Downturn, reality TV bring the young and ambitious to real estate

October 26, 2012 10:30AM

Marked financial success in real estate was once the purview of older, established agents who had labored for years to carve out a particular territory. But no more. As the Wall Street Journal reported, ambitious young people are an increasing bulk of the most successful agents in the profession, as fields such as finance and law have become less attractive in tough economic times.

Yuval Greenblatt, an executive vice president at Prudential Douglas Elliman, told the Journal one quarter of his team is now composed of agents under the age of 30.

“We are seeing more and more young people coming into the mix especially as the job environment has grown tougher,” Greenblatt told the paper. “It’s pretty hard for young people to get decent-paying jobs, while in real estate you can make $200,000 or $300,000 in the first year or two.”

Among the rising stars are Oren Alexander, who works with Greenblatt and sold the most expensive home on record in Miami and Caroline Bass, of Citi Habitats, who sold an Upper West Side penthouse to Tim Gunn. And there is, of course, the veritable face of young power brokers, Kyle Blackmon, who sold the record-shattering Sanford Weill penthouse for $88 million earlier this year.

Another reason for the uptick in interest among the young and entrepreneurial? Reality television. “[Aspiring brokers are] well aware that the payoff is tremendous, in part because they see it on TV,” Josh Flagg, a Los Angeles-based broker on the Bravo show Million Dollar Listing told the Journal. “It’s the only business where you can make so much money this quick.” [WSJ] –Guelda Voien