Doris Jacobs wearing a Chanel jacket that I want. Wait, left corner, is that Derrill Osbourne?
Anytime you see someone with good hair, a fan-cee wardrobe, and a freshly-washed car, you can reasonably bet it’s a real estate agent. But a few weeks back, at a lunch at the Marqee Grill And Bar
in Highland Park Village with Doris Jacobs, I was impressed — and not just with her Chanel jacket. Doris and I had exchanged only forgettable small talk over the years. Not on this day. Demure, but pointed, the woman had a thousand-and-one questions about social media; speaking like a digital native, she posited intelligently the pros and cons of tweeting; mulled over Facebook strategy; and solicited feedback about her new website. (See it here.
) In fact, I am pretty sure tech talk is why we having lunch, even though I tried to steer her toward to my usual ruthless line of questioning.
Q. I am totally obsessed with your Chanel jacket. May I have it?
Doris: No, but you may borrow it. I had my eye on it all season and leaped for it when it was marked down, and down, and down.
Q. You know every great house in the city. How did you select yours?
Doris: I always look at the architecture first. Mine is an early Fooshee and Cheek design (architects who produced Highland Park Village among dozens of other houses) but the rookwood tile in the sunroom had been covered up with yellow shag carpet; the leaded glass and natural wood doors had been obscured over years of neglect; the garden was completely overgrown, very Grey Gardens. We reworked all of the landscaping, and now it is a joy to walk up to every morning. (Ed.note: Found out last week that her house is now for sale.)(UPDATE: Ed. Note: Wrong! Not for sale! Never believe a journalist!)
Q. Is it wishful thinking or are house sales picking up in velocity? The spec house on Beverly behind mine has sold, and it had been on the market for more than a year. Sign of something, or serendipity?
Doris: It’s the market. And these recent sales have created an inventory so low it is alarming. With spring upon us, all of us need to build inventories in all categories. People have been stymied with the slowdown in the economy and are hesitant to put their properties on the market. Prices are rising due to simple lack of supply and the increasing demand. I am encouraging people who want to move to contact us, so we can make a plan. I have a lot of pent-up demand for homes not currently on the market. The product is simply not there.
Q. You are high profile, but my take is that you are really private. True? What would surprise me to know about you?
Doris (laughing): Actually I am very “out there.” Jack (her husband) says I talk too much telling everyone everything so there really are no secrets in my life, except perhaps for the fact that deep down, I am shy.