In this weekly column, real estate agents across the nation share stories of the lessons they’ve learned during their time in the industry.
Award-winning Associate Real Estate Broker Lisa Chajet of Coldwell Banker Warburg started out in PR and marketing and now ranks among NYC’s top producing agents. She has been called an encyclopedia of knowledge about her city and its real estate markets, giving her exceptional expertise in both pricing and gauging market conditions. Find out why, with all of her experience and expertise, she says there’s no such thing as an “easy” transaction.
How long have you been in the business, and how did you get started?
I have been in real estate for 18 years, all for the same company, Warburg Realty (now Coldwell Banker Warburg). I got started because the business was in my genes. My mother is a partner at Coldwell Banker Warburg and has been in business for approximately 45 years. I grew up with the lingo and the passion for the business.
This was not my first career. After college, I worked for a public relations firm and then in the marketing department at Bloomberg LP for six years.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years, I see myself right where I am now.
What’s one big lesson you’ve learned in real estate?
The deal is never done until you leave the closing. In my 18 years, I can count on one hand the number of deals that were hiccup-free.
I also learned that you have to deal with numerous different personalities, so you have to adapt to be successful.
How did you learn it?
Some deal hiccups I have encountered:
- I had a buyer who was buying an estate and told me we didn’t need to do a walkthrough, but I insisted I just pop into the apartment before close. It turned out there was a leak so bad a mountain had formed from the leak, swelling the ground.
- I’ve had an overflowing bathtub from the apartment above flood my buyer’s property on the morning before a walkthrough.
- I had a buyer who lost their job, and when the mortgage came in for its final round before close, it had to be redone.
- I had two adjacent apartments that were not legally combined but combined 40 years ago, in a much different world. This held up the deal because you can’t close until the apartment is legally considered to be one unit.
What advice would you give to new agents?
It takes about a year or two to get your groove. Hang in tight. Don’t give up and treat every deal, no matter if it’s small or large, with the same passion.
Christy Murdock is a Realtor, freelance writer, coach and consultant and the owner of Writing Real Estate. She is also the creator of the online course Crafting the Property Description: The Step-by-Step Formula for Reluctant Real Estate Writers. Follow Writing Real Estate on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
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