Are you sure?
I am positive. I kept—I’m very competitive, and I have a folder, and since I joined Elliman, which is 2003—every award ceremony [program]. Prior to that day, you had the top 10, period. Now, Prudential nationwide always did teams and individuals, but Prudential Douglas Elliman? Never. So that year, O.K., what happened was my numbers were higher, and suddenly a Pandora’s box was opened. I went in, this was my statement: I said, ‘Whatever you do, I am just telling you, the numbers are very clear. I am not settling for No. 2.’
You told that to Elliman’s co-owners, Dottie Herman and Howard Lorber?
All of the above! So the way they resolved it was to give two No. 1’s—to the teams, and to the individuals. … Every single person at the awards ceremony sitting down, every single person in the 1,500, knew the truth.
At the time, Ms. Lenz said, ‘Jackie Teplitzky is not even in the same category.’ Have you spoken since?
She really didn’t know me at a personal level, and I’m going to tell you, something very funny happened. For one of the conventions, I went in to do my hair at the hairdresser, and there was nobody else but her and me. Las Vegas—the Prudential nationwide convention.
The hairdressers thought—because I said, ‘Hi, Dolly, how are you?’—that we knew each other, so they put us side by side. When you sit down and you’re doing your hair, you have nothing to do. So you start talking! And we actually decided we have a lot of things in common. She comes from a Spanish family, you know?
Yes, her real name is Idaliz.
And I am from Chile. And she has two children, I have two children—her kids are older than mine. And we talked about nothing to do with real estate. We had just an incredible, beautiful conversation.
Her protégé-turned-enemy Michael Shvo left Elliman soon after a similar awards-ceremony kerfuffle. Why are they so important to brokers?
Well, look, it’s recognition for your hard work.
Would you want your two sons to go into real estate?
That’s a tough one. On the one hand, I would say yes because I want continuity and I want the name, the Jacky Teplitzky team, to go on. But on the other hand, I respect their wishes.
Your husband, Max Dobens, is on your team, just like he was when you worked at Corcoran—he joined after he was laid off. What’s that been like? Does he mind the power dynamics?
He does! You have to interview him for that. Look, it’s not easy because we try very hard to institute the rule of when we cross that entry door to this apartment, we do not talk about business. … You know, it’s a lot of friction. It’s very difficult to work with your husband, especially because I’m the head of the team. He’s definitely the top producer in the team, but it’s a difficult thing.
Second to you?