Nancy Nagy's leadership mantra is to genuinely care, then ‘it’s pretty hard to fail.’
Premier Sotheby’s International Realty recently named Nancy Nagy president of the $5-billion brokerage headquartered in Naples. Most recently CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices Chicago, Nagy has three decades of experience in the real estate industry and has served on the National Association of Realtors board.
Over the course of her career, Nagy has achieved recognitions including a spot on the 2019 Swanepoel Power 200, a ranking of the top leaders in the residential real estate industry. At Premier Sotheby’s, Nagy, whose family has had a home in Naples for 45 years, will lead all sales operations. She succeeds Budge Huskey, named CEO in January.
An affiliate in the Sotheby’s International Realty network and the 34th largest real estate company in the country, Premier Sotheby’s International Realty has more than 1,100 associates and employees in 40 locations throughout Florida and North Carolina. It did $128.78 million in revenue in 2018.
Q. Why did you take on this position at Premier Sotheby’s International Realty?
I have spent the last 30 years running real estate and large title and insurance companies in Chicago and was just looking for a change. And I wanted to get out of the cold weather! Thirty years is a long time to be in one place. Budge found out I was available, and he called me, and I just thought he was fantastic. I’m excited about the markets Premier Sotheby’s International Realty covers. This company is comparable to my former company in terms of the number of agents and volume, and it just felt very comfortable.
Q. What are some of your goals in this new role?
The first thing I need to do is get out there and understand the legacy and the culture and community. The company is already beautifully run. I’m getting to know the different department heads, and it’s a very talented group. They don’t need me to fix them. What I can do is bring my experience of helping to develop agents and branch managers and offices, so they can take it to the next level.
Q. What are some of the strengths of Premier Sotheby’s International Realty brand?
Its legacy, its reputation and its understanding of the luxury market. I love the Sotheby’s brand. I’ve had to compete against it in the past, and I’m glad I don’t have to compete against it anymore!
Q. What is your take on the Naples real estate market as you make your entry into it?
There are definitely fewer challenges in this area than there are in most of the areas in the country. Over the years I’ve been in a lot of different CEO and real estate groups, and everyone has always been very envious of the people running companies down here because they never seem to be having some of the same downturns and setbacks we have observed more in the Midwest. I think the weather and the beauty of the area make it a little more recession-proof than what I’m used to.
I’m just starting to understand the inventory here, and it seems like there are some inventory shortages here that we don’t currently have in the Midwest.
Q. What kinds of skills or techniques that you developed over your time in Chicago will you be able to apply in this part of the country, and what do you think you’ll have to do differently?
It’s definitely interesting to look at the sort of curve of when properties sell down here. It’s almost opposite to ours in the Midwest. We typically had a real slowdown at the end of the year, and our spring market didn’t start until well after the Super Bowl. Here you have a very busy active selling season during that time, and that is definitely a switch from what I’m used to.
The most important thing I have to do is understand the communities and the people. There are always quite a few differences between different communities, and that to me is the biggest challenge, to get into each one and get to know the leadership and understand the community.
Q. Are there any philosophies or adages you follow when it comes to working in real estate?
I would say respect. Respect for a community, a culture, and I think respect for individuals. People can tell. If you listen to them, and you genuinely care and want to help them, it’s pretty hard to fail.