Whenever an agent gets an offer accepted at True Home Partners at Coldwell Banker, the Cambridge-based team has a ritual, said founder and team leader Lisa Drapkin: Everyone dances to the song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams.
The numbers show that Drapkin and her agents must do a lot of dancing. Drapkin ranks in the top 1 percent of all individual Coldwell Banker agents in the Northeast and in 2017, her office was named Coldwell Banker’s fifth highest-producing sales team in New England.
Drapkin lists her team’s No. 5 ranking among the biggest accomplishments of her career. As for the other accomplishments that come to mind?
“I built this team by hand-picking each of the six agents and what’s notable about our team is that we are all committed to doing the right thing for our clients and we all really like each other,” she said. “We enjoy working together … We listen to each other’s woes, and we celebrate each other’s victories.”
These two accomplishments seem to highlight the yin and yang of Drapkin’s personality. She’s a standout performer in her industry who is always on call to get a deal done, but she still makes time to be there for her teammates – and to celebrate sales with an all-office dance break.
This balance is apparent to Tracy Bellavance, vice president and senior loan officer at Blue Hills Bank, who nominated Drapkin for a Women of FIRE award this year.
“Lisa is a true professional who runs her business like a business … She meets deadlines, she communicates effectively, and she delivers,” Bellavance said. “She holds herself and her partners to a standard that creates success.” But when Bellavance was asked to describe Drapkin, the first word that came to mind was “kind,” as she emphasized Drapkin’s commitment to helping others.
Drapkin got her first taste of the real estate business in the late 1980s when she worked a summer job doing rentals. “If anyone had said [then] that I’d still be [in real estate] now, I’d have said you were crazy,” Drapkin said with a laugh.
She did take an extended hiatus from real estate after that summer job. For years, Drapkin thought she would end up working for a nonprofit. Then, she made two important discoveries. First, that she enjoyed working in real estate, a career that offers her new challenges every day, and second, that she didn’t have to choose.
“I realized that with the flexibility that working in real estate gave me, and with the income I was able to generate … I had a better opportunity to help a lot of nonprofits by doing both,” she said.
Her work in nonprofits has proven just as impressive as her work in real estate. Drapkin spent nearly a decade working on the marriage equality movement with GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders and MassEquality. Her work not only helped to pave the way for marriage equality across the country, it also meant she and her wife, Debbie (a high-producing buyer’s agent on her team), were the 100th same-sex couple married in the U.S.
Drapkin currently serves on the board of directors at Just-A-Start, which helps to provide affordable housing and job training to low- and moderate-income residents in Cambridge and the surrounding areas. She also sells pies to benefit Community Servings, a nonprofit that delivers meals to people and families living with critical and chronic illnesses. Working with her True Home Partners teammates, as well as her Coldwell Banker office team, Drapkin said Pies with Benefits has been among Community Servings’ top pie sellers for over 10 years – in other words, just one more reason for Drapkin to keep doing “the happy dance.”