While family businesses are common in many different industries, they’re especially advantageous in residential real estate. No one knows this better than The Jills, a Miami-based Coldwell Banker team that consists of both Jills, one’s son & daughter and the other’s sister. Together, the group of five is more powerful and cohesive than any other team in Florida, arguably because they’re family.
Jill Hertzberg has been working in real estate for the past 25 years and Jill Eber has been in the industry for the last 30. They met each other while working at the same luxury real estate boutique firm, located a convenient 5 minutes away from each of their homes. “We were assigned to share a desk together, and as we both got busier and busier, we began asking each other for help and the results were always positive,” says Jill Eber. Once the sparks flew, it wasn’t long before they both realized that they had undeniable chemistry. Eventually, they decided to branch out on their own and went with the name that they had been called at the office for years, The Jills®.
Two years passed before Felise Eber, Jill Eber’s sister, joined the power couple and together they formed an even stronger trio. Felise had an extensive knowledge of the local market, enabling her to guide her clients in the right direction. It wasn’t until 2009 that Danny Hertzberg, Jill Hertzberg’s son, finished his J.D./M.B.A. at the University of Miami and decided to join the group, adding substantial technological experience to the mix. By 2011, Hillary Hertzberg, Jill Hertzberg’s daughter, moved back to Miami from New York City where she worked in digital media and online advertising for Comcast/NBC upon graduating from Washington University in St. Louis. She was the youngest addition to The Jills team and brought creative, fresh new ideas.
As the family team evolved, it only gained strength in numbers, especially since each and every person brought a diverse skill set to the table. By the time Hertzberg’s son & daughter joined, both Jills and Felise were seasoned veterans of the industry and had carved a unique niche in the residential real estate market: luxury single-family homes and condos. The Jills have consistently dominated the market since their inception, especially the last four consecutive years as they’ve been named the #1 real estate team in Florida by the Wall Street Journal and Coldwell Banker’s #1 team worldwide. They’re passion and dedication to fulfill the needs of their clients is unparalleled, earning them the trust of many respected members of the community and celebrities alike.
Aside from learning numerous top-notch customer service strategies from their predecessors, Danny and Hillary Hertzberg, aptly named the Second Generation Selling™, have really taken charge of the team’s digital marketing, focusing on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, as well as blog posts and illustrative websites, to advertise their brand and listings. “We’ve received multiple leads through these platforms and we’re constantly reading and researching new ways to improve on all digital fronts,” says Danny. Hillary and Danny both earned their own stripes in the industry through the use of innovative techniques, professional demeanor, and outstanding service to their clients.
As a close-knit family unit, The Jills team makes a point to meet every Wednesday afternoon and discuss all matters pertinent to the business. This time set aside for weekly ‘Family Meeting’ is critical, as it’s uncommon to get all five members of the team together at once. When asked what their secret to success is, Jill Herzberg responded, “Family does it for us. There will always be different ways to do things and we really sit and talk everything through,” adding, “when we disagree, we exercise patience and understanding. Like any relationship, you have to give in order to get and let other people be in charge sometimes.” Mutual respect is an imperative factor in making any business work and is a big part of what allows The Jills to communicate so well.
Family businesses that are built on trust and teamwork are much more likely to be successful than those lacking such fundamentals. Furthermore, collaboration excels when everyone is genuinely invested in the collective wellbeing of the individuals and the company alike. “We all know that we have the best interest for each other and the business at heart,” says Hillary Hertzberg. However, even the best family relationships aren’t impervious to the obstacles of work tension. In order to regularly reinforce strong relationships amongst themselves, The Jills families frequently have dinner together and the Hertzbergs take a family vacation to Colorado every summer where they hike and spend quality time with one another.
Family businesses, particularly those that involve significant interpersonal interaction such a real estate, struggle in separating work from personal lives, tending to view both facets as one. This isn’t always a bad thing, however, and it’s completely normal for the Hertzbergs when Danny and Hillary refer to Jill as, “mom.” Nonetheless, they do try their best to keep some form of distance between both aspects of life. “We try very hard to totally disconnect, but the nature of the business is intertwined,” says Jill Hertzberg. The Jills team does make an effort to make time for personal matters, such as exercising and socializing with friends, but genuinely enjoys spending time with family. Doing what they love with whom they love is what makes The Jills real estate family business so enjoyable and successful across generations!