February 7, 2023

Video: alexander_zakhari, christina.kremidas, markonyc

Jason Lau, a luxurious-authentic-estate agent, is pretending to acquire a shower. Enclosed in the spalike white-marble shower of a $2.6 million condo’s en suite lavatory, totally clothed, he retains the stainless-steel faucet head and mimes rinsing himself from his paisley scarf down to his Chanel loafers. Lizza Prigozhina, standing around the rest room in a crop prime and blazer, choreographs with Apple iphone in hand. “Now block out the camera with your hand,” she states, “like, You just can’t see this.” Lau complies. His business enterprise husband or wife at the Corcoran group, Marko Arsic (loafers: Prada), nods approvingly from the adjoining bedroom: “We do regardless of what Lizza suggests.”

Prigozhina is the 23-calendar year-old queen of New York authentic-estate TikTok, a written content whisperer to the star agents of Corcoran, Douglas Elliman, and Nest Seekers. In a superior-finish current market that has been slowing considering that September, with whispers of downturns and 2008 in the air, what Prigozhina offers to genuine-estate brokers is an injection of levity into their malaise and, ideally, thousands of new followers and feasible consumers. Beneath her guidance, brokers are flocking to TikTok, wherever, for $700 and up a 7 days, Prigozhina will help them create viral content, writes captions, and even posts on their behalf. Brokerages are laying off their agents, and sky-higher home loans are building sellers skittish, but her business enterprise is booming: In a superior thirty day period, she’ll make all-around $10,000.

Prigozhina’s challenge this November morning is a 1-bed room condominium on the 28th ground of Waterline Sq., a development on the considerably west side of the Higher West Side that desires to be the new Hudson Yards. Lau’s shower scene is the culmination of a just one-shot, ongoing-acquire online video tour that has turn out to be endemic to serious-estate TikTok — and that, by way of Prigozhina’s path, is intended to carry some grandeur to the unit’s 984 feet. Following a brief rehearsal, Prigozhina steadily winds all over the condominium, Iphone in her ideal hand and cuing Arsic and Lau with her remaining. The brokers gamely dart at the rear of home furniture and doorways in their designer fits, then out once again to enthusiastically demonstrate off the Gaggenau stove and waterfall island and heated bathroom flooring with oversize hand gestures, connoting Ooh! and Aah! At one stage, Prigozhina tells Arsic to fling himself frivolously onto the mattress to demonstrate its bounce.

Prigozhina discovered her area of interest in true-estate TikTok in 2021 as the industry was starting its manic rebound from the pandemic standstill. Born in Russia, she experienced arrived in the town in 2020 to go to the New York Film Academy and necessary a area, so she reached out to Alexander Zakharin, a broker at Avenues Serious Estate and a fellow Russian. Prigozhina didn’t end up using his expert services (she discovered a no-payment studio on 63rd and West Conclusion Avenue on StreetEasy), but she noticed Zakharin’s TikTok, on which he had began putting up condominium excursions when no a person was viewing them in man or woman. Prigozhina recognized what was missing: him. “Alexander has a large individuality,” she instructed me matter-of-factly, and she convinced him to put himself in front of the digital camera. She had gotten her start out at 14 with lip syncs on Musical.ly (and experienced even briefly flirted with a stint as an influencer in 2020) and commanded the form of obsessive fluency TikTok involves: the demented pop-tradition shorthand, the viral trends custom made for area of interest audiences, an instinct about when to article. (“I’m on it for several hours a working day,” Prigozhina said, declining to say the actual selection.) Considering that functioning with Prigozhina, Zakharin’s subsequent has surpassed 700,000 now, in his most regular fashion of video clip, he stands on the methods of the Plaza and interviews unsuspecting tourists about their dream New York condominium. As his TikTok clout grew, the luxury marketplace peaked, breaking documents in 2021 and the to start with 50 % of 2022 with a report $16 billion in income — in advance of they fell 18 p.c this slide. Prigozhina’s central theory applies even more in a slowdown: If you just can’t provide a condo, you have to sell your self.

Following 3 usually takes in the condo, we head down to the development’s empty amenities ground and lounge, halting for Prigozhina to film a number of much more TikToks on her way out (there is an even more substantial amenities amount underground, equally tranquil, with a climbing wall, tennis court, recording studio, hydroponic-vegetable-developing facility, and bowling alley). The enhancement statements to be 95 % bought, even though there are practically two dozen readily available rentals starting at $5,873 a month. Lau acknowledges the softening condition of the industry but stays sunnily optimistic: “There are a whole lot of cash buyers,” he says. “But I really do not assume it will be a massive tumble.” As of now, with a lot more than a month and a half on the marketplace, the condo upstairs has however to be rented.

Upcoming, Prigozhina and I wander up Riverside Boulevard to an appointment with customers of the Kim Workforce at Nest Seekers Intercontinental. She costs her cellular phone in her neon-environmentally friendly purse from Amazon that reads “Caution: Catwalk in progress.” “She’s our mastermind,” a person of the brokers says. For this shoot, the aim is to produce a dance to the viral YouTube song “I’m Petty,” which requires a well-timed very low-five powering the again with the brokers in a type of conga line and some coaching from Prigozhina on how to make it all look normal. “Everybody’s anxious,” a single of the brokers informed me as her colleague took new Instagram portraits to demonstrate off his new blond-highlighted guidelines. “It’s been a very little slow.” Youthful brokers, like individuals on the Kim Workforce, are particularly keen to do nearly anything that can construct their personalized profile in a fee-based field whole of zigs and zags. One particular of them even now operates evenings at JFK as a Delta aircraft technician.

For Prigozhina’s last job of the day, we walk farther uptown to fulfill Zakharin Christina Kremidas, an Elliman agent who also works by using Prigozhina’s articles companies and Kathy Murray, an additional Elliman broker, at a person of Murray’s listings. Up in a 4-bedroom, $6.2 million condo at 344 West 72nd Avenue in a just lately converted prewar building, the staging furnishings and décor appear nearly specifically like what we still left at Waterline Sq.: large, vaguely present day squiggle art oversize Phaidon art books topped by an oversize marble chain. There are starched white shirts hanging in the master-bed room closet and handmade wood children’s toys in the room 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 3 excursions, a single featuring each and every 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 because the frenzy of the past 19 months, when she offered a 13-area apartment to a spouse and children sight unseen (“They required a lot more home to function from home,” she suggests), but the current market is simply just stabilizing just after the final frenzy. “It’s the exact marketplace as 2018,” not 2008, she assures Zakharin when asked for her thoughts on regardless of whether things are experience as they did in the recession. “Last time, none of the banks would lend.”

Murray is more recent to TikTok as a profits approach — “I’m not the kind to be on digicam a good deal,” she tells me — but Kremidas and Zakharin are resolutely bullish TikTok hustlers. “People generally say, ‘Are your luxurious consumers genuinely on TikTok?’ Of training course they are!” Kremidas claims, changing her Hermès belt. Kremidas claimed even the most elite brokers have begun to attain out to her for recommendations. Perhaps they are intrigued in its possible, or maybe they are having significantly desperate. Prigozhina is geared up to experience the wave up or down. “Some are like, ‘I can’t expend funds on this.’ But others say, ‘I’ll do just about anything to get out there,’” she informed me before as we walked by condo right after condominium on West Stop Avenue.

I conceal in the visitor lavatory (one particular of four and a fifty percent) as Prigozhina films every single video clip tour snaking via the bedrooms. “Alex, now!” “Christina, go!” Prigozhina phone calls authoritatively as the agents’ heels clack on the shiny wooden floors. Prigozhina breathes a sigh of relief soon after the shoot wraps, as if she experienced run a marathon. Sixty-6 days later, the rental was continue to sitting on the current market. But the TikTok experienced 145,000 sights.