What is Official without the Alexanders?

Brokerage faces an existential crisis without its star broker co-founders, Oren and Tal Alexander

Real Estate Brokerage Official Faces Crisis without Alexanders
From left: Tal Alexander, Andrew Wachtfogel, Nicole Oge, Richard Jordan and Oren Alexander (Official, Getty; Illustration by The Real Deal)

When top real estate brokers Oren and Tal Alexander left Douglas Elliman to start their own firm, they were banking on the power of their brand. 

But the Alexander Team is on shakier ground after Oren and Tal were recently accused of raping women in New York more than a decade ago. The brothers, who denied the allegations, have since stepped down from their brokerage, and some of the developers they work with are scrambling to replace the firm, leaving Official’s fellow co-founders with little to fill the void.  

Over the course of a decade, the two brothers were involved in record-setting deals from Miami to New York to London, all while leaning into the lifestyle of their clients to stand apart from the crowd of other luxury agents. Those clients have included billionaire hedge fund manager Ken Griffin, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, and Adriana Lima. 

To build on the success of their brand, Oren and Tal went in a different direction than most. In the summer of 2022, they partnered with Guy Gal’s white label firm Side, which considers itself the “brokerage platform of record for the world’s best real estate professionals.” Side typically powers the back end, and offers agents starting their own venture a managing broker and other support. 

“We were never proud to tell them [clients] we were at Douglas Elliman,” Oren told The Real Deal in 2022. “We were the Alexander Team, and that was our brand.”

The Alexanders launched Official Partners, bringing on Douglas Elliman alumni Nicole Oge, Richard Jordan and Andrew Wachtfogul as co-founders. The Alexanders were the face of Official, with Jordan as CEO, Wachtfogel heading new developments and Oge, chief growth officer.

Oren previously said that he and Tal were part of “important decisions” at the company, with the other co-founders managing the daily operations. 

Oge has publicly touted the Alexanders since the company launched two years ago. In a recent Facebook post she wrote at the end of May, she said that “no one plays, hustles or works harder (and smarter) than these two.” 

“I am so proud and so honored to be their partner and cannot wait to see them continue leading from the front and inspiring everyone fortunate enough to work with them,” she said.

But Oge has been distancing herself from the Alexanders since women came forward with allegations that they were raped and sexually assaulted by Oren and his twin, Alon. Two lawsuits filed in March, and first reported by TRD earlier this month, allege Oren and his twin, Alon, raped at least two women in separate attacks in New York more than a decade ago. 

After news about the allegations broke, Oge referred to Official as her company, telling the New York Times that “Official is not Oren Alexander.” This interview was done before a third woman filed a lawsuit in New York, alleging Tal and Alon raped her while Oren watched. Those claims mark the first time Tal has been accused in a lawsuit of rape. 

“The conflation or misconception about Official somehow being inextricably linked to any individual, whether it’s me or Oren or anyone else, is just false,” she told the publication. 

Now, with Oren and Tal out of the company, Oge and her remaining co-founders will have to prove it. But that’s a tall order for the brokerage, which has so far depended on the brothers’ pricey deals and reputations as top brokers in New York and South Florida. 

Not to mention the brokers who could be looking to jump ship to a competitor.

Mauricio Umansky, CEO of The Agency, told TRD that he would “absolutely” try to recruit the firm’s agents. “I doubt anyone would want to be at Official,” he said. 

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The Alexanders’ share

In the weeks since TRD and others reported on the rape allegations, Official has 16 fewer listings than it did on June 11, the day Oren said he was stepping back from the firm. The Alexanders were on more than a quarter of Official’s exclusive listings at about the time when Oren said he would stepping back from Official.

The Alexanders brought in the lion’s share of Official’s business. 

According to TRD’s ranking data, the Alexander Team at Official, then led by Oren, closed $248.7 million in on-market deals in Miami-Dade County over the 12-month period ending in mid-September. 

Under Tal’s leadership in New York, the Alexander Team claimed the No. 2 spot in TRD’s ranking of the top resale brokers last year with $262.7 million in closed sell-side deals. 

But the rankings don’t include off-market deals, which the brothers have often claimed are their bread and butter. At TRD’s New York Showcase + Forum in May, Tal called his knowledge of off-market listings his “intellectual property” and one of the primary reasons clients work with him.

“I don’t think buyers are calling me because I can show them what’s on Zillow,” Tal said at the forum. 

Developers have also retreated from their associations with the company. Days after the accusations against Oren became public, a source told TRD that JDS Development planned to replace the brokerage as the head of sales at its Dolce & Gabbana-branded project in Miami’s Brickell. 

The developer has yet to announce a new frontrunner, but the project was one of few on Official’s plate before the allegations surfaced. 

Official was quick to sever ties with Oren after news broke of the lawsuits filed against him. He announced he was taking a pause from his post in an Instagram story that week, and days after, Oge sent an internal email claiming the company was in the process of removing Oren as an owner. 

The company’s response to the allegations against Tal has been slower and seemingly less severe. Tal stepped down from Official on Tuesday “to focus fully on clearing his name,” according to his attorney Deanna Paul and first reported by Business Insider. 

“He won’t allow these claims to be a further distraction to the company or its clients,” Paul wrote in a statement. 

A spokesperson for Tal denied the allegations last week and said they were “fully expected… given the allegations against Tal’s brothers.”  

Oge has not acknowledged whether Tal will forfeit his stake in the company. The brokerage released Tal’s license in New York after news of his resignation. 

A spokesperson for the brokerage said on Tuesday it would be “announcing details about how the company will be reconfigured and fortified for the future.” The spokesperson declined to provide specifics, but a source familiar with the company told TRD that the brokerage plans to bring on new partners. 

This story has been updated with the Alexanders’ share of Official listings at the time of Oren’s announcement he was stepping away from the firm.

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