The secret to my success is that I am a complete fake. This was most true when I was pretending to be Josh Rubin at the Ellie’s at Cipriani last Thursday night. Josh is an incredibly visionary, bold, hard-working and scrappy person. Whereas most real estate agents would auction off their children’s team sports trophies if it meant getting a listing, Josh spent the Douglas Elliman awards ceremony away from the action, and sent me in his place to bask in the spray tan. Of course Josh is my team leader and all the transactions I do, I do with him.
Our team won three awards, and two were pretty special. Before I get to that, let me explain what the Ellie’s are. The Ellie’s are a once a year event where 1,000 or so of the 5,500 agents in our company are in attendance and the top performers are recognized by our company’s President and Majority Shareholder, Dottie Herman & Howard Lorber. Dottie & Howard do a lot of presenting, and in addition Steven James, and my office manager Chris Peters emcee the event. After all the talking there is drinking and dancing and eating. All on the house.
Since Elliman has expanded a lot, each year they roll out something new. One year it was that they were dumping Prudential. Another year we had a new logo and we were expanding to Los Angeles (in a deal that Josh was the procuring cause of between Howard Lorber and head of Elliman LA, Cory Weiss.) This year we discussed the new App – Elli, and that we have partnered internationally with Knight Frank & also Joseph & Co. in Aspen.
So, to the awards. The 2 big ones that I got to go up on stage for and get hugs from Chris, Steven, Dottie & Howard were for the Top 10 teams. We were #10 in the big prize of the night, Gross Commission Income. So when I tell you I’m on a Top 3 Team (or my new thing which is just saying I’m the number one agent on the number one resale only team in NYC) is an embellishment. In the place where it matters the most to the company, we were number 10. 10 out of 5,000. But not 3, or 4, or 5. Fredrik Eklund and John Gomes are number one. Fredrik, of course, is the star of Million Dollar Listing NY. He received his award from The Altman Bros. who flew in from Los Angeles (who had just joined Elliman LA that day. Also of note, Luis Ortiz and I were chilling briefly, he was recognized for his efforts with awards as well, of course.) The Eklund Gomes team, themselves, probably sold more than Keller Williams NY, and a handful of other mid-sized brokerages probably sold combined for the year. Their commissions were over $10M for 2014.
Before that grand finale award was our big award. We were Top THREE AGAIN in transactions. Now transactions aren’t as sexy as commissions, but we did 116 transactions in 2014, which was good enough to stay at 3. The Eklund Gomes Team was #2, and the Hoffman Meier Team was #1. Sometimes, if we are forced to compare ourselves to those teams (who work in the same office as us and whom we see every day) we make mention of the fact that ALL of our business comes from marketing and referrals, and those two teams are larger than ours and work with developers, which accounts for a huge portion of their transactions.
I am part of approximately 30% of my team’s transactions. I am not the reason we were on stage, just a part of the reason. I was really jazzed to be up there with the big shots. And all I can say is thanks Josh for the opportunity. It’s been fun this last 4 years together, and I hope this year is even better. I may not be on TV, may not have a huge awards ceremony where I was the grand finale, but I was standing next to that guy (Fredrik Eklund, congratulating him like he needs my props,) and let me tell you something – those guys are great. The whole company is actually filled with fun and friendly people. Some are pretty good looking too! The Ellie’s was a ton of fun, from the Tuna Tartar to the DJ and the dancing girls. The most fun thing is the security of knowing now, that at my fourth visit to them, all of this hard work is recognized, and I am proud to have had the opportunity to have represented 116 families (times two!) directly or as part of a team, who needed to move, and succeeded.