As long-time admirers of New York’s palatial apartments, trendy lofts and luxurious townhouses – as seen on shows like Gossip Girl and Million Dollar Listings – we’ve wondered what it’s like to be on the other side of this fascinating world of property. And we found no one better to unfold the red carpet of realty than licensed broker Alyssa Brody. Named as one of Manhattan’s top agents last year, this industrious mum-of-two runs The Alyssa Brody Group at Compass in NYC. Graduating from New York Law School with honours, she specialised in Real Estate Transaction and Taxation. At just 32, Alyssa’s intuitive negotiation skills, principled and trustworthy character and strategising techniques have positioned her as a leading figure in the property game. Finding time to catch her breath in between listings and consultations in the city that never sleeps, Alyssa shares her secrets to success in a fiercely competitive industry.
What drew you to the world of real estate?
In 2007, my parents purchased a real estate investment franchise called HomeVestors, “Ugg Buys Ugly Houses” and made me VP. At 21 years old, I was a private real estate investor buying homes for 50-75% on the dollar and then either fixing/flipping or holding them. I then entered into law school in 2009, with a focus and concentration in Real Estate Transaction and Tax. I worked all throughout law school at Katz and Matz, a well-known transactional firm in NYC. I graduated in a horrible job market and the only way for me to live here on my own post-graduation, was to do what I knew best and that was firstly, to hustle and work hard, and secondly, real estate. Lucky for me, those two go hand-in-hand.
What inspired you to start your own company?
I truly feel that some people are born natural leaders. No matter what I was going to end up doing, I was going to be my own boss because I felt that working for someone else always created a limitation or ceiling.
How did Alyssa Brody Realty begin?
Organically. Every person on my team came into my life at a time when I needed them, so as my personal book of business grew, so did my team.
What sets your business apart from other similar companies?
Three words – credibility, authenticity and passion. All three, all the time.
What was the very first property you sold?
166 Perry Street for $5.5M
What challenges have you faced as a FEMtrepreneur and how did you overcome them?
Every single day is a challenge. The most recent though was a project I was hired for a few years back, which was in all facets a challenge all around from the market – from the price to the finishes and the location – you name it. The project though put me on the map in terms of making a name in the industry because of the price point. However, I was hired – ‘the rookie’ – amongst many top all-male brokers. Developers and investors, all male. I had tread very lightly with my opinion for three years, in fear that I would either offend one of the owners, be fired or both. Looking back, I will never allow myself to silence me due to those fears. The reason is, I was finally terminated at the tail end only to be replaced by a male counterpart who has suggested the same exact things I had over the course of time. The only difference is that I was very polite about the said request. I didn’t push too hard again for the above-mentioned reasons. I think the challenge women face in a male-dominated arena in any industry is that WE DON’T COMMUNICATE THE SAME WAY MEN DO. I literally just learned this even in my own marriage. We, women, need to learn to speak the male language in an effort to be heard.
How many hours do you work in a week, on average?
Hahaha, it’s easier to just subtract the hours I am sleeping so let’s say I average 8 hours a day sleeping * 7 = 56 – (24*7) 168 = about 112 hours working. Maybe subtract 4 hours a day to the kids, so I average 88 hours per week.
What type of personal characteristics are required to work in realty?
It’s whatever the definition is of insanity mixed in with the perseverance of a D1 athlete in his prime.
What has been the most effective way of marketing your business?
Keeping true to my own brand and authentic self and then translating that into whatever marketing platform is the right one at the time. Right now it’s digital all the way. Insta everything!
What is the most courageous thing you’ve done as a FEMtrepreneur?
Becoming a FEMtrepreneur and continuing to be one.
How do you achieve a work-personal life balance?
Meditation and accepting each day as it comes.
Describe yourself in three words:
Authentic. Driven. Energetic.
What do you love most about your job?
I help people with some of the biggest purchases or sales in their lives.
Are there any downsides to your profession?
There is zero predictability.
Can you share some tips for anyone looking to buy real estate?
Align yourself with someone who you find credible, trustworthy and fun to be around because you will be spending a lot of time with your broker either on the phone, via email or in person.
What has been your greatest career achievement thus far?
Featuring on CNBC’s Secret Lives of the Super Rich (An American reality TV series).
Is there anything you haven’t done yet that you would love to achieve?
The list is endless, but the biggest thing I want to do is put up a building from start to finish with my husband, and be involved in the entire process, including construction.
What advice would you give to other young female entrepreneurs?
Fun facts about Alyssa:
|Favourite business tool:||My right-hand person, Eli Cavaleri|
|My personal style is…||Downtown chic/cool|
|Heels or flats?||Sneakers or Chanel =)|
|Favourite property I’ve ever sold:||321 Stuyvesant, because I got to sell it twice =)|
|I handle stress by:||Meditation and exercise|
|Three things I never leave home without:||During the week – Eli, always my cellphone, and my stone.|
|My dream home is…||I live in it!|
|Favourite shade of lipstick:||Clear or red|
|Book recommendation:||12 Rules to Life by Jordan B. Peterson|
|Favourite coffee haunt or restaurant:||The Smith is my go-to (New York City)|
|If I had an unlimited budget, I would shop at:||Chanel, Hermes, Barneys – always, all day!|
|Dream destination:||Yet to be decided…|
|The one thing required for success is…||The hunger for it!|
While we can only imagine the views from an exquisite apartment at a prestigious Upper East Side address, Alyssa’s remarkable prowess as a residential property broker has put her levels ahead in a field traditionally dominated by men. It takes someone with a strong sense of adaptability, enduring patience and savvy know-how to navigate the complex and ever-changing domain of real estate – qualities which Alyssa Brody has in abundance. This FEMtrepreneur has her feet firmly placed on the ground at her Chelsea home, and her head earnestly in the game.
To book a consultation with Alyssa, head to her website
For a digital reverie in stately New York real estate, check out her Instagram page