Excerpt from Negotiating New York

by  Joanne Renna Douglas and Alfred Renna

W e Rennas are our very own category of broker. Why? It’s not because we like to think we are lucky, though other people tell us that all the time. There are a couple of other family teams, mostly husbands and wives or parents and children. There are those siblings out there who quarrel all their lives and end up living as far away from each other as possible. But we Rennas—we quarrel but still stick together. As life has changed, our careers have transformed. In 2016, Donna and I finally moved to Douglas Elliman. Rosemary was the last to join in on all the fun, forgoing her trip to visit her properties in Italy to help get The Douglas Team organized. The four of us Rennas literally have our offices on the same floor—Donna, Rosemary and I, continuing as The Douglas Team from when Jonathan and I were working together and how we are known to our longtime customers, and Alfred who is an executive manager of Elliman. It was one of the requests I made to Howard, that our office was near Alfred’s, and he agreed. Laughing and having fun are keys to balanced and healthy working relationships, especially for us, as we spend most of the workweek together in the city, marketing real estate, and then spend weekends together in the Hamptons, purchasing, building, and deco- rating our own real estate. We work hard, but at least once a day, after hours, Donna, Rosemary, or I might say, “Let’s take a design break.” It’s our version of going outside for a cigarette. One of us will pull up a fabulous coffee table we’ve been considering, and we’ll crowd around their computer screen for a look and design input. At rare moments, Alfred pops into our office to show us a photo of the latest lamps he’s bidding on from Chairish.com.

We get lots of visitors to our office, friends and colleagues who just like to visit. At business events, it’s kind of like being quadruplets, as we four siblings stick together, work together, and laugh together. And we also have our many “adopted” siblings, those friends who love to laugh, are supportive, and know the powerful allure of all things real estate and family, not necessarily in that order!

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