Broker Spotlight Setting the pace while running the office
Charlette Seidel, managing broker at the Coral Gables Sunset branch of Coldwell Banker, subscribes to her own teaching, and is upbeat and charming in conversation. She admits to setting foot in almost every home the office sells. "I go to open houses or on showing appointments, and if I see a need for a price adjustment or different staging, I'll discuss it with the agent. This is our product. Buyers aren’t falling from the skies.
"Does it take time? A few hours on a Wednesday, a couple on Sunday; it's important to keep up, considering this is what we’re selling."
In her "previous life,” Seidel worked for Pan American World Airways, instructing flight attendants ("We called them stewardesses," she whispered). After retiring from Pan Am, she took a year off and got bored.
"I thought: Real estate, what a great part-time profession!" she says with a laugh. She was licensed in 1971 and became a full-time broker in 1974. Working in the same area where she grew up, she joined the Klock Company in Miami, working with the legendary Joe Klock Sr., to whom she attributes her love of business education. "He was and is a great teacher. I thought, if I were ever a manager, I'd focus on teaching. Which I did in 1979 … and I'm still here." Klock merged with Coldwell Banker in 1983.
"I call myself the oldest living manager," Seidel says.
Her eye for detail extends to every one of her agents. "I hire very well," she says. On her list of desirable attributes: "We only hire full time. I look for a business background of some kind. I like mothers with children – they're very well organized. And men, of course. People who are work oriented, but have interests outside themselves. We have a broad-based office, a healthy office. Oliver was my personal trainer … I stole him away!"
"I've known Charlette before I started in real estate, more than six years now," von Gundlach says. "She's very correct and level, everyone gets treated right, extremely fair. She double checks everything. With the way the market is now, if you make a mistake you're in trouble, it's good to have a backup system like that."
Like her agents, Seidel is not without her own outside interests.
"Habitat for Humanity is Coldwell Bankers project, our charity. We build one home a year – last year we did two – and every office takes a day and gets out there to build, put up drywall. You know, all the things we don't do at home.
"It's my favorite thing, I love it," she says. "It makes sense."