Education — that is my constant theme. I think that knowledge is power and the more you understand the inner workings of a transaction the better you will be at that transaction. So, understanding even due diligence and what an attorney does during that time is going to help you guide your client through the entire buying process, especially when it’s through a very complicated coop. When you educate yourself the policy and procedures of the transactions you will be better. of the real estate industry.
As a part of my series about strong women leaders of the Real Estate industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Alyssa Soto Brody.
Alyssa Soto Brody brings an impressive range of capabilities and expertise to her role as a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson, making her both the trusted partner and secret weapon that buyers, sellers and investors want in their corner.
Prior to real estate, Alyssa was a successful private investor before heading to New York to pursue her law degree. Her work as a real estate attorney makes her a coveted asset at the closing table, while her experience as a development marketing executive aids her impressive ability to develop creative selling strategies whereby Alyssa boasts 350+ million dollars in current exclusive listings and 250+ million dollars in closed transactions.
Alyssa is a personable ally who excels at putting clients at ease — whether renting a studio apt or buying a penthouse apartment. Intelligent, nimble and eminently trustworthy, she thrives on connecting with people and making their real estate dreams a reality. During COVID-19 when rental units were becoming vacant and people were leaving the city, Alyssa and her team were busier than ever.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the “backstory” about what brought you to the Real Estate industry?
I actually entered the real estate industry in 2006 when my stepfather purchased a real estate franchise called “Homevestors.” I was a sophomore in college back in Miami and I fell in love with the hustle of the industry. I learned to identify opportunities for investment, buy, renovate, sell and lease properties all before graduating college. This is likely why I decided to specialize in real estate upon entering law school in 2009. My passion for law and real estate propelled my career as a broker as I was able to combine both skill set, knowledge and passion.
Can you share with our readers the most interesting or amusing story that occurred to you in your career so far? Can you share the lesson or take away you took out of that story?
Besides walking into the wrong unit where a tenant was home, while showing in a rental building that we manage, the best story has to be in 2015 when I was extra pregnant with my first daughter, I was representing a new development in Williamsburg on North 9th Street and also representing a resale on North 11th. One had an incredible roof deck, the other an unfinished ugly roof with nothing but mechanicals. During the showing for North 9th I went on and on about how incredible the roof deck was and how the buyers were just going to love the view and amenities such as the grill. Well as you can imagine my pregnancy brain inverted the buildings and not only did, I take the buyers to a non-existent roof deck, I had been giving them the details of the other unit the whole time- price, common charges, amenities. I lost all credibility with the buyer and was so embarrassed I may even have cried all the way home. It did teach me a valuable lesson and now I do not ever start a showing until I fully “prep” and review the listing details prior to the buyers walking in.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
I have really enjoyed working on Island House at Roosevelt Island which is a project I took over about a year ago with 17 remaining units. We are currently down to 4 so we have been successful in creating demand in a relatively “new” market. Our takeover of 2 Cooper Square was also a new and exciting venture which gave us the exclusive on an entire rental building (144 units) a job usually reserved to large management companies. I am working on a handful of very exciting projects. While I cannot give out any details just yet I will say what the 3 have in common are that they are in neighborhoods that are on the cusp of expansion and I love being a pioneer broker in a market that has not yet completely evolved. It makes for a great challenge but also a great opportunity. My new projects consist of a ground up luxury rental building (86 units), a conversion (approximately 200+ units), a townhouse in the East Village and a ground up condo (76 units).
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Well if I don’t first thank my mother Sue for the sacrifices, she made in raising and educating me I would be disowned and also dishonest as I do believe my success started from the time, I chose her as a mother. Thereafter, mentors, law professors, previous bosses like Andrew Baroccas and Highlyann Krasnow and even my first partner Sarah Williams were all stepping stones in creating a “successful career path.” However, in my adult career and when I was still a rookie the best advice, I received was from Shaun Osher of CORE who told me that to be successful I just needed to find 1–5 people who would provide me with 80% of my business. I have to credit specifically 3 people for this — Joseph Klaynberg, Jean Chae and Eric Brody. During the first few years of my career these 3 individuals trusted me to not only sell their own properties but also thereafter provided me with referrals. Because of them I was able to become a “listing agent” very early on which provided me with credibility, marketability and a strong pipeline of referral business.
Ok. Thank you for all that. Let’s now jump to the main core of our interview. The Real Estate industry, like the Veterinarian, Nursing and Public Relations fields, is a woman dominated industry. Yet despite this, less than 20 percent of senior positions in Real Estate companies are held by women. In your opinion or experience, what do you think is the cause of this imbalance?
I think this depends on what side of the real estate coin we are referring to commercial v. residential. actually, read an article in Apartment Therapy that reported that about 63% of the licensed residential real estate agents in the country. The career of a “sales agent” was created in the 20th century to give women the opportunity to financially contribute to their family. As opposed to working in, say, a dangerous factory with long hours which took women out of the home, this career allowed them to have flexibility for both. After all, who is better equipped on the subject of all things domestic than a woman. Of course, the question reads “senior” positions but in Manhattan alone on the residential side Barbara Corcoran, Pam Liebman, Dolly Herman, Dolly Lenz- trailblazers in our industry and in fact I would credit for the creation of some niche aspects of our business such as new development marketing. I feel like the more emphasis we give to this topic the more we take away from the success of our women in leadership positions. It took us women a little longer to have equal rights so of course men still dominate these positions but we have evolved a lot quicker than our male counterparts even with a late start in the game.
What 3 things can be done by a)individuals b)companies and/or c) society to support greater gender balance going forward?
Larger access to higher education for women, especially minorities.
In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges faced by women executives that aren’t typically faced by their male counterparts?
Women always have to prove their credibility. They have to earn and then fight to keep their place in the table where men have easier access to the seats.
Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the Real Estate industry?
New developments, First time Homebuyers and the ability to create residual income and generational wealth from this asset class
Can you share 3 things that most concern you about the industry? If you had the ability to implement 3 ways to reform or improve the industry, what would you suggest?
Higher standard of education to become a licensed broker, higher moral standard when licensed, and continuing education in the evolution of the tech and digital world that is finally starting to revolutionize an antiquated industry
What advice would you give to other leaders to help their team to thrive?
Meditate so that you can be the strong center your team needs. Quiet your own chaos so that you can provide stillness and clarity when assisting your team.
Ok, here is the main question of our interview. You are a “Real Estate Insider”. If you had to advise someone about 5 non intuitive things one should know to succeed in the Real Estate industry, what would you say? Can you please give a story or an example for each?
- Education — that is my constant theme. I think that knowledge is power and the more you understand the inner workings of a transaction the better you will be at that transaction. So, understanding even due diligence and what an attorney does during that time is going to help you guide your client through the entire buying process, especially when it’s through a very complicated coop. When you educate yourself the policy and procedures of the transactions you will be better. of the real estate industry.
- Credibility — You need to be the go-to advisor of your network so that you are credible enough that everyone just calls you real estate related. You have to learn how to be the advocate. So if you learn how to advocate and communicate both your side as the real estate professional and be the voice of your client during negotiations with the outside parties that is how you’re going to most successful closing deals, which at the end of the day is the end goal.
- Strong Brand — You need to be your own brand to stand out in a saturated industry where you eat what you kill. You need to have a strong brand presence that allows you to not only create an incredible referral business but well known within your industry so your colleagues look to you when they need a listing or have a property to sell to their buyers.
Because of your position, you are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Meditation. If I could get everyone to meditate for 10 mins minimum a day it would be my greatest gift to all.
How can our readers follow you online?