Dina Goldentayer of Douglas Elliman: “Admit you don’t know it all”

Admit you don’t know it all. I’ve learned it’s best to be upfront with clients and not to be afraid to admit that you are coming across a scenario for the first time, even if you have years of experience. Real estate is a complicated and ever-changing business, so you can always count on new […]

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Admit you don’t know it all. I’ve learned it’s best to be upfront with clients and not to be afraid to admit that you are coming across a scenario for the first time, even if you have years of experience. Real estate is a complicated and ever-changing business, so you can always count on new challenges.

As a part of my series about strong women leaders of the Real Estate industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dina Goldentayer, Executive Director of Sales at Douglas Elliman.

Dina Goldentayer is a trailblazing real estate agent who has been raising values in Miami Beach since 2005. Recognized as Douglas Elliman’s #1 individual agent by sales volume nationally, Dina has achieved over $1.5 billion in career sales and closed $350 million worth of deals in 2020 alone. Consistently making headlines, Dina holds the record for the highest price per foot sold in South Florida and the highest residential sale ever in Miami-Dade County. With creative marketing at the core of her business strategy, Dina’s #stepinsidewithme trademark has earned her brand international recognition. Whether you’re thinking of buying or selling in Miami Beach, Dina’s name is bound to come up.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the “backstory” about what brought you to the Real Estate industry?

I was born in Russia and immigrated to Baltimore, Maryland when I was young. I graduated from the University of Maryland with Magna Cum Laude Honors from the Government and Politics Department. I was drawn to Miami because of the warm weather and quality of living — and discovered instantly that I had found my place. In my twenties, I had a hunger for success and purchased my first apartment. I hired a real estate agent for the transaction, and as I watched him in action, I quickly became hooked. I discovered I had a natural prowess for spotting deals and the drive to ensure all my clients end up satisfied. My career took off in the Miami Beach market, which continues to remain the cornerstone of my business.

Can you share with our readers the most interesting or amusing story that occurred to you in your career so far? Can you share the lesson or take away you took out of that story?

I am passionate about believing in what I sell. I believed so much in a listing I recently represented, that I actually purchased it. I felt it was a strong investment and I showed it to potential buyers as such, until I realized that my husband and I couldn’t forgo the opportunity.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

My day-to-day is continuously evolving. From the highs to the lows, I am exhilarated by the new and interesting people I meet daily, the homes I tour with stunning architecture and design, and the thrill of closing a deal. Real estate is my oxygen. I wouldn’t be who I am without it.

I am currently in the process of staging a penthouse in Brickell. We are decking out the place with unique and eye-catching art pieces and gorgeous furniture. I am passionate about the presentation of a house and believe that first impressions are everything. I know that my listings leave lasting, inspirational impressions on people.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

Strong marketing has boosted my company and my name to the next level. It is important to remember as an agent, you are the face of the property that you represent. How you present yourself in all settings will reflect directly on your listings. My team approaches every listing with a comprehensive strategy and marketing plan to ensure we enter the market at a strong advantage. My brand, reach, and ability to build buzz are unmatched. Right now, I have a billboard up in Times Square with the hashtag #MoveToMiami. The traction we have seen is incredible.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My first mentor was Gene Howard. Gene was one of the top real estate attorneys in Miami and taught me the fundamentals of what it takes to close a deal and how to evaluate what makes sense for an investor. There are panels and seminars that teach these types of strategies, but Gene really took my knowledge to another level. He reached out to me because of a newspaper ad for one of my listings and he insisted that we meet. He took notice of my drive, energy, and my hunger. I think he knew he wanted to mentor me before I did. At first, he had me running all over town bringing him deals and eventually it turned into a full-blown mentorship.

Ok. Thank you for all that. Let’s now jump to the main core of our interview. The Real Estate industry, like the Veterinarian, Nursing and Public Relations fields, is a women dominated industry. Yet despite this, less than 20 percent of senior positions in Real Estate companies are held by women. In your opinion or experience, what do you think is the cause of this imbalance?

I think there has never been a better time to be a female in the workplace. The scale is shifting, and I am proud to see so many trailblazing women pave the way and make their mark on the industry.

What 3 things can be done by a)individuals b)companies and/or c) society to support greater gender balance going forward?

Companies should be proactive and lead by example, with a focus on diversity — not just female representation, but across the board. Diverse and creative thinking is what sets companies apart. Making sure different perspectives and voices are heard, whether it be through diversity in leadership roles, advisory boards or support systems.

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges faced by women executives that aren’t typically faced by their male counterparts?

Mother’s and primary caregivers in the workplace face judgement that they are not able to perform to their maximum potential, but as a new mother I had my best sales year ever when my son was born — and I’m more motivated and focused than I have ever been.

Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the Real Estate industry?

I’m a people person so I love that I get to meet new and interesting people every single day. There is never a dull moment in this business and no two days are ever the same. Working in the real estate industry is not your typical 9–5 and you always have to be on your toes and ready for anything.

Buying a home, whether it’s the first, second or third, is single handedly one of the most important decisions anyone can make, and my clients trust me with the sale of their most valuable asset. It’s a great feeling because they know I have their back. When I can check off every point on their wish list, and deliver their dream home, that final moment of closing gives me a feeling like no other.

Can you share 3 things that most concern you about the industry? If you had the ability to implement 3 ways to reform or improve the industry, what would you suggest? I find myself most concerned about how to be in two places at once, growing a team that will stay with me in the long run, and ensuring my clients don’t feel handed off.

I would love it to be industry standard for buyers in Miami to sign buyer broker agreements similar to other markets.

What advice would you give to other leaders to help their team to thrive?

Come to terms with the fact that you can’t do it all and surround yourself with great people who you trust. Work to educate and empower your team, this will strengthen your overall business in the long run.

Ok, here is the main question of our interview. You are a “Real Estate Insider”. If you had to advise someone about 5 non intuitive things one should know to succeed in the Real Estate industry, what would you say? Can you please give a story or an example for each?

Be Authentic. Real estate is a relationship business, building real relationships is the key to success. People can smell when you are after just a paycheck.

Admit you don’t know it all. I’ve learned it’s best to be upfront with clients and not to be afraid to admit that you are coming across a scenario for the first time, even if you have years of experience. Real estate is a complicated and ever-changing business, so you can always count on new challenges.

Don’t early celebrate. In this business, anything can happen. A deal is not done until it’s closed out and funded. I am a firm believer in not counting my chickens before they hatch.

Because of your position, you are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

If I could spark a movement, I would encourage everyone to put their phone away and live in the present moment. We are all very addicted to social media and I love to be able to say to my clients and colleagues “I am in my me time and will be off my phone for an hour” without there being judgement. Taking a moment to stop and smell the roses is something I have been working on.

How can our readers follow you online?


Thank you for your time, and your excellent insights!

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