Alex Hodara is a young entrepreneur who understands the power of stories.
He didn’t just start his own real estate company while still a student at Boston University. He also managed to get himself interviewed on MSNBC, where they dubbed his business the nation’s first-ever student-run real estate company. (Fox Business, ABC News, the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald also have told his story.)
After graduation, Alex wanted to find new ways to get his story out there. He started his own web reality show, “Making Moves.” He wisely didn’t just make it about himself. A key part of each program is about his efforts to help other young people in the pursuit of their dreams. Alex has assembled a team of advisers, and in past episodes they have offered help to, among others, a pair of clothing designers, a young hockey player and a trio in the specialty cake business. He currently is seeking to partner with a production company and eventually have the show picked up by a TV network.
Meanwhile, Alex sold more than $14 million of multi-family residential properties in January and February.
He’s 23 years old.
Along with Alex, the reality show features real estate associates and fellow 20-somethings Vincent Vomero and Julian Jung. They’re all naturals in front of the camera.
It remains to be see how much difference Alex and his advisers will make for the young entrepreneurs featured on the series. But all the young people seem to hold the belief – shared by countless bloggers, aspiring stars and other dreamers – that just getting your story out there may lead to something better, the next big step in life and career. That may not be the ways that things actually turn out for most of us, but it certainly is fueling a lot of effort by those people hoping to make some moves.
Would you please describe the dream you are pursuing?
Remember when you were a kid and you felt anything was possible? My dream is to have that feeling every day. Being an entrepreneur and making moves is what makes me incredibly happy. With that said though, I believe my main career will be in owning a real estate fund.
You got started in real estate while you were a freshman at Boston University? (I can hear college students around the country saying, “Are you crazy?”) What prompted you to want to do that?
In the beginning I was just trying to impress this girl Megan on my floor during freshman year, so I guess that’s what started my journey. After I got my real estate license, which, by the way, did impress her, I worked my tail off every day to learn everything I could about the real estate market in my area. My biggest obstacle was not having a car. I had no transportation to look at properties or bring around clients, so I was forced to spend all of my money freshman year on cabs. It worked out in the end, though!
What do you like so much about real estate as a career?
Real estate is seen as an old, tired, boring industry. I see an opportunity to change that image, which I am doing through the way we deal with clients and our reality show.
What’s been a highlight for you as owner of Hodara Real Estate Group?
My one-year anniversary party in my office with all of my college friends and my family. I rarely reflect on what I have done because I am so focused on my next move. That night I was able to reflect and was able to do it with the people that meant the most to me.
How does your online reality series “Making Moves” fit into your plans? Why did you want to start the show? What do you hope it accomplishes?
On a small level, “Making Moves” has already been a success for me. Initially I saw it as an opportunity to brand and market myself. Everyone thought I was crazy and wasting time shooting a web series, but I knew it would pay off. My biggest deal to date was a $6.72 million dollar transaction and the fund that bought the property read about me in an article about the show. Now “Making Moves” is represented by a high powered manager out in LA and we are shopping the show to networks. When we get a show I will be happy that our business will be growing due to exposure and that people will be inspired by what we are doing and realize they can do it, too. However, my real feeling of glory will come the day the show gets picked up by a network. I will have the feeling of accomplishment that I went into an industry that I had no idea about (entertainment), spent money and time on filming that nobody thought I would ever get back, yet I succeeded. Getting a network show will prove that if you put your mind to something you believe in and never back down, amazing things can happen.
Can you give an example of significant help that you’ve provided to one of the young entrepreneurs that you’ve visited on the show?
I want to clarify that we do not just help entrepreneurs, we help “move makers.” One thing we did was connect a high school hockey player looking to play Division 1 hockey with the Captain of the Boston University Hockey Team (who were 2008 Division 1 National Champions). The hockey player we helped is now getting offers left and right. Check out all the moves we made at http://watchmakingmoves.com.
What’s your next big goal?
To leverage my rental and investment track record, raise capital, and start a real estate fund.