Dottie Herman on Broker Awards: 'If You Weren't Competitive, You'd Be In Social Work'

dollylenz Dottie Herman on Broker Awards: 'If You Weren't Competitive, You'd Be In Social Work'The only thing more exciting than today’s news about the upcoming sale of Bob Guccione’s townhouse (or about Sharon Baum’s Vespa), is Prudential Douglas Elliman’s annual awards ceremony, taking place right this moment, until noon, at Cipriani 42nd Street.

It’s the stuff real estate dreams are made of! Annual broker awards, especially at a monolith like Elliman, are about money, status, competitiveness, salesmanship, hierarchy and, of course, self-celebration.

Yet Elliman, it turns out, does not appreciate it when real estate reporters try to attend. After a series of e-mails and phone calls last night with Elliman’s public relations team, I was turned away at the softly red-lit entrance to the 65-foot-high, 87-year-old ballroom today at 9:12 a.m.—first by one well-dressed woman, then a second nice woman and suited man came over too.

Elliman will release the winner list later today, so why should they care about reporters attending? One reason might be the well-covered 2004 ceremony at the Pierre, in which Michael Shvo essentially beat out his partner-turned-foe Dolly Lenz—she won broker of the year, but he was declared winner of “the all-time sales earning record in history.”

At the ceremony, Donald Trump reportedly called Ms. Lenz “one of the great killers of all time.”

Two days ago, I talked with Elliman president and CEO Dottie Herman. Does she remember the Lenz-Shvo tension? “Let me tell you something, there’s always tension; there hasn’t been a year there hasn’t been tension, it doesn’t matter who the people are,” she said.

"There’s a whole story behind that, but the truth is, there’s always tension. And if you didn’t have tension you wouldn’t want people in the company. Why would you want to have a company where people didn’t care if they were No. 92 or No. 9,000?" she said. "People make it like it’s a horrible thing. Everyone I know that’s good is always competitive. If you weren’t competitive, then something would be wrong, you’d be in social work. There are government jobs, there’s social work. In this kind of an industry, you want competitive people.

“It’s not about people being snakes necessarily,” Ms. Herman said. “It’s about people wanting to be at the top of their game.”

I asked about a rumor that Ms. Lenz, despite her continuously massive sales, won’t be No. 1 this year. “First of all, why would I tell you? Because that is one thing that no reporter will know.”

Article continues below
More from Politics
STAR OF DAVID OR 'PLAIN STAR'?   If you thought "CP Time" was impolitic, on July 2 Donald Trump posted a picture on Twitter of a Star of David on top of a pile of cash next to Hillary Clinton's face. You'd think after the aforementioned crime stats incident (or after engaging a user called "@WhiteGenocideTM," or blasting out a quote from Benito Mussolini, or...) Trump would have learned to wait a full 15 seconds before hitting the "Tweet" button. But not only was the gaffe itself bad, the attempts at damage control made the BP oil spill response look a virtuoso performance.  About two hours after the image went up on Trump's account, somebody took it down and replaced it with a similar picture that swapped the hexagram with a circle (bearing the same legend "Most Corrupt Candidate Ever!"!). Believe it or not, it actually got worse from there. As reports arose that the first image had originated on a white supremacist message board, Trump insisted that the shape was a "sheriff's star," or "plain star," not a Star of David. And he continued to sulk about the coverage online and in public for days afterward, even when the media was clearly ready to move on. This refusal to just let some bad press go would haunt him later on.
Donald Trump More Or Less Says He’ll Keep On Tweeting as President