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Ten: Elizabeth Kee on Success, Integrity & the Family Business

Agent Insight // Aug 02, 2012

Welcome to Ten, CORE founder and CEO Shaun Osher’s rapid-fire interview series with prominent CORE figures. Read on to find out how this week’s subject deals with being on the hot seat.

core_080212_elizabeth_keeOn the eve of her third anniversary at CORE, Elizabeth Kee has firmly established herself as a rising star in the industry, one who has shown great skill in managing and executing deals at all levels, including both residential and commercial property. And it’s no secret why she’s been so successful: real estate is in her blood. Read on for Elizabeth’s thoughts about the industry, and for more on Elizabeth’s background, click here.

1) How did you get into the business?
Since I was a small child, I have been obsessed with real estate. My parents were in the side-business of flipping houses. Instead of reading “the funnies” on Sunday morning, I preferred to read the Real Estate section.

2) Who is your mentor?
My mother has always been my mentor. She is a successful entrepreneur who I learned my professionalism, work ethic and business skills from. She is an amazing businesswoman and a fantastic mother – a very tough balance to maintain.

3) You’ve become very successful in a short time. What do you attribute this success to?
Real estate is my passion. When your career and your hobby are the same, it is nearly impossible not to be successful.

4) You work in both residential and commercial real estate. What do you think is the fundamental difference between the two?
There is a lot more “heart” in residential real estate. It is a lot more irrational than the “bottom line” mentality commercial real estate tends to have.

5) What is the most fundamental similarity?
Business is business, no matter what the product… and all New York City real estate is irrational.

6) What is the one value you admire most in a person?
Integrity. There are so many “temptations” in today’s world. I truly admire someone who adheres to moral and ethical principles, no matter what the circumstances.

7) What is the deal you are most proud of?
Though I am proud of every deal, one of my toughest deals was in a Park Avenue co-op. It was a double short-sale (first mortgage and HELOC) that was about to go into foreclosure, but was stopped by a bankruptcy – all due to Board turn-downs of two previous potential buyers. After 18 months in contract, my Board-approved buyer finally closed and both agents collected a much deserved, full commission.

8) You are part of a new generation of young brokers who grew up with technology as part of their everyday lives. What is your most important tool?
I know that everyone says it’s their iPhone, but my new Samsung Galaxy S III Android cell phone makes the iPhone look like a toy. Finally, Droid really “Does!” There is nothing my new phone doesn’t do!

9) Where do you get your news?
Being a people person, most news comes to me through those I interact with. I’m always enamored by the slanted, opinionated “word of mouth” version. I always cross-reference the info for accuracy.

10) Do you have a question for me?
If you could reside in any building you worked on in your career, which building would you choose and why?

The penthouse at Walker Tower. It has everything I would ever want in a home in the city. Location, light and air, views, private outdoor space, privacy, high ceilings, and beautiful finishes.