Watch: Todd Michael Glaser on developing dream homes for billionaires

The spec builder on how he got his start, the Tarpon Island project and working with celebs

It sometimes pays to be at the end of the line.

Todd Michael Glaser started his career with a stint as a sprinkler designer. In the development hierarchy, that’s pretty low on the list.

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“In a high-rise meeting, you’d have 40 subcontractors. And they would make me wait ‘til the very end, and they’d have 10 minutes of conversation, but I’d have to sit through nine hours of torment. So I finally said, ‘You know what, let me just learn,'” Glaser recalled in an interview for “The Closing” with The Real Deal‘s Hiten Samtani. By the time he was done, he had, pardon the pun, soaked in enough knowledge to try his hand at development, kicking off one of the more colorful and successful careers in building ultra-luxury spec homes.

Glaser has built homes for celebrities such as Michael Bay and Lil Wayne, and is developing a megamansion on Palm Beach’s only private island, Tarpon Island. He’s pushing pricing to levels unheard of in South Florida, and has ridden the wave of the hottest market in recent memory.

In the conversation, he dished on growing up in Miami Beach, working with celebrity buyers, his tussles with the Reuben Brothers at One Thousand Museum and his moonshot vision for his hometown. Check out the highlights in the video above and read the full conversation here.