Bonnie Heatzig, Douglas Elliman Realty
What was your most interesting job before going into real estate? After graduating law school, I practiced law with one of New England’s largest law firms, Robinson & Cole. At Robinson & Cole, I acquired a strong foundation in transactional law matters. My experience practicing law among some of the most respected and talented attorneys in the country has been a gift of knowledge and confidence that has served me my entire professional life.
Where did you grow up? I was raised in Arcadia, California, and moved to Worcester, Massachusetts at the age of 16 when my father was appointed President at Worcester State University.
Growing up, what did you want to be? In fourth grade, I distinctly remember being on the playground and making a pact with my best friend (who I am still very close with today) that we would both be lawyers when we grew up. I used to daydream of my future days wearing a navy blue suit and working as a lawyer at IBM. Looking back, I realize that I had no idea what being a lawyer was all about, but I set it as a goal for myself and nothing was going to stop me!
What do you do to relax when you’re stressed? I enjoy boating with my family, especially taking weekend trips to the Bahamas or popping over to Aspen with my husband for a few hikes up the Ute Trail.
If you could meet any well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why? I would be honored to meet Katherine Johnson, a mathematician who courageously forged through racism and workplace boundaries in 1953 to become one of the most respected members of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. Ms. Johnson’s fortitude, courage, and determination to be her best self and know her worth in the face of the most extreme adversity makes her my #1 hero in my Book of Life.
Where is South Florida’s best-kept secret? I believe that the public and private schools in Boca Raton are among the best in the country. Our schools here in Boca matriculate to the most prestigious colleges and universities. To me, this is the best kept secret in South Florida. There’s no better gift to give our children than a stellar education.
What do you love most about the industry? For me, my client base gives me the most joy and satisfaction. In the luxury market, I have the privilege of working for some of the most accomplished leaders in business from all over the world. I learn so much about matters outside real estate from my clients by just listening to their journeys. I have yet to encounter a client I haven’t listened to and learned from and, for that, I am extremely grateful.
What is the most difficult aspect of your job? Those of us in real estate know that our profession is a 24/7 commitment and that means sacrificing time with your family. With the blanket support of my husband and our three children, I have been able to pursue the most rewarding (and humbling) career I ever could have imagined for myself. Working on the waterfront, I would often see my family boating on weekends in Lake Boca from the balconies of high end condos I was showing to clients. It is hard not to feel left out on those weekend outings, but we manage to plan exciting and memorable family vacations to make up for lost weekend time together! Success demands an extraordinary dedication of time.
What’s your best advice for generating new leads? The best advice is to keep up with your relationships with every past client. My past clients have been a tremendous lead and referral source. I often say they are my greatest gifts that keep on giving.
What are you binge-watching/reading/listening to lately? I wish I had time to binge anything! I find that in my downtime, my husband and I choose to keep the phones away, the television and computers off, and we focus on quality time together talking and taking deep dives into our respective days.
What’s your favorite meal in South Florida? I am a huge fan and patron of Trattoria Romana here in Boca Raton. The service is routinely superb and the food is consistently outstanding. My favorite meal is the Langostino Oreganata with a side of Insalata di Arugula. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!
Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in South Florida? The Breakers Hotel is an architectural favorite of mine. It’s iconic Renaissance Revival style exudes unapologetic, seaside luxury.
What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to you on the job? With only six months experience selling real estate under my belt, I learned firsthand Yogi Berra’s famous idiom, “It ain’t over till it’s over.” Weeks earlier, I was overjoyed to earn the listing of a $2 million dollar waterfront home. I was even more elated when buyers visiting from Austria saw my advertisement for this home in the local paper and we wrote a contract on the house! It all seemed so easy until the final walkthrough. As I greeted the buyers at their soon-to-be new home on that stormy morning before the Closing, I noticed a stream of water leaking from the 33 ft ceiling behind them! I couldn’t believe my eyes and before I could speak, another leak was sprung and large droplets of water were bouncing off the top of my head and streaming down the side of my face! We all looked up and saw roof leaks were all over! Fortunately, we were able to hold money in escrow for the roof repairs and still close on time, but not without some last minute hard work and perseverance to keep the deal together! The take-away: never let your guard down and when the chips fall, stand up for your deal, your values, and stay focused and composed!
What’s one thing people might be surprised to learn about you? People may be surprised to know that I love playing golf. It’s on my bucket list to play at Shinnecock Hills and Pebble Beach. I am really trying to shore up my game before I tackle those courses, but I will check those boxes sooner rather than later!
What’s your favorite vacation spot and why? We have a home in Aspen, Colorado and it is my secret get-a-way! I only go in the summers because we seem to always choose Vail as our ski destination. The summertime in Aspen gives me a chance to reconnect with myself, walk along the Roaring Fork River, watch a fabulous show at Theatre Aspen, take a bike ride along the Rio Grande, or even sit out on our back porch and watch the Aspen trees glisten in the sunshine.
In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry? hard work, grit, determination, ethics, integrity, reputation
Who are your favorite people to follow on social media? I love the art of interior design, so I follow a list of designers on social media whose work I find awe-inspiring. I also love to follow Athena Calderone @eyeswoon as she offers a variety of design ideas, as well as culinary and entertaining tips. I love to be swept away when I swipe up her posts.