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Chief Trailblazers: Women Professionals in Real Estate

A Power Broker

Nothing in Jacky Teplitzky’s early years foreshadowed her rise to a position as one of New York City’s prominent residential real estate brokers. Recently made executive vice president, residential sales at Douglas Elliman, New York’s largest brokerage, Teplitzky’s beginnings were as a teacher. “I was born in Chile and raised in Israel,” explains Teplitzky. “My education was in travel and tourism. During her mandatory stint in the Israeli army, she became an instructor of new recruits. “After the army, I became a teacher in tourism in the high schools.” Fluent in English, Spanish, and Hebrew, Teplitzky moved to New York, and began working in the travel industry for an international company based in Spain.

“My first exposure to real estate came in 1993, when I was about to get married and was looking for my own apartment,” Teplitzky recalls. “Most of the brokers were women, working part-time. I felt that they were very limited; they only knew their own neighborhoods. One of them said to me ‘Jacky, I think you would be good at real estate.’ But I was working at a high-paying executive job in the travel industry. I had a lot of perks, free vacations. It was difficult to contemplate a move from a salary job to a commission.”

Teplitzky says it took two years for her to finally take the real estate course. “I had reached the ceiling of where I would go in the travel industry. Even though my family and friends thought I was out of my mind, I resigned and took a big risk.”

As the leader of a team that generates over $50 million dollars in annual sales, Teplitzky’s risk paid off. Although women are not unusual in real estate brokerage - in fact, they make up over 50 percent of the work force – being taken seriously is still a challenge. “People assume you must be a Mom who works part-time, instead of [being] the primary breadwinner,” says Teplitzky. “[As a woman], you have to be better and work harder and be more innovative.”

Teplitzky credits her managerial and business experience for her success. “I have achieved this level of respect and perception in a very short time,” says Teplitzky. “I know that if I want to expand the business, I have to build a team that I can count on to generate results.”

Asked what she enjoys most about her career, Teplitzky replies, “Being the author of my own destiny. You build something, you create something, and get the rewards of your efforts for yourself.”




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