2017 Thanksgiving Thoughts

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I shared the below message with the firm today as we have had an incredible journey this year especially with Douglas Elliman’s acquisition of Teles Properties. If you think this could help you or someone else, please share it and also reach out to me. I would love to hear from you. Thank you for all your support. Happy Thanksgiving.

Let me let you into a small yearly tradition for me and my family. Every year, while my family sits down to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, I take a few minutes to share some very sincere thoughts with you. Please take a minute to read this, forgive any minor typos, and of course I would appreciate a response.

I said this in a magazine interview this morning, “While I am generally a thankful, optimistic person, I am prone to high-aspiration syndrome… never feeling like I have done enough, always wondering how I can do more, build more, grow more, help more, give more, create more… have more impact. That will generally never change but days like today help me understand the significance of what lies beyond all that.”

She then asked me, “beyond what?”. Good question.

Teles and Elliman completely dominated the real estate brokerage landscape conversation this year. There has never been a deal of this magnitude done in the recorded and remembered history of our business between two independents. But its beyond that… what is amazing is the commitment of the people in every part of the firm. There is a saying behind the curtains in the real estate brokerage industry that “our revenue goes home every night.” That mindset not only deeply frustrates me but it also disappoints me because “they” are missing the point. The point is to create an unparalleled culture of support and success. The point is to hire talented people and give them an environment for them to create a bigger and better future that they couldn’t create for themselves. The point is to be a be an advisor, mentor, coach and friend to give our people a shot at changing the very financial bloodlines of their families.

But its beyond that.

I have lost track of the awards. Inc 500. Entrepreneur Magazine. Forbes. Wall Street Journal. Daily A-List Media Press highlights. I read through almost every article in Elliman’s PR daily. You should too. It will make you proud. It will get you inspired.

But, the awards are lagging indicators of success, and don’t get me wrong I truly appreciate the recognition but I live for the creation of these experiences. It is about the blood, sweat and tears that went into building the business both here in California and across the country at Elliman (and even around the world with our Knight Frank partnership). Our business is built one individual sales business at a time. Yes, your personal sales business… combined into your office’s business… combined into our region’s business and the momentum that it creates for the #1 independent firm’s national business. I know how hard you work as I field your day-to-day questions… and I am thankful for that commitment and effort from you every day.

But, let me rant a little more as its beyond that.

In this extremely catty, rumor-mill-filled, broker-realtor-TMZ industry that preys upon our (sometimes fragile) egos and unfounded fears, I have seen many agents start to lose their edge. I have seen agents forget why they do what they do. I have seen agents forget that it is about taking care of clients, and advising them through one of the most transformative experiences in their lives. Build your resilience to the crap that is thrown at you. If this is even remotely how you feel then unsubscribe to stupid industry newsletters that just stir the pot that are trying to derail you for a $16.99/month subscription. (Some of them are good, the others are not.) Stay true to why you took that real estate exam that doesn’t qualify you to do anything. I am thankful for your perspective. I am thankful for your focus.

But, it is still really beyond all that.

Today is deeply personal. Today is about the significance of the small stuff. Today is about having a roof over our heads, catching a break in traffic, safety and security as we walk down the streets, clothes to keep us warm, expensive coffee… extremely expensive coffee, comfortable kicks and really good wifi. Even more, today is about the new babies born, engagement and weddings, beating cancer, losing that extra weight, finishing that triathlon, grieving for the loss of whom we lost this year, and family and friends that love and adore us.

Today is very personal because gratitude is not something that we talk about or think about… gratitude is about our humanity. It is not just about what we do… but more about who we are. Today is about celebrating that humanity.  On behalf of the executive team, I want to give thanks to you… for giving us a platform, an organization, a community… for your commitment to this special ecosystem proudly named Teles Douglas Elliman where we can wake up and do great work for you, to support you, so that you may continue to design your business strategically to have an overall wonderful life… that you love.

As my long-time friend and mentor Peter Loewy says about Thanksgiving… “Eat a lot. Laugh a lot. Exercise a lot.” #sageAdvice

Happy Thanksgiving!



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