Unique Personalities: ‘My Sharona’
The teenage heartthrob at the center of one of the most popular songs of all time is now an agent to the stars.
By Ken Weingartner
Sharona Alperin cannot escape the song. Although it has been 30 years since “My Sharona” was a No. 1 Billboard hit, it remains an iconic pop-rock gem in frequent radio rotation. So even when Alperin tries to reduce attention to her name — perhaps by spelling it rather than saying it when making a hotel reservation — it rarely works. It is unlikely this would be the case if her name were Jenny or Michelle or Carol — or almost any other female name immortalized in song. But Sharona stands out.
This is not necessarily bad, especially today as Alperin enjoys a career as one of the top luxury Realtors in the country. Sharona still stands out.
Alperin was a teenager when Doug Fieger of The Knack wrote “My Sharona” after the two met in a clothing store in which Alperin worked. As it turned out, Fieger gave Alperin more than a song. He indirectly led her to her career.
While Fieger was on tour, Alperin — who for a time was engaged to Fieger — would sometimes house hunt for him. When Fieger arrived to see the houses she selected, he wanted only Alperin to do the showings.
“The listing agent would say: Wow I never saw anyone show a house like you. You should get into real estate one day,” recalls Alperin, who works in Los Angeles at Sotheby’s International Realty. “I still really enjoy the process of showing a house. There’s a lot of psychology just in showing a house.”
At that time, Alperin never thought about a career in the business.
“I thought there was a fun quality to showing a house, but I’m not sure I was thinking beyond whatever I was packing to go on tour,” she says. “I always thought fashion was my passion and I’ve always been a good salesperson. So I thought that if you could sell something and make a commission, let the product be a million-dollar property; let it be real estate. But it was really inspired by those Realtors. I’ve been doing it since my early 20s and it has really been my only career.”
Alperin, who teaches a class called “Sharona’s Street Smarts,” puts thoughtfulness and kindness at the top of her list for being successful.
“No matter what my style was, even as an 18-year-old in a black leather jacket, my attitude was always polite,” Alperin says. “Be friendly. A home is the most emotional product on the market. It’s more emotional than a diamond ring. There is a fragileness there, so it’s about being sensitive to concerns.”
Alperin, who is married with two children, rarely goes any length of time without receiving “My Sharona” singles to autograph or getting e-mails from people who want to share stories about the song. She tries to respond to all.
“I don’t want anyone to think I’m ignoring them,” she says.
The attention brought by “My Sharona” has been a positive in Alperin’s dealings with her A-list clientele.
“I do have a tremendous sensitivity to the mind and the lifestyle of a celebrity,” Alperin says. “Not that I am a celebrity, but I know what it feels like to want to be private.
“Whether it’s a celebrity or not, when you find someone their dream house you make them so happy,” she adds. “It’s really rewarding. Often, it’s not the sexiest career; you deal with toilets to termites. But I live and breathe real estate. I can’t get enough.”