Barbara Corcoran doesn’t shy away from sharing the secrets of how she built her business — or how she nearly missed out on building it at all.
In an Instagram video posted on Wednesday, Corcoran spilled about the early days of her career and how she almost didn’t hire the woman who would end up her business partner, Esther Kaplan.
But after a not-so-great first impression, all it took was one look inside Kaplan’s purse to change her mind.
Corcoran told her one million Instagram followers that when she first started her company, she had “nothing to offer” and that good employees were “hard to come by.”
When Kaplan came in looking for a job, Corcoran noticed that she was quiet and softspoken, which was the opposite of what most successful real estate agents were at that time, she said.
Although Corcoran had “no intention of calling her,” Kaplan handed over her business card upon leaving, and that’s when Corcoran got a quick glimpse inside her purse.
“She had the tiniest tidiest filing system I ever saw, with partitions that were labeled all inside her purse. With a mind like that, I knew I wanted my business in her purse,” Corcoran said. “I opened a position for her on the spot and told her I was eager to take her under my wing and teach her everything she needed to know to sell.”
Two years later, the pair were running the Corcoran Group side by side, with Kaplan specializing in the backend logistics like finance, legal systems, and personnel while Corcoran worked on marketing, PR, sales, and everything on the front end.
Pamela Liebman took over from Kaplan and Corcoran as President and CEO of the Corcoran Group in 2000.
Many applauded Corcoran for her efforts and for putting trust in Kaplan.
“Amazing advice,” one wrote. “It’s important to find the missing puzzles to create the complete picture because we cannot be good at everything.”
“The ‘soft skills’ matter as much as knowing the industry,” another said.
Corcoran’s net worth as of Thursday afternoon was an estimated $100 million.