The Closing: Darcy Stacom

Apr.April 30, 2009 05:31 PM

Darcy Stacom got her start at Cushman & Wakefield, where her father, Matthew Stacom, is a veteran broker who was involved in developing and leasing the Sears Tower. Her late mother, Claire, became a Cushman & Wakefield broker after marrying her father, and her sister Tara Stacom is a top broker as well.

Darcy left Cushman & Wakefield in 2002 for competitor CB Richard Ellis, where she’s vice chairman in the Investment Properties Institutional Group and has since racked up $39.2 billion in advisory and sales transactions. In 2008, Stacom was named the firm’s number one investment sales professional after representing the seller of the General Motors Building, which fetched the highest price paid for a single office property. She also set records when she represented MetLife in the $5.4 billion sale of Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village in 2006. Nowadays, she’s busy marketing 70 Pine Street, the headquarters of troubled insurance giant AIG.

What is your full name?

Darcy Ann Stacom.

What is your date of birth?

November 24, 1959.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up primarily in Greenwich, Conn. I was born in New York and briefly lived in Ridgefield, but really pretty much Greenwich.

Where do you live now?

New York City in Midtown, in a rental building. [Stacom declined to give the exact address in part because of the publicity surrounding the AIG deal.] I’m the shoemaker with no shoes.

Have you always rented?

Yes. Every time we [Stacom and husband Chris Kraus, a managing director at Jones Lang LaSalle] thought we were going to buy, for some reason we decided not to. I love the location that I’m in. We’ve been there for over 20 years. I was only seven blocks from my office when we started to have kids. We’ve had different-sized apartments in the building: We started in a one-bedroom, went to a two-bedroom, then went to a three.

Are you in a rent-stabilized apartment?

No, we’re fair market. When the rent hit [a certain] level many moons ago, we just said, “OK, fair market.”

Do you have any other homes?

We have a home in Connecticut that we do own.

How long have you been married?

This is a big year for our family because we have been married 25 years, we’re both turning 50 and our two girls [Teal and Amber] are turning 13 and 16.

What are you doing to celebrate?

We are planning a big family vacation but are vacillating between Europe and South America.

How do you juggle a career with being a mom?

I think if I had stayed home I would have driven them crazy, so it was a good balance. You just prioritize. If you have to work from 9 p.m. to midnight to make up for the fact that you were gone from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., you do it. I’m proud of one thing: My daughters and I get along great. I can’t say I fight with my daughters.

Do you think it’s been good for them to see the success you’ve had in your career?

Sometimes they’re like, “OK, yeah, you sold that building,” but in general I’m hoping it will have been a good, positive influence. My mom worked and that was a good, positive influence on me. My dad was a little worried I was going to be ne’er-do-well of the family.

Why?

I was a bit of a slacker as a kid. If a class really appealed to me I did well; if a class didn’t appeal to me I didn’t do so well. But when I got to real estate, I loved it.

When did you start in real estate?

The first summer I worked in the Cushman & Wakefield mailroom, I was 14.

Was it difficult that there were so few women in the field when you started?

Actually, it was a very positive challenge. I’ve always been a non-conformist. I’ve never owned a business suit and I never will. It’s just not me. A lot of brokers use entertaining as a means of creating new relationships and establishing new clients. I just didn’t do that. I remember once being scheduled to play golf with [clients] and then they found out what my handicap was and they cancelled. I realized that socializing wasn’t going to get me anywhere.

If you’ve never owned a business suit, what’s your standard work outfit?

I’m just very eclectic in my dress. I’m sitting here today in a hot-pink top over a long black skirt and wedge heels and earrings that come down to my shoulders. You never know; it’s whatever I feel like in the morning.

You come from a family of brokers. What was the dinner conversation like?

Growing up it was a lot of real estate a lot of the time. When dad sold the land for the Sears Tower that took up conversation for a very long time.

What’s your secret to winning a negotiation?

I only lose my temper once a deal. When I lose my temper, and I do have a temper, it is very clear that I’m adamant about what I’m speaking. There’s always some point in the transaction where somebody’s going to finally push the deal too far. You’ve got to be prepared to really take a stand and say, “Look, it’s now or never.”

Do you treat yourself to a big gift after closing a deal?

Usually I will pick some eclectic piece of clothing or a cool piece of costume jewelry and add to my collection. Early in our marriage my husband tried to buy me real jewelry. I said, “Can you just get me costume stuff?”

Why do you like the costume stuff?

Because you can buy more of it.


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