Video: alexander_zakhari, christina.kremidas, markonyc
Jason Lau, a luxurious-actual-estate agent, is pretending to take a shower. Enclosed in the spalike white-marble shower of a $2.6 million condo’s en suite lavatory, thoroughly clothed, he holds the stainless-metal faucet head and mimes rinsing himself from his paisley scarf down to his Chanel loafers. Lizza Prigozhina, standing in close proximity to the rest room in a crop top and blazer, choreographs with Apple iphone in hand. “Now block out the digicam with your hand,” she states, “like, You can’t see this.” Lau complies. His business partner at the Corcoran group, Marko Arsic (loafers: Prada), nods approvingly from the adjoining bed room: “We do what ever Lizza claims.”
Prigozhina is the 23-calendar year-old queen of New York genuine-estate TikTok, a written content whisperer to the star agents of Corcoran, Douglas Elliman, and Nest Seekers. In a significant-close current market that has been slowing considering the fact that September, with whispers of downturns and 2008 in the air, what Prigozhina provides to genuine-estate agents is an injection of levity into their malaise and, preferably, countless numbers of new followers and possible consumers. Below her steering, brokers are flocking to TikTok, where, for $700 and up a 7 days, Prigozhina assists them build viral content material, writes captions, and even posts on their behalf. Brokerages are laying off their brokers, and sky-significant home loans are producing sellers skittish, but her small business is booming: In a good month, she’ll make about $10,000.
Prigozhina’s venture this November morning is a just one-bed room rental on the 28th flooring of Waterline Sq., a growth on the far west aspect of the Upper West Aspect that wishes to be the new Hudson Yards. Lau’s shower scene is the culmination of a one particular-shot, ongoing-just take online video tour that has grow to be endemic to serious-estate TikTok — and that, by way of Prigozhina’s direction, is built to carry some grandeur to the unit’s 984 feet. Just after a transient rehearsal, Prigozhina steadily winds close to the condominium, Iphone in her suitable hand and cuing Arsic and Lau with her left. The brokers gamely dart driving home furniture and doorways in their designer satisfies, then out once more to enthusiastically display off the Gaggenau stove and waterfall island and heated lavatory flooring with oversize hand gestures, connoting Ooh! and Aah! At one particular issue, Prigozhina tells Arsic to fling himself lightly on to the mattress to display its bounce.
Prigozhina uncovered her area of interest in authentic-estate TikTok in 2021 as the marketplace was starting its manic rebound from the pandemic standstill. Born in Russia, she experienced arrived in the city in 2020 to go to the New York Movie Academy and desired a position, so she achieved out to Alexander Zakharin, a broker at Avenues Authentic Estate and a fellow Russian. Prigozhina did not finish up utilizing his companies (she uncovered a no-payment studio on 63rd and West Close Avenue on StreetEasy), but she saw Zakharin’s TikTok, on which he had commenced submitting apartment tours when no just one was going to them in person. Prigozhina realized what was lacking: him. “Alexander has a major personality,” she informed me subject-of-factly, and she persuaded him to place himself in front of the digital camera. She had gotten her begin at 14 with lip syncs on Musical.ly (and had even briefly flirted with a stint as an influencer in 2020) and commanded the form of obsessive fluency TikTok demands: the demented pop-society shorthand, the viral developments customized for area of interest audiences, an intuition about when to publish. (“I’m on it for several hours a working day,” Prigozhina mentioned, declining to say the specific quantity.) Considering that doing the job with Prigozhina, Zakharin’s next has surpassed 700,000 now, in his most recurrent style of video clip, he stands on the actions of the Plaza and interviews unsuspecting holidaymakers about their dream New York condominium. As his TikTok clout grew, the luxury marketplace peaked, breaking documents in 2021 and the first 50 percent of 2022 with a history $16 billion in revenue — just before they fell 18 p.c this drop. Prigozhina’s central theory applies even more in a slowdown: If you cannot sell a apartment, you have to promote oneself.
Right after a few requires in the apartment, we head down to the development’s empty amenities ground and lounge, stopping for Prigozhina to movie a couple more TikToks on her way out (there is an even greater facilities stage underground, similarly silent, with a climbing wall, tennis courtroom, recording studio, hydroponic-vegetable-rising facility, and bowling alley). The growth statements to be 95 percent offered, however there are practically two dozen out there rentals commencing at $5,873 a thirty day period. Lau acknowledges the softening condition of the sector but continues to be sunnily optimistic: “There are a whole lot of money consumers,” he claims. “But I really don’t believe it will be a large tumble.” As of now, with a lot more than a month and a fifty percent on the market place, the apartment upstairs has yet to be rented.
Future, Prigozhina and I walk up Riverside Boulevard to an appointment with users of the Kim Team at Nest Seekers Global. She charges her cellphone in her neon-eco-friendly purse from Amazon that reads “Caution: Catwalk in development.” “She’s our mastermind,” 1 of the agents suggests. For this shoot, the aim is to build a dance to the viral YouTube track “I’m Petty,” which involves a perfectly-timed lower-five powering the back again with the agents in a sort of conga line and some coaching from Prigozhina on how to make it all seem to be organic. “Everybody’s anxious,” a single of the agents explained to me as her colleague took new Instagram portraits to show off his new blond-highlighted tips. “It’s been a minor slow.” Young agents, like all those on the Kim Staff, are particularly eager to do everything that can construct their individual profile in a commission-based mostly industry entire of zigs and zags. 1 of them nonetheless functions evenings at JFK as a Delta plane technician.
For Prigozhina’s last position of the day, we walk farther uptown to satisfy Zakharin Christina Kremidas, an Elliman agent who also works by using Prigozhina’s articles products and services and Kathy Murray, an additional Elliman broker, at a person of Murray’s listings. Up in a 4-bedroom, $6.2 million rental at 344 West 72nd Street in a just lately converted prewar constructing, the staging home furniture and décor seem virtually precisely like what we still left at Waterline Square: large, vaguely contemporary squiggle artwork oversize Phaidon artwork books topped by an oversize marble chain. There are starched white shirts hanging in the grasp-bed room closet and handmade wooden children’s toys in the area with the bunk beds. Up coming to two wineglasses and a bottle of Pinot Noir is the New York Point out Housing and Anti-Discrimination See. Prigozhina will be filming a few excursions, 1 that includes each agent, for all of them to use on their respective social-media feeds.
Murray is the most seasoned agent, and as Prigozhina plots the filming coordination, Murray tells me that, yes, sales have cooled given that the frenzy of the earlier 19 months, when she bought a 13-place apartment to a loved ones sight unseen (“They desired a lot more area to operate from dwelling,” she states), but the marketplace is just stabilizing just after the past frenzy. “It’s the very same sector as 2018,” not 2008, she assures Zakharin when questioned for her feelings on no matter whether issues are emotion as they did in the recession. “Last time, none of the banking institutions would lend.”
Murray is newer to TikTok as a profits strategy — “I’m not the form to be on camera a whole lot,” she tells me — but Kremidas and Zakharin are resolutely bullish TikTok hustlers. “People often say, ‘Are your luxury customers really on TikTok?’ Of class they are!” Kremidas says, changing her Hermès belt. Kremidas claimed even the most elite brokers have started off to access out to her for recommendations. Perhaps they’re fascinated in its possible, or possibly they are getting more and more desperate. Prigozhina is organized to trip the wave up or down. “Some are like, ‘I simply cannot commit money on this.’ But other individuals say, ‘I’ll do something to get out there,’” she advised me previously as we walked by apartment after rental on West Conclusion Avenue.
I disguise in the guest lavatory (one particular of four and a 50 %) as Prigozhina movies every video clip tour snaking as a result of the bedrooms. “Alex, now!” “Christina, go!” Prigozhina calls authoritatively as the agents’ heels clack on the shiny wood floors. Prigozhina breathes a sigh of aid following the shoot wraps, as if she had run a marathon. Sixty-six days afterwards, the condo was nonetheless sitting on the sector. But the TikTok experienced 145,000 sights.