Should I work with a real estate team? What exactly is a real estate team? The concept of real estate teams is a relatively new one here on Long Island. For the uninitiated, a real estate team may best be understood as a group of agents who work together in a formal capacity to help property owners in the buying and selling process. The team members often bring distinct skill sets, passions and experience, offering clients some distinct advantages and opportunities.
Just over 25% of agents across the country work in teams, according to the National Association of Realtors, and no two teams are created exactly the same. Teams may be a duo or a quintet or have any other number of members, in addition to a variety of service offered and notions of very term “team” itself.
Nicholas Colombos and Angela Dooley, Long Island real estate team pioneers who continue to bring fresh approaches and new ideas to the Colombos-Dooley Team at Compass real estate—have been bringing their own definition to the concept since becoming the first Long Island team for Compass.
To see the two of them play off each other in conversation, one might think they’ve been working and training as a unit forever, planning a strategic partnership for decades together in the real estate ranks. The truth of their coming together is much simpler, although their connection might seem a bit fated.
“Truth be told, we live five houses from each other,” Dooley says with a chuckle.
Before establishing himself in the Long Island real estate market, Colombos honed his knowledge and marketing prowess in New York City, “then basically used it in Manhasset,” he says. “My family was in real estate for years. In the ’70s when Manhattan was crashing, my father purchased many buildings in and out of the city, in Queens and Manhattan, and that’s my background.”
“And my background is not in real estate,” Dooley notes. “I’m a CPA and interior designer turned real estate agent because of Nicholas and his passion for it.
“He was selling my home, and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I think I love real estate,’” she continues. “And Nicholas said, ‘Well, I need a partner—go get your real estate license and we can be partners.’”
The rest, as they say, is history. And future. Some six months after they united (then at Douglas Elliman, before moving to Compass in early 2020), they had grown four-fold into a formidable team of eight. “One of the only teams on Long Island at the time,” Colombos notes.
The Colombos-Dooley team includes Nick and Angela, of course, as well members whose backgrounds range from a financier and an attorney to a project engineer and a former teacher. It is precisely this diverse range of experience and the unique perspectives each brings that helps set the group apart. But an advantage of working with a team also means getting a whole that is greater than the individual parts.
“On a professional level, having a team has so many advantages,” Dooley says. “One being, when you have a listing, we never ever don’t have somebody from our team at that showing. We never miss a showing, ever. Never do we say, ‘Oh, we can’t accommodate that showing, let’s change it.’ No, you don’t do that ever in real estate. That one time that you don’t show, that could be the buyer.
“And sellers love to hear that, that you will always be at their showing, someone from your team will always be there to show,” she continues. “How do you think a homeowner feels when you can’t show their listing because you’re showing somebody else’s listing, or that you’re busy out to lunch? It doesn’t bode well. Having a team is the answer. And most sellers love a team.”
“Another huge advantage is the sphere of influence,” she adds. “When a homeowner interviews an individual, their sphere of influence could be, say, 100 people. When you hire a team like us and we have eight people, the sphere of influence becomes eight times as great, so we have a sphere of eight people who are going to put this out in the best light to everyone we know.”
The pros also extend to the team members themselves.
“There’s something to be said about camaraderie,” Dooley says. “It’s just so much more fun, with a team and a partner. You get to run things be each other, you get to have a laugh, you get to stress together, you get to have joy together.”
“We have a wonderful team,” Colombos says, the sincerity palpable. “We all get along, we share ideas, we share concepts, we sometimes share emotions. And having a partner like Angela is a lifesaving grace for me”
Indeed, they are members of a mutual admiration society.
“We have a good yin and yang,” says Dooley, whose interior design background as founder of Aliventi Designs and prior career as a CPA with Arthur Anderson inform both a hard-core financial savvy and a sense of style essential to the high-end luxury market.
“Nick is the best salesperson you’ll ever meet. My expertise is putting the deal together, figuring out and helping the finances—maybe we can change the deal this way or that way—reviewing the contract, making sure everything is perfect on the deal sheet. And then just having the team support us and enjoy doing what we do, it’s really very rewarding. We’re very, very blessed. I don’t know any other way to say it.”