Real estate agents across the nation share stories of the lessons they’ve learned during their time in the industry. This week: Find out why NYC associate broker Lisa Chajet says there’s rarely a trouble-free transaction in real estate.

Looking for more advice? Check out Inman’s New Agent Essentials.

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 TwitterInstagram and YouTube.

Do you want to be featured in an upcoming “Lesson Learned” column? Reach out to us here!

Show Comments Hide Comments
Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Only 3 days left to register for Inman Connect Las Vegas before prices go up! Don't miss the premier event for real estate pros.Register Now ×
Limited Time Offer: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $199SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription