For Vickey Barron of Douglas Elliman, success as a broker is about giving as much as you get.
For this reason, Barron received the inaugural Eileen Spinola Award for Distinguished Service at the 27th annual REBNY Awards Gala last week.
A California native, Barron came to New York on her own and without the crucial local connections that many residential brokers rely on to springboard them into a lucrative career.
“I always said that I didn’t have an aunt Harriet on Park Avenue referring me to potential clients,” Barron told Brokers Weekly after her win.
Having to scratch and claw to forge her own connections inspired her to give back to the brokerage community.
“I love sharing with brokers on how to grow their business,” said Barron, who stressed that branding is key for those that want to be successful in New York.
“I like to teach a lot, so I do a lot of lectures and teaching and I put together a lot of curriculums that Albany has to approve for continuing education,” she continued.
“I think so many agents come into real estate wanting to sell and I’m a big believer that, if you take a different lane and you’re more of a partner in navigating a buyer through the process, or a seller helping to navigate through the channels of a sale, you’re more likely to have both a successful outcome and a stronger referral base.”
It’s not surprising that Barron feels this way. Before she entered the real estate world in the late 90’s she spent time interviewing doctors that were seeking temporary assignments in Guam. After learning about the candidates, she helped them navigate the transition and ensured that they were properly matched with suitable assignments.
Her thoughtful selections which kept both sides of the equation in mind allowed over 90 percent of her choices to stay in Guam for the full duration of their assignment, with some even extending their time overseas.
By 1998, it was time for a new challenge, and Barron headed east in search of a new start. Once in New York, she hit the ground running.
Barron completed 20 deals in her first nine months and won her first accolades from REBNY which named her a “Rookie of the Year.”
At Prudential Douglas Elliman, she became one of the top one percent brokers in the area and was ranked among the best brokers in the nation.
While she is certainly a competitive force as a sales professional, she believes that there is plenty of room for everyone to be successful in this city.
“I don’t view them as competition when they’re with other firms,” said Barron of her broker brethren, “I just view them as partners in getting deals done.”
That mindset and her thirst for teaching is what propelled her to both this coveted award and her success in business.
Barron championed REBNY and her involvement in the organization as the catalyst for her enterprise.
“I 100 percent think my business is partly where it’s at today because of my involvement in REBNY,” said Barron. “I started the business without the advantage of having anyone referring me, but getting involved in the organization helped jump start my relationship with brokers.”
That relationship was forged during countless hours spent as not only a member of the group, but as a leader.
“The award is really for brokers that contribute in the industry and, when I started my career 14 years ago, I got involved with REBNY and I attended the sales council and then I became chairperson,” she said.
She also later joined the ethics committee.
Despite her tireless dedication to the organization, Barron is focused on her role with Douglas Elliman.
She is currently marketing two of the firm’s most high profile properties.
“I’m breaking records at Walker Tower with the resales in that building and I’m about to launch the Fitzroy,” said Barron.
Her dedication to the every-day commitments of her role as a broker is what helps her stay one of the agency’s top sales people.
Thus, the award-winner almost missed last week’s celebration due to a work conflict. Wanting to keep the honor a surprise, a contact at REBNY casually persuaded her to leave her previous engagement a few minutes early so that she could arrive in time for what she thought would be a simple celebration with colleagues from the group.
Surprised and honored, Barron hopes that others are inspired by her win to get more involved in the industry and to go the extra mile to help fellow real estate professionals.