When things go wrong, you need to lighten up on yourself. Learn from your mistakes, but then let them go and forgive yourself.
For my series on strong female leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Nurit Coombe.
Nurit has been a licensed real estate agent since 2001. During that time, she has won countless awards and accolades. In 2014 she became the owner of Re/Max Elite Services and built her business over the next six years to become the #1 RE/MAX Team in the state of Maryland and the #1 Real Estate Team in Maryland and the Washington DC Area. When offered the opportunity to become a managing partner of The Agency with Co-Managing Partner Alex Martinez, Nurit jumped at the chance to be a part of this exciting, growing company that is redefining the business of real estate.
Nurit has built a reputation for offering precise market knowledge, delivering technological expertise, and bringing boundless energy and tactical negotiation skills to every aspect of her life. Her greatest joy is helping clients find their perfect home and becoming a part of their story. Much of her business comes from referrals — a testament to her level of client satisfaction.
Nurit is active in the local community and lives in North Bethesda with her husband Dave and their three children.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Born in Israel, I was a former soldier in the Israeli Army and have held various positions throughout my career, which has fostered my ability to think outside of the box in all facets of the job including marketing innovation, leadership style, and troubleshooting. After the military and a brief stint with the Israeli Embassy, I began working for RAFAEL, Israel’s largest defense technology company. Rising through the ranks over ten years, I became Director of Business Development at their US office in Washington DC. I was going to school at night and on weekends and earned my master’s degree in International Business Management at the University of Maryland. There I met my husband, Dave, and we got married.
While I had built up a successful career in the defense industry, 18 years ago I decided to change my career path and finally found my true passion — real estate. Over the last two decades, I’ve been recognized for countless real estate awards, including ranking as the number one real estate team (among all RE/MAX brokerages) in Montgomery County and North Bethesda and as the number six RE/MAX team in the country. In 2020, our award-winning RE/MAX team transitioned to become The Agency D.C. Metro, where I currently serve as Managing Partner.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Working as a real estate professional, you never know what the day will bring. One time I was showing a house to clients, and I felt something crawl up my leg. I yelped and started hopping around the room. I quickly ran into one of the bedrooms and looked to find a grasshopper. My clients and I had a good laugh and safely deposited the grasshopper outside. While embarrassing things can happen, one thing I’ve learned most is to always have a positive attitude, no matter what the situation may bring. On the bright side, the clients ended up buying the house. The grasshopper ended up being a good luck charm.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
My team is recognized for thinking outside-the-box, especially in terms of marketing real estate. We have a dedicated in-house marketing department who are experts in creative design, advertising, public relations, social media, partnerships and events. Through our team of experts, we provide our clients with new and exciting ways to showcase their properties. In addition to this, I host a national TV show, The American Dream, which highlights Washington DC’s culture, lifestyle, and real estate market. In today’s day and age, social media is crucial for success. We manage a number of social media accounts, both business and lifestyle, all aimed to provide informative content to our community. The Agency DC Metro strives to be more than just a real estate company. In addition to being authorities in the markets we serve, we are also very involved leaders in our community.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
I am always looking for new technology to apply within my personal and professional life. Innovation excites me and I think it is one of the unique qualities that makes The Agency stand out from competitors. We’ve been offering our clients cutting-edge digital solutions to market their homes, especially during COVID. From high-end video brochures to pre-programmed interactive Alexa “Open House Experience,” there is no limit when it comes to serving our clients.
Another really exciting project we launched since the rise of COVID is our series of virtual events. Given that we are limited when it comes to interacting in-person, our events aim to help us connect with our community and provide accessible entertainment from the comfort of one’s home. We’re always coming up with unique ideas and this is one of my favorite ways to stay connected with clients, family and friends, especially during these times. Our next event, called “Make 2021 Magical,” offers a free evening of magic and fun as America’s Got Talent magician, Chris Michael, “virtually” amazes with new tricks and illusions!
What advice would you give to other female leaders to help their team to thrive?
Surround yourself with an amazing team! I have developed a very detailed interview process for members who join our team at The Agency DC Metro. This process has been carefully curated to ensure this is the right fit for both my team and the candidate themselves. Once you get through the interview and are hired, you are practically adopted. No matter what you do in life, I always recommend surrounding yourself with intelligent, committed, and driven individuals. Above all, character is most important. My team and I will do so anything for each other and we truly treat each other like family. We believe in each other and will do whatever it takes to help our clients through one of the most challenging transitions of their life. Thanks to our close-knit bond, our clients even become part of our “family” too.
What advice would you give to other female leaders about the best way to manage a large team?
I think it’s important to treat every person as a vital member of the team. I go out of my way to make sure they each feel that way. I don’t want anyone to feel less important because we are all in this journey together. I also believe in leading by example. I would never ask anyone on my team to do something that I wouldn’t do myself. Finally, I am always accessible, and my door is always open. My team knows that I will always be there for them, and I know they will always be there for me. Following these principles help me manage a large team and I recommend other female leaders abide by these expectations for ultimate success.
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?
That person would be my commander in the Israeli military. He promoted me to command a war room in the Sinai Desert. At the age of 18, I was able to take charge and accept a large amount of responsibility. He believed in my ability to think quickly and make firm decisions under pressure. He believed in me and I rose to the challenge. It made me who I am today.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I love being active in the local community. I serve on several different boards such as the Israel American Council, the community neighborhood association, and the Red Cross. I am also very involved with Larger Than Life, which helps families who have a child with cancer. We donate a portion of every one of our closings to this organization. The Adel Fund is another local organization I support, which helps families in financial need. Giving back is so important to me.
Additionally, at the rise of COVID-19 last year, I set out to find other ways I could help. Maryland REALTORS recognized me for my team’s efforts in supporting the local community in fighting the coronavirus pandemic. Some of the activities we were involved in included supplying N95 masks and surgical masks to over 3,000 people in need, delivering pizzas to front line workers at local grocery stores and the sanitation department, sponsoring rounds of Zoom Bingo, hosting a Zoom series of talks called “Coffee & Conversations,” and publishing a weekly newsletter, Silver Linings, which is filled with information about making social distancing a more positive experience. I believe that sharing positivity and your own good fortune is one of the best ways to make a difference in the world.
What are your “5 Leadership Lessons I Learned From My Experience” and why. (Please share a story or example for each.)
5 Leadership Lessons I Learned from My Experience
- Giving is more rewarding than anything. Our company culture is centered on giving. For example, we all give a portion of our commissions to a charity, Larger Than Life, because it’s the right thing to do. We give our time as volunteers. We give to our local community whenever we see a need, like our efforts during COVID-19. The bottom line, life isn’t about money — it’s about being helpful and a good person.
- As a leader, there is a fine line between demanding excellence and pushing too hard. I demand a lot of myself and a lot of the people who work for me. I try to create a culture where we always strive to be better. I’m learning every day how to demand excellence without being unrealistic or stressing the organization too much. It’s a balance I am always trying to find. You have to figure out what is achievable and then go for it.
- Recognize your success as a function of those that work with you. Everything I have achieved, I didn’t do on my own. It’s a team effort, and the people who work with me are as much responsible for my success as I am. I couldn’t do it without them. I make an effort to let them know that every single day.
- Sometimes you have to make the tough call. Keeping a team’s unity and culture together requires tough decisions. Synergy proves true; a team is more capable than a collection of individuals. Money isn’t as important as the culture of the organization.
- It’s okay to make a mistake. None of us are perfect. We all have mishaps and bad judgment calls. When things go wrong, you need to lighten up on yourself. Learn from your mistakes, but then let them go and forgive yourself.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Every day is a brand new beautiful day! I say this to myself every morning. I truly do. What happened yesterday is over, and there is only the bright future to look forward to. I see every day as an opportunity to better myself and the people around me.
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them :-)
I would love to meet with Elon Musk. I love technology and I think he is a true innovator. Technology has the ability to change our lives and to change the world. Elon Musk has changed the way we drive cars. He is not afraid to take risks. From his endeavors into space to his involvement with Bitcoin, his vision will have a huge effect on our future. Musk’s implementation of strategies and development are groundbreaking. He is always looking forward and I would love to talk to him about how he sees our future and how he is going to change it.
How can our readers connect with you on social media?
@TeamNurit, @TheAgency_DC, @NorthBethesdaLifestyle