By Tyler Peckio
What could being a New York City real estate agent and professional water skier possibly have in common? On the surface, the two could not be more different—one involves navigating the near impossible labyrinth of New York real estate (not for the faint of heart) and the other involves flying around behind a boat at 70 mph on skis (also not for the faint of heart). The two professions, all appearances aside, have more in common than at first glance; Camille Duvall-Hero can testify to that. The ability to thrive off competition, the hard work necessary to attain success, and most importantly, the near obsessive attention to detail—all of these attributes converge in the worlds of real estate and professional sports. It was because of these skills attained by competing at such a high level in a dangerous water sport that the transfer into real estate was easy for Duvall-Hero.
The preparation and hard work she applied in water skiing led her to become one of Sport’s Illustrated magazine’s “100 Greatest Female Athletes of the Century” and that work ethic has transferred over into the New York real estate market. Duvall states, “I want to dot every I and cross every T. I don’t want to enter the competition until I know that everything is perfect and if that takes 10,000 hours of practice to get through then that’s what I do…I think it’s that attention to detail and preparation. I mean, you’re flinging yourself off a ski jump at 70 mph at 25 feet in the air. You don’t want things to go wrong…having that really; really strong preparation ethic carries over into this.” The preparation, Duvall-Hero feels, is necessary to eliminate any doubt whatsoever.
Another set of skills that Duvall-Hero has used to her advantage: the ability to listen and read body language, which she acquired in her first career shift into broadcast journalism. “[The ability to really listen to people] is an easy carryover into this business.
You have to watch their body language, their tone of voice… you can get a lot of clues from being able to really listen to someone…you need to take [the customer’s] desires into consideration when you’re taking an apartment for them or taking their price or whatever that may be.” Duvall-Hero’s main concern in the real estate arena is the customer’s needs and not having an agenda before meeting with the client.
These transferable skills have proven invaluable for Duvall-Hero’s ability to steer herself through the ever-changing real estate market. With the technology readily available for clients to do research themselves, it is the agent’s job to know the market better than the client so that they can advise them as best they can. As more and more agents craft personas through various social media outlets, Duvall-Hero stays focused on the customer’s needs and not on branding herself to be any particular thing. She feels that not everybody wants a “rock-star agent” and that most clients want someone who is going to find them their home.
Camille Duvall-Hero is Warburg’s Downtown Director of Sales