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Condos, Co-ops, and Cash: Breaking Into the Lucrative Luxury Real Estate Arena

Elisa Orlanski Ours, chief planning and design officer at Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group, spends her days matchmaking interior designers with architects for every project her firm takes on. For Tishman Speyer’s 11 Hoyt in Brooklyn, she tapped Michaelis Boyd to do the 55,000 square feet of amenities and the 481 residences inside Studio Gang’s 57-story tower.
Orlanski Ours has met many designers during her career, so she has plenty of advice for those looking to land real estate work. “Just because you haven’t done a condo doesn’t mean you can’t. Maybe you’ve done a hotel, or a restaurant, or a mega-residence with a gym and pool—that can scale up to a multi-unit building,” she says. She loves to tap up-and-coming designers, sometimes recommending them just to do a lobby and amenities. She’ll ask decorators she likes to put together a portfolio. “If you don’t have a huge range of work, that’s okay; you can put together a portfolio of all of your kitchens, or all of your bathrooms,” she suggests.

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