Luxe Houston real estate firm closes out 2022 with glam bash to remember
Picture this: you are an event planner for NextGen Real Estate and you have been tasked with putting together the holiday party. Everyone raved about your recent rooftop carnival for the two-year anniversary, complete with signature cocktails, glow bar, and aerial gymnasts.
“But let’s go bigger,” says CEO and broker Julia Wang. They loved your purple-themed holiday party last year, too, with wall-to-wall wintry sparkle. “Yes, but … bigger,” she says.
The question is, how? How do you top the party-throwing prowess of the woman who once hired Slim Thug for a brokerage Halloween bash that went down in Houston real estate lore? How do you sate the tastes of a CEO who thinks nothing of flying her top producers to an exclusive Mexican resort just to thank them for all they bring to the brokerage?
Then it comes to you: luxe. But not just luxe: NextGen Luxe.
The stand-out success for the start-up brokerage last year was surely the launch of its designated luxury division, which landed some of the industry’s key players and closed dozens of multimillion dollar deals in its mere infancy.
Pitched as the black label of NextGen’s signature offering, the NextGen Luxe brand is accordingly sleek and elevated.
Black and gold is the new purple
So what would it look like if NextGen Luxe threw a party?
It would most definitely be a black and gold affair to remember, with a dress code as strict as The Blond. And instead of Slim Thug and wall-to-wall sparkle, what about Paul Wall himself — but shh. Let’s keep it a surprise. As for a venue, it can only be The Astorian: the opulent, chandelier-filled, Art Deco event space in the Heights that's as glitzy as it is edgy and cool.
And so the stage is set for an evening of old time glamor with a hip-hop twist.
At 6 o’clock sharp, the brokerage’s 150 agents and their invited guests, along with professional partners and the evening’s sponsors, gathered for an elegant four-course meal and listened to a series of inspiring speeches from the women at the helm of the NextGen ship: Wang, of course, but also director of sales Christy Huckaby and senior vice president and AT group mentor Andrea Tran.
The evening’s hosts, Keli Rabon and Pierre Russell, kept partygoers entertained and the momentum going as speakers took to the stage and sponsors delivered presentations about their unique offerings in real estate services and beyond.
Rabon was entirely at ease in the spotlight. With an irresistible magnetism and warmth, it was perfectly apparent why this investigative reporter-turned-lifestyle influencer was once a recipient of the duPont–Columbia Award for excellence in broadcast and digital journalism.
As the founder and owner of Spar Boxing and a prolific content creator himself, Russell is no stranger to the big stage either. A frequent collaborator with NextGen, his wit and presence were a wonderful foil to Rabon’s unfaltering poise.
Demonstrating the culture of growth and empowerment, no fewer than 13 top producers were recognized for their chart-topping sales in 2022: Tessa Flight, Krista McGowen, Kevin Miranda, Tiera Carrington, Albert Hu, Ashley Alexander, Javier Perez, Kelly Finnerman, Miriam Valencia, Claudia Huato, Kaitlin Gray, Nidia Salazar, and Claudia Johnson.
This baker’s dozen of high-flyers stepped up to receive a custom-embroidered varsity jacket — a highly coveted cult item for anyone who follows fashion trends in real estate. Of these impressive individuals, Flight was named MVP of the 2022 season.
They will enjoy prominent placement in the company’s promotional materials, but the cherry on top will no doubt be that mystery all-expenses-paid trip slated for later this year.
“It is so fun and inspiring to celebrate people who work hard and hit their goals,” remarked Bri Collins, RN, who attended as a party sponsor on behalf of her market-leading injectables company, BCRN Aesthetics. “Seeing NextGen’s top producers recognized with their jackets was a highlight of my night.”
And Collins would know all about setting ambitious goals: As the owner of BCRN Aesthetics and co-founder of the Houston Area Injectors Network, she leads a team of some of the best in the industry for natural and believable injectables, servicing clients throughout Greater Houston.
A fellow woman-owned business that values education, growth, and exceptional client experience, her brand is firmly aligned with NextGen’s. “We love cheering on Julia and all the NextGen agents!” she said
The cheer was not in short supply throughout this evening of celebrating big wins. Another female business owner and event sponsor, Sarah Springer of Goosehead Insurance, was similarly moved as she watched the NextGen honorees take center stage.
“Many of these agents have become close friends whom I have witnessed hustle and grind all year long,” Springer reflects. “I was so proud and honored to see them walk up to be celebrated for their accomplishments.”
Springer’s portfolio of more than 50 A-rated companies allows her to find the best prices and coverage for home, auto, and investment properties — something that has made her hugely popular among the clients of NextGen agents.
Working together and pacing one another was a theme picked up by another female business owner who sponsored the event, Vanessa Walsh Kennedy of Reliance Financial. “Getting more clients approved means closing more transactions,” she enthused. “I love supporting my Realtor friends and sharing our diverse range of financial products.”
Cathy Grilli, CEO of Funkswank Design, was similarly emphatic about the benefits of doing business with the fastest-growing brokerage in Houston. “Meeting and greeting all of the diverse people that NextGen brings together was one of the highlights of my night,” Grilli revealed.
The master stager brings her unique perspective to every home she stages, which in turn brings out the unique qualities of the listing. “The expertise NextGen delivers and expects in return pushes me to be my best,” concluded Grilli, adding her sponsorship to the evening’s festivities, which she described as “amazingly elegant and well-hosted.”
“We got now and we got next, say it loud with some bass in your chest.”
But if all this formality is starting to sound a little off-brand for NextGen, enter the "People’s Champ," aka Paul Wall.
To the incredulous cheers of partygoers, the mystery VIP and Grammy nominee delivered some punchlines that hit hard with the self-proclaimed next generation of Realtors. Wall received his own custom varsity jacket, which he wore as he performed his set to a packed dance floor.
Harder still was the impact of a message delivered by Wang, who gave a rousing and poignant keynote speech about stepping out of your comfort zone and into greatness.
“Greatness never happens when we are comfortable,” she told the pin-drop-quiet room of real estate and related professionals. “It’s a cliché that contains a multitude of truths: when we sit for too long in the pocket of familiarity, we close ourselves off to growth.
“There is a fine line between comfort and complacency,” she continued. “And while there is also a fine line between risk and hubris, there are certain contexts — for example, the safe space we have created here at NextGen — where pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone is exactly what you need to do in order to grow.
“This is what I’m asking of each of you in 2023.”
Recently ranked the overall #1 Realtor on Instagram, Wang might just know a thing or two about greatness and how to get there. But the reality behind the reels is an entire ecosystem of valued clients and thriving agents, who are and always will be her motivation.
And it is starting to seem like this NextGen way of doing business — with more authenticity, more creativity, and more fun, if these parties are anything to go by — is not just for real estate.
“We are the proof,” Wang told the gathering of sharp tuxedos and glittering gowns. “The more we lean into the NextGen philosophy, the more success we have. Next-generational thinking will transform your personal and professional lives in 2023.”
Take it from Julia Wang, NextGen Real Estate, and the Po Up Poet, Wall himself: "Now and next, 2023 will be your year — so say it loud with some bass in your chest."
If you are an experienced agent with at least $1M in production and you feel you would benefit from a genuine culture of respect, growth, and serious financial incentives, NextGen wants to hear from you. Applyhere.