NextGen Real Estate turns 2 with a rooftop rave at its all-new I-10 office
If you watched the sky light up purple over Houston last week, you might have wondered what paranormal activity was the cause. But cancel that call to NASA: this was nothing more unusual than a NextGen party on the rooftop of their brand-new office.
A second year in business saw NextGen Real Estate confidently flex into the luxury market with the launch of NextGen Luxe, a new division dedicated to the purchase and sale of high-value homes throughout Texas.
This included former-NFL Mario Williams’ $7M+ mansion in Memorial, for which the brokerage represented both buyer and seller.
Meanwhile, agents have been signing up in droves to cash in on the NextGen’s highly competitive commission structure, as well as the chance to be mentored by powerhouse director of sales Christy Huckaby. Huckaby, who joined the firm in May in what she called “the move of her career,” brings nearly three decades of industry experience to the role.
So how does the real estate brokerage that breaks all the rules celebrate turning two? EDC-style, of course!
Following last year’s Coachella-inspired party, the festival theme returned for a second round with DJ Panda playing to a packed dance floor overlooking the Katy Freeway. Glow dancers, LED towers, and aerial gymnasts in purple jumpsuits transformed NextGen’s custom-designed workspace into a rave scene as lit as any Electric Daisy Carnival.
Party-goers jumped on board with this year’s electronic vibe, wearing an eclectic mix of mesh bodysuits, Day-Glo tutus, and bling — lots of bling. But let’s be honest: All eyes were on NextGen’s founder and CEO, Julia Wang.
Known for her fashion-forward attire and sell-out closet sales, Wang’s #OOTN did not disappoint. For the birthday bash of her two-year-old real estate brokerage, she opted for Bronx and Banco’s futuristic, feather-trimmed Mademoiselle dress, which she paired with the Miu Miu satin ballet pumps that are everywhere this season. Always on-brand, her lavender-colored opera gloves matched perfectly with the pompoms she wore in her whimsical half-up hairstyle.
Houston-based travel and lifestyle blogger Sarah Pappas created a layered ensemble sourced entirely from Amazon — which goes to prove it’s more about the details than the dollars when pulling together a cohesive look. She chose a simple black two-piece as the base for a sheer-and-sparkly top and overskirt, which she balanced with chunky knee-high black boots and a halo headpiece. "Heaven-sent" and "rave-ready" were the compliments overheard about this budget-friendly, head-to-toe outfit.
“It’s all about bougie on a budget” agrees beauty influencer Keli Rabon, who had everything she needed already in her closet. Over a simple black bodysuit from Topshop she wore gold skinny jeans (the sell-out item from 7 For All Mankind two years ago) and metallic spiked booties. Louboutin? “Guess again.” Amazon? “Correct!” She threw on a gold-and-black fringed jacket and a backpack-purse from Nasty Gal 30 minutes before the party, and this good-time gal was good to go. “I’m very much a festival-goer,” Keli explains, “so I didn’t need to shop for a thing.”
Although the “fitspo” was out in force, the party planners at NextGen had one more trick up their sleeves to ensure the shimmer was not in short supply. In addition to a bar serving real estate-themed cocktails (the jury’s out on which boozy concoction caused the biggest morning-after headache between “The Buyer” and “The Seller”), guests could glow-up their outfits just a little more with crystals and gems from the glitter bar.
There ain’t no party like a NextGen party
If you’re thinking all this sounds a little extra, you're not alone.
“Our next-level events are often the reason people find out about us,” explains Wang. “Like everything we do, this is part of a calculated strategy to win deals for our clients and deepen our reach into the Houston market. And so when we get side-eye from other brokerages saying that ‘all we do is party and post about it on social media,’ we just have laugh, because not only do we have your attention, but we have your clients now too!”
And it’s true. As the fastest-growing boutique brokerage in Houston — a title NextGen has held since its first few months in business — the company has made a name for itself as a challenger brand in commercial and residential real estate.
The dramatic flux of the market during and since the pandemic has no doubt played to NextGen’s strengths as a small and agile start-up with a focus on technology. But in an industry dominated by “same-old” marketing and big-box brokerages, you have to wonder if NextGen’s time would have been now regardless.
“We’re not just different to be different,” Wang is known to tell her agents. “We are different to be better.”
Buying? "Let’s hit up the local bars as well as looking at your budget, because we’ll find your house and we’ll make sure it feels like home." Open houses? "Forget bottled water and business cards; we’re more about black-tie affairs to remember." Social media? "Buckle up! Because no other group of entrepreneurs is making such creative and authentic digital content that sells."
People x purpose
It is this uncompromising authenticity that has forged meaningful partnerships between NextGen and a number of prominent names and brands within real estate and beyond.
In two short years, NextGen has earned the respect of their industry peers from the ground up — literally, in the case of the home builders at Casas Houston. While NextGen is pioneering new groundbreaking techniques to sell homes, Casas Houston is breaking new ground to build them. Their brand new community in Cleveland, Texas, features a portfolio of 10 contemporary floorplans, with state-of-the-art schools and excellent commuter access to Houston via the Grand Parkway.
If you are already a homeowner, you may have been blessed with a hassle-free closing at the office of fee attorney Andrea La. A longtime sponsor of NextGen events and a 20-year veteran of the title industry, La knows what to look for in an effective working relationship. For the La Title Group, that’s NextGen. As part of the nationally recognized First American Title, she and her team book-end the services of your Realtor by making the transactional part of the experience seamless and efficient, as well as friendly and secure.
Earlier in the real estate process, Gloria Suero at Get Limitless Lending strives for the financial approval her clients need to end up at La’s closing table. “My goal is generational wealth for you and your family,” she explains. Like NextGen, Suero’s company is founded upon principles of equality. In both residential and commercial real estate, Suero’s bilingual services in conventional and non-conventional loan types are a lifeline for seasoned investors, as well as those navigating the homeownership journey for the first time.
Like NextGen, Zmart Global Insurance was born in 2020. But while her own business is still a baby, CEO Carolina Ortiz brings almost two decades of experience to underwriting her clients’ most valuable assets, from rentals to forever homes as well as automobiles. With people at the heart of her business model, it is clear to see why she feels an affinity for NextGen. “I devote my energy to helping my clients find affordable, meaningful protection: policies that they can understand and that they can utilize when it counts.”
These businesses have you covered when it comes to beautiful homes, but Crystal Carlos will leave you feeling beautiful both inside and out. In the four years since founding Kumi Laser & Medspa, she has blazed a trail in the medical aesthetics field. Now the leading provider of laser hair removal services in the Greater Houston area, Kumi has performed over 400,000 treatments as part of their #happyandhairless campaign — a trademarked and trending hashtag that proves next-generational marketing isn’t just for NextGen!
One look at the work of these party sponsors and it is clear that they are tracking the NextGen trajectory of growth. They are members of a small but growing club: a cooperative of like-minded companies that push for better, for more, for all. Want in? Why not ask the woman in the driving seat. Except that Wang now believes this movement that she started at NextGen has outgrown the brokerage and perhaps even real estate itself.
“What began as the #nextgentakeover two years ago means so much more these days. It’s no longer just about our little brokerage out here in Houston honoring all of our key stakeholders, from agents and clients to the wider industry and community as a whole. It’s about an ecosystem of professional partners who go about business abundantly, because we believe in a future of affluence and opportunity for all.
“We are rule-breakers and game-changers,” she continues. “But most importantly we are wealth-makers — for ourselves and for each other. We know this works, because we have two years of astronomical growth to prove it. But what we’re also realizing now is that this philosophy is taking root and that NextGen was just the beginning.”
Big words from Wang. But as the No. 6 ranked Realtoron social media — now a broker of two years, with hundreds of agents and thousands of happy clients to show for it — it's easy to believe.
Sponsorship packages for NextGen’s hotly anticipated holiday party sold out fast, so be sure to follow on Instagram for future collaborations, event announcements, and more.