropping sales include the North Roxbury Estate in Beverly Hills, sold for a cool $24.9 million; and another Beverly Hills home for $18.9 million. He comes from a successful family who focused on commercial real estate, primarily the development and ownership of shopping malls, but Flagg decided right out of high school that residential real estate was his calling. With an average of $250 million in closings per year, it looks like he was right.
4 Austin Allison, 29 | CEO, Dotloop
Allison is the founder and CEO of Dotloop, an online business that simplifies the many aspects of a real estate transaction. Before, a real estate transaction took a lot of time and paperwork but now everyone involved can be brought into the “loop” online. This means that the various steps required in the process can go down in real-time with all parties involved and “present”. It is like Facebook, Dropbox, and the MLS website all rolled into one with your realtor at the helm of it all. Allison, whose family is also in construction and real estate, is familiar with the real estate market as a buyer and as a past realtor, all of which enabled him to see the situation from all sides and found Dotloop at the age of 26.
3 Brian O’Neill, Jr., 27| Senior Project Manager, O’Neill Properties Group
Brian O’Neill Jr. was a Georgetown University grad who had little interest in real estate until recently. His past jobs include being an emergency medical technician in high school and a Public Defender Service investigator during university, a far cry from managing a multi-billion dollar real estate development project, which is what he does today. His father encouraged him to take part in the family business, O’Neill agreed, and this astronomical deal is his first project. Despite his age, the magnitude of the project, and his overall lack of experience, he is apparently doing an exemplary job. One of the first retailers with a stake in this $2 billion development is scheduled to open in April of this year. Throughout his journey he remains humble, having said once that he thought he knew a little something about real estate before but now realizes he knows nothing at all ... What a funny guy.
2 Jared Seligman, 28 |Associate Broker, Douglas Elliman
When you visit the Jared Seligman Team section of the Douglas Elliman website, the opening statement reads: “A leader in his field since 2004 ...” which may not seem strange at all until you realise that Seligman was approximately 18 years old in 2004. He always has been a leader though, having sold million dollar listings right off the bat and was even made vice-president of the Corcoran Group at age 21. Some of his clients have included Mark-Kate and Ashley Olsen and former French president Nicolas Sarkozy.
1 Oren Alexander and Tal Alexander, 26 and 27 | Real Estate Agents, Douglas Elliman
Other residential real estate agents who have made it big are Oren and Tal Alexander, also known as the Alexander Team. Like Josh Flagg, the Alexander family was also involved in real estate and so they grew up with that influence, but decided to put their own twist on it. Rather than developing upscale custom-built homes like their father in Miami Beach, they decided to become real estate agents for the super rich. The thing that’s getting them attention right now? The sale of a $100 million townhouse in New York. The deal is expected to close in April and when it does, it will be the most expensive townhouse ever sold in NYC. No wonder their moniker is the “A Team”.