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real estate

Superstar Agent Shines in Darien, New Canaan

Not many reach the coveted Diamond Superstar Level. But in 2010, Rachel Walsh , a real estate agent with William Pitt Sotheby’s International , did just that. She was the third top producer among 1,100 agents companywide for dollar volume as well as the top producer in her Darien office.

"My reputation is my brand," she says. This kind of success doesn’t come without hard work and determination. Rachel got her first job when she was 13. “I always wanted to work,” she says. “My mom was a history professor and a great role model. I loved animals and thought I wanted to be a veterinarian.”

She also loved hotels. When it came time to pick a career, she sent out resumes, landing a plumb job as an assistant manager at the Park Lane Hotel in New York. Owner Harry Helmsley was lovely, she says, but his wife Leona didn’t like women. “She called down for the duty manager one day,” Rachel says. “When I answered the phone, she told me I couldn’t possibly be the manager because I was a woman!”

Dealing with the likes of Leona — as well as TV personalities and politicians — gave Rachel the confidence to move easily among the CEOs, international clients and Wall Street professionals she works with today. “Real estate is a great equalizer,” she says. “I learn something new from every single transaction.” Managing details and expectations is one of the keys to her success. Because she is a self-described “control freak,” Rachel handles every aspect of her real estate transactions herself.

Rachel likes "to think out of the box," especially when it comes to marketing the high-end properties that are her niche. For example, a $6 million home in New Canaan was recently showcased to the public at an evening event with food and wine and more than 250 guests. Rachel had seven interior designers as well as the builder on hand, so potential buyers could learn about the house and get decorating ideas from the pros.

Rachel has another secret weapon, one that makes it possible for her to devote seven days a week to her clients: her husband, Peter. “He’s always been very supportive of my career. He'd help out with the kids when they were little,” she says. “And he’s still my biggest fan.”

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