This morning, no surprises, omnipotent Dolly Lenz was named Prudential Douglas Elliman’s number-one broker. And she doesn’t quite care.
“I only got there for the last few minutes. I was in a meeting, literally, with a major banking group, and should not have gone,” she told me, two hours after the ceremony. “They texted me when it was time to get in the car and get there”–she has four Blackberries. “I literally got in the car and went down there and left. I heard no speeches, heard no awards.”
Accolades don’t matter anymore, in other words, only deals. “To be honest with you, there isn’t an award I want. I don’t measure myself by awards! It’s such a silly–I don’t want to say ‘silly’ because Dottie will have a baby–but I don’t even know what it means.”
The day before yesterday, her boss Dottie Herman explained to me why she likes a little competitiveness among her brokers. But Dolly Lenz–whose 2006 sales were $748,319,000, four times higher than anyone else in the nation—transcends competitiveness. She’s been named the top broker at Elliman for every year she’s been there, she said, and was number one at Sotheby’s before that.
She was amused that I hadn’t known about her days before Elliman. “They’d paid a million dollars recruiting to get me,” she said, speaking from Manhattan House, one of her bountiful Upper East Side listings.
Ms. Lenz also said the rankings were a tad unfair, because she sometimes does non-residential commercial business. On the other hand she only did one commercial deal last year, though it was a big one. (“Can’t talk about it, not allowed,” she said.)
“This is the first time I’ve seen Dolly Lenz blush,” Donald Trump reportedly said at Elliman’s 2004 ceremonies, after commenting on her good looks. “She’s a real ballbraker, but she’s good at what she does.” Then her phone rang in the silent Pierre ballroom. “Turn off that goddamn phone, Dolly,” Mr. Trump said, according to author Steven Gaines.
Does she like the ceremony? “I wouldn’t do it if it were my company–at Sotheby’s they didn’t do it. They just took you to lunch and just told you, they did it in a very professional way… I want to capture everything, but I don’t count it. It’s not about counting it; it’s just about doing something new, great; exceeding what you did the day before. Not every year! I’m not counting at December 31.”