Real Estate / Houses

Master Builder of Millionaire Mansions Shares the Secrets of His Coronavirus Success — Al Ross Dreams On

Making the Luxury Life Look Easy

BY // 08.21.20

Despite COVID-19, 2020 has been a rather remarkable year for luxury homebuilder Al Ross. Since January he has sold three multi-million dollar homes and just last week placed another spanking new River Oaks mansion on the market with a listing price of $6,995,000.

From his start seven years ago, Ross has seemed to have a magic touch in the realm of luxury homebuilders. His initial dive into that competitive arena was at 3868 Olympia Drive, at the corner of Olympia and Willowick.

“We broke ground on March 4, 2013, and hosted our big unveiling party on Thursday, March 6, 2014,” he recalls. “On the very next morning, we were negotiating our first sale. The rush from this successful launch in the River Oaks world was a feeling I will never forget.”

Since that initial foray into the luxury market, Al Ross Luxury Homes has completed 15 dwellings with more than 155,000 square feet of new construction, individually priced in his target area of between $5 and $10 million. His most recent sales were of his homes at 8833 Memorial Drive in January, 2511 Del Monte in March and 3443 Inwood in July.

The latest entry to his portfolio is a contemporary take on English Tudor at 1059 Kirby Drive, which just happens to be listed with his daughter, Nadia Rasouli with Compass. And currently, he has four projects in different stages of development.

Ross answers a few of our questions on his success and current state of the real estate business:

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PaperCity: What are the challenges of completing a project like this (English Tudor) during the COVID pandemic?

Al Ross: Fortunately, new construction was not impacted in the same way as many other fields. For us, the challenge has been more about keeping a safe workplace for the workers. I’ve made it a mission to help everyone on the job understand how important it is to wear their masks, to wash their hands and wherever possible to keep a safe distance from others.

PC: What are the challenges of selling during this time?

AR: The biggest challenge has been bringing in potential buyers. In ordinary times, we arrange for events and large gatherings to draw attention to our homes. Today, we rely heavily on our social presence and the efforts of our marketing associates . . . and our strong reputation in the marketplace.

PC:  To what do you attribute your success in luxury homebuilding business?

AR: First, I think it has to do with the overall project that we create. Every one of our homes can be defined as a “custom-spec.” Each one is unique with its own style and character and every detail and every decision is made as though I plan to live there.

Second, there is a lot that goes into a successful construction project. There is careful planning, beautiful designs, an eye for detail, excellent tradesmen and contractors . . . I think for us though, it is bearing in mind that one of the most important stages of a project starts after the close of sale. We make it a mission to ease our buyers into their new homes.

Moving into a home as large as ours is a monumental project and it takes a lot of support which we provide. We help coordinate services like setting up Internet and security, programming smart-home systems, meeting moving trucks and even hauling away the empty boxes. We really just want to make the experience a joy and not a hassle in every way we can.

PC: This house has a tremendous amount of landscaping, is that standard operating procedure?

AR: We do our absolute best to make sure that when we finish a job, the landscaping is lush and mature looking. I don’t want our homeowners to have to wait-and-see what the lawn will look like down the road. I want them to have their dream lawn when they move in. For this project, we took extra measures with the perimeter-scape with the goal of creating a private oasis.

Al Ross Luxury Home at 1059 Kirby Drive
The Al Ross luxury home at 1059 Kirby Drive salutes English Tudor design with a modern twist. (HAR photo)

PC: What is your next project?

AR: Our next project coming up will be at 11 West Lane. This will be a very new and unique project. We are going with a Southern California style that will blend together the interior and exterior living spaces in a spectacular way. This modern design will host a first-floor master oasis, large sliding windows and broad patios overlooking a sparkling pool with lush landscaping, and entertaining spaces galore situated on a 47,000 sf lot.

PC: You started in River Oaks, are you heading beyond those borders?

AR: Actually, we have already gradually started to branch out from River Oaks. As a matter of fact, we just completed a modern home in Laguna Beach, California, and look forward to more opportunities in Los Angeles and Orange County proper to have a full-fledged operation in the area . . . And here locally, we have a growing client base in the custom-building arena, having broken ground last month on the first of which is situated in Bunker Hill with a second coming up in Piney Point.

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