By Grace Cassidy
When Alan Gabay says he wants to “help people relocate, reinvent and reinvigorate their lives,” the Douglas Elliman agent speaks from experience. A lifelong New Yorker who previously worked in sales and brand marketing, Gabay relocated to Miami and reinvented himself as a luxury real estate authority. He recently spoke with Elliman Insider about transitioning careers, his joyful approach to working with clients and his outlook on the future of Florida real estate.
How did you find your way into the world of real estate?
I’ve worked at many different companies throughout my professional life, utilizing the same skill sets at each, in sales, brand marketing and strategic partnerships. Whether it was at large corporate companies like Disney and Hearst Publishing, or various internet and entrepreneurial startups, I’m always focused on the big picture and understanding each party’s specific goals in order to negotiate deals that allow everyone to succeed.
I’ve always enjoyed real estate and have bought, renovated and sold many properties over the years in NYC and Miami. When I was looking for a new challenge, real estate was the obvious choice. It allows me the opportunity to combine my sales and marketing skills with my ability to coordinate and negotiate the terms and conditions of each transaction so both the buyer and seller, or the tenant and landlord, are mutually satisfied and each transaction can close.
What qualities make you a successful broker?
Simply put, I always listen to what each client wants. I ask them to visualize the experience they want with a property, and then I work with them to find it. Helping people make changes in their personal lives and making those stressful moments into easy, stress-free moments is what inspires me.
And I never rush my clients into a property. I’m not here just for the commission. I want to change people’s lives. I want to impact them in a way that makes them happy. I’m focused on providing them a level of comfort and expertise that makes the buying or selling experience easy. I’m all about helping my clients achieve their goals.
What has been the greatest adjustment for you in moving from New York to Florida?
Not having a closet full of winter clothes! Actually, moving to Miami was not difficult at all. As a New Yorker, it is true when people have always said that Miami is like the sixth borough of NYC. I was always in and out of Miami my whole life. My grandparents moved here when I was young, and my parents moved here later on. I was always in Miami either on vacation or visiting them. Miami has always been a vibrant city, and now that it has fully matured, it really has become the No. 1 go-to city for people looking for excitement, fine dining and expansive cultural diversity that was once only available in New York. The fact that Brickell and Downtown Miami are now the second most dense urban cores outside of NYC allows people to experience the NYC lifestyle while enjoying the year-long sun and warm weather.
What do you foresee for Florida’s real estate market in 2022?
Florida in general, and Miami specifically, will continue to see monumental growth because of the repositioning of this market from a vacation/second-home market to a full-time, year-round destination. With the growth of tech, finance, healthcare and hospitality moving here, and more companies allowing flexible virtual workspaces, we will continue to see exponential growth in Florida.
Tell us about the most joy you’ve experienced in your real estate career.
There is no “most joy,” as it’s the same level of joy with every client. When a deal closes, and they have achieved their goals and say, “thank you,” the joy I feel is overwhelming each and every time.