The art of selling New York’s lifestyle to oligarchs

Say you suddenly decide you want to buy an SUV. Would you call your real estate broker at 5 a.m. and tell him to drive to the next dealership ASAP? If this sounds ludicrous, you haven’t met Gennady Perepada’s clients.

On a recent Wednesday afternoon, the fifty-something, Soviet-born broker sat in his small Midtown office examining the sales contract for a brand new Toyota Highlander.

His workday had begun at the crack of dawn when a Russian client called him on his Blackberry, which he never switches off or mutes. The client’s wife, who lives in the Manhattan luxury apartment Perepada found for them, needed a car to drive her daughter to school. Could he go to a dealership and choose one.

Perepada, who has ample experience with such requests, called a car dealership right away and left a message. At 9 a.m., he stood at the dealer’s door and began test-driving. By afternoon he had set up a contract, and his client’s wife briefly showed up to sign.

By Konrad Putzier

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