Realtor, The Keyes Company
Fort Lauderdale/Broward County/Barrier Island
What was your first job in the realty industry?
Counting the number of steps on each floor of my father’s new development in Istanbul at the age of six. I have a sneaking suspicion it was the only way to keep me from asking too many questions, but he said it was such an important job.
Who inspires you?
My Armenian grandfather, Sarkis Simonyan, the most fascinating human being I have ever met. He is a multi-lingual mathematician, philosopher and pacifist.
What is your favorite free-time activity?
Cooking. I call it my Prozac. After a long day it is the one thing that winds me down, and it allows me to create.
How did you learn the business?
I learned by trial and error as an investor. I made some very smart and some not-so-smart choices starting in Istanbul, then Washington State and finally in Florida.
What was your most difficult sale, and how did you succeed?
I am not sure there actually is one. It is like labor pains, you forget just enough to have another!
What is the most difficult aspect of your job?
The no-weekends, no-days-off aspect of it. I am on call from 8 a.m. till 10 p.m., every day of the year and at times it gets overwhelming.
Where do you go to network and meet new clients?
I actually bring the networking home. I have a vast pool of acquaintances I always keep in touch with from all over the country and the world, and everyone gathers at my kitchen for a home-cooked meal, good wine and great conversation. Of my new clients, 90 percent are referrals from past and present buyers and sellers.
What has been your greatest accomplishment?
My daughter. The way she leads her life, handles her friendships and her career. She is my pride, joy and raison d’etre.
Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Miami?
It’s tough to pinpoint one, but the Art Deco District, which my ex-husband Dick Fosmoen helped preserve as the assistant city manager of Miami Beach, is indeed a great source of pride to me. I love The River House in Fort Lauderdale.
What kind of car do you drive?
Honda Element. I love it and it will be my car again, considering it serves as my warehouse, office and transportation all in one.
BlackBerry, Palm or paper?
Paper of course. It saves time. I tried both of the others and seem to come back to paper over and over again. Until they invent the machine that will automatically write my thoughts down, I am sticking with paper!
What is your favorite city after Miami?
Istanbul, where I was born. Florence, where I walk for hours imagining the great artists working all over the city, and Paris, which makes me wish I could be in love.
What is your personal motto?
I can do this and it will get done! Let’s get to it.