Lifelong Charlestonian Alex Brener uses hometown pride to sell real estate


Alex Brener’s path to becoming a real estate broker is nothing if not interesting. Previous to starting Alex Brener Real Estate in 2018, he’d spent over a decade in real estate development, investment and construction, flipping over 250 homes. Additionally, he owned a bunch of MoonPie-themed soda fountain/nostalgic gift shops. “Both aspects of my work and background gave me applicable knowledge in customer service and business, combined with experience in the real estate world,” he says. “Going into the industry and focusing on residential sales seemed perfect.”

Also perfect was Brener’s passion for the area—something that runs as deep in him as the roots of the bald cypress trees that run along the marshes. Growing up in Charleston, he and his family lived in a historical home, and Brener spent his entire childhood immersed in the incredible architecture and beautiful landscapes the area is known for. “All of that really planted the seeds of my passion for Charleston homes in Lowcountry settings,” he says. “I have the Lowcountry in my blood and Southern hospitality in my bones. Charleston is such a unique place, and helping people navigate the water, the bridges, the humidity, the mosquitos, the restaurants, the schools, the neighborhoods and the million other things that we all share down here never gets old. In fact, it’s always an adventure.”

Brener operates independently, keeping greater control over his portfolio of clients as he works with each of them one-on-one. “Whether my client is a first-time homebuyer, looking for a vacation property or even just an out-of-towner looking to learn the area, I love being a part of someone’s Charleston experience,” he says. “Everyone’s real estate journey is unique, and it’s that unique path that we carve out that is half the excitement. Though I do all sorts of real estate, my business background positions me to handle high net worth luxury sales—a plus in the Charleston market, where ‘normal’ price points often quickly surge into the luxury range. Still, the more complex and the higher the price point, the more I typically excel in delivering for my clients.”

Brener credits a great deal of his success to the secondary business partnerships he has created through Alex Brener Real Estate. “There are some immensely talented marketing directors, photographers, web designers and support staff at my brokerage who assist in what I do,” he says.

In Brener’s estimation, what makes his company appeal to his clients is his “pedigree” as a native Charlestonian, as well as his history of successful business ownership. “There aren’t many people who have been here since before Hurricane Hugo and know how the city reacts to storms of that magnitude that can also simultaneously walk you through a large financial decision and make you feel at ease through the entire process,” he contends. “When someone calls me, I want them to know that they are getting a seasoned veteran of the area, a fiscally responsible ally and someone who will make this journey an enjoyable one.

“I love what I do and where I do it, and it’s easy for people to see that within the first 10 seconds of meeting me. I’m quick to crack a smile or make a joke, and I’m able to balance a sense of humor with the level of professionalism and seriousness that these transactions require. I truly enjoy people, the Lowcountry and the business of finding my clients their dream homes, and that trifecta is clear in everything I do.”

The strength of that “trifecta” seems to show in his sales numbers, as Brener logged an impressive year in 2023—especially in the first quarter—with over $35 million sold. But it’s his clients and his ability to meet their needs that makes him the proudest. “At one point last year, I was simultaneously negotiating and closing the largest home sale in Mount Pleasant history while also helping a first-time homebuyer who was pregnant and moving here from Chicago,” he recalls. “Obviously, both transactions had different levels of pressure, but neither was more or less important than the other. As an agent, you really learn how to stay humble and grounded and just simply work hard to give the best service—regardless of the scenario you are in. To each client, their transaction is the most important in the world, and their agent should agree and show that in their level of dedication.”

Brener’s coverage area spans across Charleston, though the core of his business lies in the peninsula, Mount Pleasant and the islands. “That’s where I grew up and live, but I’m always happy to help someone cross a bridge,” he says. “My work can be quite nomadic, as I can find myself in McClellanville one day and in Wadmalaw the next.”

Brener hopes that broad reach coupled with his expertise will translate into even greater successes this year. “I’m looking to grow my numbers to over $50 million sold in 2024,” he says. “My goal is also to be a resource for past and current clients. I always want people to feel as though my input would be valuable—and fun—in any conversations or considerations they have regarding real estate.” *

Liesel Schmidt lives in Navarre, Florida, and works as a freelance writer for local and regional magazines. She is also a web content writer and book editor. Follow her on X at @laswrites or download her novels, Coming Home to YouThe Secret of Us and Life Without You, at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.

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