Sharona and Real Estate: She Still Has ‘The Knack’
Sharona Alperin, the eponymous star of the 1979 hit song, has used her brush with fame as a springboard to a show-stopping career in real estate.
September 5, 2019
You know the song, you know her (first) name, but what you may not know is that the girl who inspired the 1979 chart-topping song “My Sharona” is now a Los Angeles real estate professional with a blockbuster career of her own. Sharona Alperin credits those years as muse to singer-songwriter Doug Fieger for planting the seed for her real estate success.
Fieger was lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist for The Knack. It’s been exactly 40 years since the band's biggest hit topped the charts. "My Sharona" was No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Pop Singles of 1979 year-end chart. But Sharona Alperin isn’t surprised when people who meet her for the first time still instantly think of the song that leads to that catchy pop chorus—“M-m-m-my Sharona!”
Alperin says hardly a day goes by when someone doesn’t ask her, “Sharona, like from the song?” “Then I almost feel like I have to apologize because they’ll likely be humming the song and will have it stuck in their head for the next few days until they find a way to wash it out,” she jokes.
The months the song was in heavy rotation on the airwaves were intense for Alperin. Still, she's grateful for her serendipitous initial meeting with Fieger, which took place at a clothing store where she worked. She was only 17, but that didn't stop Fieger from making "Sharona" a household name.
“There were times where I couldn’t even go to the dentist, or turn on the radio, without hearing the song--it was always on,” she says. “There were times I had to turn it off. But I’ve never thought of it as anything but a blessing. What an experience to be a 17-year-old and have this guy fall in love with me and then write this song about me.”
From Rock ‘n’ Roll to Real Estate
A year later, Alperin began dating Fieger. They dated four years but never married. (Fieger passed away in 2010 after a long battle with cancer.) It was during that period her interest in real estate was sparked. During breaks from worldwide concert tours, she toured more than a dozen properties in Los Angeles, trying to find a home for the couple to buy. You might say, she developed a knack for the business; she also developed an appreciation for architecture and all the details within a home.
Brokers told Alperin she should get into the real estate business. She's glad she took their advice. By her early twenties, she had stepped away from being Fieger’s “My Sharona” and stepped into real estate. “I had an advantage of my name,” she acknowledges. “But my marketing and reputation is what sells real estate.”
Alperin caters to Hollywood A-listers and international clients as a sales associate with Sotheby’s International in Los Angeles. She consistently ranks in the top 2% for sales volume among agents recorded nationwide by NRT, the parent company of Sotheby’s International Realty. Her business has evolved through the years along with the lives of her clients. Celebrity clients, she says, appreciate her background as she assesses their need for security, privacy, and a sanctuary from the pressures of fame.
In building her real estate business, the self-described workaholic says she’s always there for whatever her clients need. “I earned a reputation as a person who is enthusiastic and passionate for this business,” she says. “I live and breathe real estate. Houses are my product, from the curb appeal to the front door to the hedges in the back, from termites to toilets. I care about it all.”
She also teaches a real estate training class, “Sharona’s Street Smarts,” offering new and seasoned agents advice drawing from her 30 years in the business. One topic she focuses on: the importance of building a respected name in the business among clients and other agents. A positive reputation is every bit as important as being well-known, she says.
Owning Her Brand
Still, Alperin has never hidden her past. It makes her unique, and she has leveraged her "My Sharona" identity in her branding, enabling her to connect her past to her present.
The attention Alperin gets for “My Sharona” has opened many doors. Alperin—and her real estate career—have even been incorporated into a clue on TV’s Jeopardy and as an answer in a New York Times crossword puzzle.
But Alperin became aware that visitors who landed at her website, MySharona.com, after searching online for the song could be confused by a site showcasing her real estate business. So to make a sharper professional connection, she has been leveraging real estate top-level domains as a way to tie her brand directly to real estate.
She now uses mysharona.realtor and mysharona.realestate. “With the .realtor™ address, it says that I am a real estate professional and member of the National Association of REALTORS®,” she says. “To be able to distinguish my name and then tie it to .realtor™ has been a fantastic marketing tool. And the fact that .realtor™ is only allowed by someone who is a REALTOR®, means it’s something you have to earn.” (More about Sharona and her domains can be found at get.realtor/mysharona.)
She’s also confident that using .realtor and .realestate top-level domains offers an even clearer pathway for prospective clients to find her. But most of all, she’s grateful that the domains reflect how she most wants others to know her—not just as the muse to a songwriter but as a powerful force in the real estate world as well.
It's another Seven-Inch Single Sunday on Pop Culture Schlock 365! Released 40 years ago this month, here's one of my favourite singles, 'My Sharona' by The Knack, pictured here with contrast-heavy UK picture sleeve and the more risqué US cover. Classic. . . #chartsunday #VinylRevival #recordcollection #nostalgia #popcultureschlock #topofthepops #theknack #mysharona #recordplayer #seveninchvinyl #1979
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