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Our Story

Realty Collective is a people-driven real estate solution service founded in 2005 with the goal of guiding and supporting clients using honest and ethical practices—and ditching industry bad practices along the way. The brokerage was co-founded by a then-24-year-old Victoria Alexander who, after studying art history at Pace University, hit pause on plans to become a gallerist once she realized a jump into real estate meant she could design a career that combined all her interests, activism and deep love of Brooklyn. (Not to mention all the old houses and architecture she gets to ogle every day.) Victoria went on to earn a Master’s degree from Pratt University in historic preservation and urban planning.

As a former carnival barker, club promoter, ‘zine founder and classic car restorer, Victoria did not seem destined to become a real estate broker. Coming into the business, she was acutely aware of the stereotypes associated with NYC real estate. Instead of sleazy agents, apathetic brokers, and money-hungry developers, Victoria envisioned a company that would combine empathy and advocacy to build meaningful relationships between clients and their communities.  

That vision was put to the test on the tumultuous day Hurricane Sandy hit New York. Victoria awoke to see her neighborhood streets pummeled by the disaster and she immediately took action. Realty Collective opened its Red Hook office doors wide, giving locals access to emergency responders, government agencies like FEMA, food, warmth, and shelter. Victoria and her team partnered with Portside, New York and volunteered with local groups to weave the threads of their neighborhood back together. Her team’s support met many of the needs of their neighbors in a time when the city was nowhere to be found. 

In 2013, Victoria was recognized for her work with Portside and was awarded the Champions for Change by President Obama. Although she did not help for the recognition, her experiences rebuilding Red Hook solidified her belief in the power of community advocacy, meaningful connections, and empathy. She realized that real estate was about more than just filling spaces; realtors have a social responsibility to all the people in the community. This traumatic event inspired Victoria to join Resilient Red Hook, Community Board 6, as well as many other local initiatives that were related to community-based planning. She wears local advocacy as her badge of honor. Every meeting, she brings her mindful and unique perspective to local initiatives that are not often at the table.

Victoria has staffed her team with dedicated professionals whose one commonality is that their values must align with Realty Collective’s mission. But they’re also people who also have rich creative lives outside of their real estate careerspeople you might actually want to spend time with! 

We live in the communities where we work and clients are sometimes surprised that we “seem to know everybody.” These relationships keep us honest and offer us an inside track on information we can share with you. Need to know where to shop, eat, walk your dog? How loud that bar is on weekends? We’ve got the intel.

Our Values

Any realtor can help you through the process of buying and selling. We do that too, of course, though probably a little differently than what you might be expecting. We combat industry stereotypes and work with honesty and integrity to educate and guide you on the path to achieving your goals. Every day, you make conscious decisions about how you live your life—from the food you choose to the companies you buy from. Most people don’t have the option to apply that same conscious decision making to the real estate agency they choose to work with, but you do!

When you work with us, you’re working with neighbors, not some faceless corporation. Time and energy invested locally is good for the whole neighborhood. We’ve been in Brooklyn through high-rises and hurricanes and know that a place this special deserves enriching and protecting. That’s why we:

GIVE 10%
Realty Collective follows up on its good intentions: the company gives 10% of its profits to local nonprofits. Sheepless.org, whose mission is to “highlight businesses that support their communities and push forward creatively sustainable, responsible services,” singled Realty Collective out for its “first-hand understanding of their clients’ needs.”

GIVE BACK
After Hurricane Sandy, the Realty Collective team volunteered with local groups, opening the Red Hook office space to help residents gain access to government services like FEMA, plus food, warmth, and shelter. In 2013, Victoria Hagman’s work with Portside New York was honored with the Champions for Change award by President Obama.

GIVE VOICE
We’re advocates for Brooklyn and a regular presence at community board meetings and planning sessions. We also love to support other local businesses and highlight them on our blog.

GIVE SPACE
We’re proud to have launched Compère Collective, a community gallery space at our office on Van Brunt Street in the heart of Red Hook. Compère Collective’s mission is to nurture and host diverse artistic practice and thoughtful dialogue; understanding that art should be used as a catalyst for critical thinking. And it’s much more than just a space.

GIVE A DAMN
We’re not blind to the predatory, unequal, and exclusionary practices real estate has perpetuated; they’re still frustratingly common. We know our work impacts not just a buyer or seller, but a whole community—and we work to ensure that impact is a positive one. As fiduciaries, we set aside personal interests to serve you. As individuals, we want our work to reflect our values. (And as neighbors, we’re always game to highlight your business on our blog.)

Oh, and we’ll also…

GIVE YOU SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT BESIDES REAL ESTATE
Yes, our work keeps us busy. But in our off hours, Realty Collective’s agents’ creative passions and projects are a cultural cross-section of what makes Brooklyn so vibrant. Our roster includes designers, artists, dancers, producers, photographers, musicians, filmmakers, and writers. We’re people who understand that a home is more than just square footage—it’s a place that should inspire and nourish your potential.

Professional Partnerships

Realty Collective collaborates with architects, designers, movers, painters, restorers, plumbers, electricians, developers, and city planners to give our clients access to the best services at the best prices.

On The Street

Realty Collective actively engages in community board meetings and planning sessions. When a Brooklyn community is threatened by overdevelopment or natural disaster, our agents are there to provide support. After Hurricane Sandy, the Realty Collective team volunteered with local groups, opening the Red Hook office space to help residents access FEMA, food, warmth and shelter. In 2013, Victoria Hagman’s work with Portside New York was honored with the Champions for Change award by President Obama.

Education

Realty Collective’s agents teach classes for renters, first-time homebuyers and sellers at the Brooklyn Brainery. Realty Collective pioneered the incredibly popular “Buying into Brooklyn” seminars at the Brooklyn Brewery, a home-buying series sponsored by Wells Fargo and Brooklyn Based featured in New York Times, The Hunt.

Broker Networks

As members of the Real Estate Board of New York, Realty Collective agents stay connected to the citywide brokerage community. REBNY’s membership consists of more than 16,000 property owners, developers, brokers, managers, attorneys and more. Members adopt the Code of Ethics, ensuring fair treatment for all licensees, buyers and sellers participating in a transaction.

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