I ask Dickerson about this tough side of real estate, but she brushes it off: “I say, it’s a waiting game and there’s always something for someone.” Maybe she’s just good at managing expectations? “I guess that’s it,” she says.
Anyway, who has time to be introspective when quarterbacks and supermodels are waiting? That’s who Dickerson says she’s headed to see after she drops me off, though when asked about it later, she goes mum. (Another Sotheby’s agent, Allison Mazer, was later reported as the listing agent for Mr. and Mrs. QB’s $10.5 million Beacon Street townhouse.) When I ask about where she’d place her most high-profile clients, Dickerson mentions the hot property of the moment, the Mandarin, but notes that the surrounding buildings look right into it. The suburbs are, well, the suburbs, although they’re always an option if her clients don’t find something downtown that works. See, Dickerson always has to consider every angle. If she didn’t, you-know-who would be waiting in the wings.
TRACY CAMPION double-parks on Columbus Avenue. She leaves the car running while we dash across the street so she can show me the Bryant’s new and improved lobby. She greets the concierge and he gives her a conspiratorial smile; they both know that keeping Boston’s values stratospheric, keeping the richest of the rich happy, is a team sport. Later, as we sprint through yet another phenomenally expensive development that’s under construction, I find myself silently envying the couple that can afford a two-story walk-in closet.
Tracy reads my mind. “Remember that poem in my office?” she asks. “That’s why I made you read it.” She’s referring to Edwin Arlington Robinson’s “Richard Cory,” which is taped to her door. The subject, Cory, is the most elegant and wealthy man in town, so refined and genteel that everyone wants what he has. “So on we worked, and waited for the light,” the poem reads, “And went without the meat, and cursed the bread / And Richard Cory, one calm summer night / Went home and put a bullet through his head.” All along, I’d assumed Campion thought of herself as Richard Cory. Not so, it turns out. In her interpretation of things, it’s her wealthy and ambitious clients who, collectively, are Cory.
Though she makes millions each year, Campion says she still thinks of herself as the waitress, the seller, the peddler. “To be good at this,” she says, “you had to have had a hard life. I walk up the three flights of back stairs to the office every day so I don’t forget where I came from.” Being raised tough gives her a certain amount of empathy, she says, and the ability to bounce back. To be Number One, Campion explains, you’ve got to work hard, really hard, and she can’t tell me this often enough. She’s a tough broad, in other words, but she’s only as good as her last sale. “Money doesn’t necessarily make you happy,” she tells me with a knowing look. But I have my doubts. Standing in this enormous multimillion-dollar condo with the 14-foot-high ceilings and apartment-size master bath, I’m certain I could be content. Then again, Campion works hard day and night to make clients feel just like I do right now. Happiness, after all, is part of the sell.
Below: Sold! Tracy Campion’s Real Estate Triumphs.