What was your first job in the realty industry? After working in senior management for 25 years in several high tech/start ups, I decided to get into real estate. My first job in real estate was as a Realtor with Dewolfe Realty. Within a year, Dewolfe was bought out by Coldwell Banker Residential Realty. This was particularly disturbing to me because all of the high tech companies I had worked for were ultimately bought out by a larger company.
Where did you grow up? Natick, Mass.
Growing up, what did you want to be? My father was a sales vice president, so I always thought I would become some kind of business person.
What do you do to relax when you’re stressed? I do yoga and meditate. Although I was brought up Catholic, I enjoy the teachings of the Buddha.
If you could have lunch with a well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why? I would love to have lunch with Jackie O. She had such a fascinating life, I would love to quiz her about all the people she knew and what she thought about them.
Where is your favorite place to hang out? My home.
What do you love most about the industry? It’s all about the people. I love meeting new people, listening to them and then developing a plan to meet their objectives, whether they are buyers or sellers. Then after a successful transaction, having them call me years later to help them with their next move!
How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents? I find that many Realtors, even those with many years of experience, don’t understand business. They do what they have always done, treat every buyer and seller the same. I see each buyer and seller as individuals with individual needs. I tailor my service to the client’s needs…not the needs of previous clients or my own biases.
What is the most difficult aspect of your job? The three most important things in real estate are location, location, location. I think the three most difficult aspects of real estate are negotiation, negotiation, negotiation! Having both the buyer and seller (no matter who I am representing) complete a transaction and both parties feeling it was a win-win, fair deal. It isn’t an easy task. There is the first negotiation at the offer stage and then in many cases another negotiation after the inspection. Being able to negotiate a deal that is satisfactory to all parties can be difficult and is one of my major objectives.
Where do you go to network and meet new clients? I’m not great at networking through business associations. The way I prefer to network is through previous clients and with people I meet through the course of a normal day. I was having dinner at the bar of a local inn and struck up a conversation with the woman sitting next to me. To make a long story somewhat shorter, she had a child, was in a relationship with a man who also had a child. They both had homes and were wanting to live together. Neither of their homes were “right” for how they wanted to blend their families. Over the course of five years my meeting this woman resulted in seven transactions…and there will be more.
What has been your greatest accomplishment? I feel like there have been many. While I answered “negotiations” as being the most difficult aspect of being a Realtor, I feel my greatest accomplishments have been in my ability to keep deals together. Buying and selling property is so filled with emotion, it is critical for Realtors to maintain perspective. If a deal doesn’t make sense, I will be the first to make sure it doesn’t happen. But if I am working on a deal that does make sense but emotions have taken over, I do everything I can to help the buyers and sellers see this.
What was the last good movie you saw or book you read? “A Course in Miracles” by Dr. Helen Schucman.
What is your favorite restaurant? Tomasso’s Trattoria. It is a fantastic Italian restaurant in Southboro Mass. with “creative,” local, seasonal offerings with just about perfect wine pairings; some feel it’s “expensive,” but when factoring in portions that can be “shared,” the bright, trattoria-inspired atmosphere and knowledgeable staff, most find it well worth the price. This comment from a Zagat review.
What kind of car do you drive? Scion FR-S. It is a two seater sports car. After years of driving sedans and SUVs, I finally decided to get a car I enjoyed driving. The day of needing a big car to drive clients around is gone. I meet listing clients at their homes and typically buyer clients have children and prefer to meet at the home we are viewing.
Smartphone or paper? Smartphone.
What is your favorite city after Boston? San Francisco.
In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry? Develop a business plan that is Internet focused.
What’s your favorite real estate iPhone/Android app? My own.
Who are your favorite people to follow on Twitter? Depak Chopra, HGTV.
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