Blood Sport

Who are your competitors?

Mr. Gordon: I don’t think we’d say that.

David, you’ve been working with dad for six years. What were you doing before this?

David Emden: I was in school. I’ve grown up in this industry my entire life. Every member of my family is in the real estate business in some aspect. My father, my uncle. I grew up at every dinner table listening to people talk about real estate. It’s all I know. I interned every summer. My favorite place to be is in my father’s office.

Were you learning about real estate even as a teenager?

Mr. Gordon: Probably even before that, right?

David Emden: You better believe it. You better believe it. It’s in my blood. It’s in my blood. I love it. I remember my father always being on the phone. I remember listening to him negotiate and doing what he does best, which is close deals. Like I said, my favorite place to be had always been my father’s office, whether it be on summer vacations or Christmas vacations or any holidays.

Robert Emden: The office could’ve been outside in the backyard.

How has it been working together?

David Emden: It’s been wonderful. It’s a very interesting, special dynamic, and it’s really fabulous. It’s fabulous. I’m very, very lucky. I think we have a very special relationship in the office and outside of the office. I feel blessed not only to work with my father every day, but to have such a mentor in this business, because you could work anywhere else. It’s about the person you work with. I’m good at what I do, which is get in the door, but you need someone to take it from there.

Robert Emden: What I call the gray hair theory … But I’ll tell you, the work just doesn’t stop. This is not an 8-to-7 job. It’s 24/7.

Mr. Gordon: I think that’s the difference between a job and a career, and we have a lot of fun with this. We call the bad days work, and the good days it’s just fun to be around everybody.

For the father and son in the house, what are your pet peeves with one another?

Robert Emden: I was taught that you’re as good as your last deal, and you never rest on your laurels. And I’ve never rested on my laurels, and I preach that to David and everybody else I come across. Knock on wood, David has done very, very well in his own right. But he knows that when I see him resting on his laurels, I say get on those phones. That was probably as recently as an hour ago. I don’t treat David Emden any differently than I treat anyone else. Business is business and family time is family time, and you don’t come to the office unless you’re ready and willing to work.

David Emden: My biggest pet peeve is that when we agreed to do this six years ago, we had lunch with a few father and sons who worked together, and we agreed that the personal life stays at home and the business life stays in the office. I think we do a very good job with that, but when it starts to mix, I remind him that the personal stays at home and the business stays in the office.

jsederstrom@observer.com

Blood Sport