What they’re reading now

Insights from the desks of </br>Aleksandra Scepanovic, </br>Doug Williford, Michael Weiser

Aleksandra Scepanovic

Managing Director, Ideal Properties Group

What are you reading right now, or what did you finish most recently?

I just finished “Stuff Hipsters Hate” by Brenna Ehrlich and Andrea Bartz, and now I’m reading “The Culture Code” by Clotaire Rapaille.

What spurred you to read “The Culture Code?”

I am always on a quest to gain deeper insight into what makes us do what we do. Rapaille’s idea of cultural codes particular to specific nations is an intriguing one, especially to a reader coming from Eastern Europe and doing business in NYC.

Has anything else you read in it stuck with you? Would you recommend it?

The part where Rapaille compares American culture to adolescence particularly resonated. He proposes that American culture exhibits “many of the traits consistent with adolescence: intense focus on the ‘now,’ dramatic mood swings, a constant need for exploration and challenge to authority, a fascination with extremes, openness to change and reinvention, and a strong belief that mistakes warrant second chances.” In that one paragraph, I could very easily see my family members, friends, partners, team members and clients. American culture — and its differences from the world I’ve known growing up — never ceases to amaze me.

Doug Williford

Director of Sales, Warburg Realty

What are you reading right now?

I’m currently reading “Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior” by Ori Brafman and Rom Brafman. It’s a bit nerdy, but it’s a great look at how, even when intelligent, rational people are armed with complete information, we will rely on emotion or random choices to make decisions. It affects everything from where to eat lunch to how to invest our money (or buy real estate).

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What spurred you to read this book?

I’m usually a fiction reader, but I’m fascinated by human behavior and what drives and motivates us.

Has anything in it stuck with you?

In real estate purchases, we see buyers who are very specific about their price and their list of “must haves.” They do all of their homework and run all of their comps, only to see them fly out the window the second they see the view from the terrace or step into the perfect gourmet kitchen. Our rational side does the research, but our irrational side often makes the decision. It can only benefit us — and our customers — to understand this disconnect.

Michael Weiser

President, GFI Realty

What are you reading right now?

I’m reading “What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast” by Laura Vanderkam.

What spurred you to read that book?

I saw a pop up ad on-line for it.

Has anything in it stuck with you?

Do not start your day by responding to emails. We all wake up and our minds start making to-do lists for the day. Very often we will have new ideas we would like to attempt to launch. If you wake up, grab your smart phone and start reading emails that came in while you were sleeping, you will no doubt be spending quite some time reading and, of course (because we are all human), responding. By the time you are done, you have lost the edge and the day has started. Not only has a fair amount of time elapsed, but you are now in work mode or possibly defense mode. Instead, grab your smart phone and send emails to your team members and associates with your ideas, suggestions, initiatives and to-do lists (play some offense and try and score some points). This may take you a few minutes, but no need to worry. When you are done, those emails you haven’t read and replied to will still be there waiting for your reply. While you are now responding and dealing with someone else’s needs, others are working on yours.

Compiled by Ariel Stulberg