He is the Executive Vice President of Gibson Sothebys and among the elite real estate brokers in Boston having closed more than $100m in sales volume in just the first three quarters of 2016 alone. Whether it be a $5m Millennium Tower condo sale, a $7m estate sale in Brookline, or a $20m commercial sale, his massive sales volume is comprised of just a handful of deals and he prefers to keep it that way. He has become the confidant of many of the city's biggest players and moves easily in the city's top social circles. He often finds himself sharing seats on private jets or homes in luxury retreats as a guest of his many influential clients. But, Michael Carucci's story is not one of a silver spoon childhood, seamlessly blending into a world of affluence but rather a story of self-determination from a youth spent on welfare and in subsidized housing projects. This is a story of Michael Carucci, a person who found his own route to the American dream.
Carucci's rise to the rarefied circle of top brokers in Boston was by no means linear. Beyond the normal struggles associated with success, Carucci has had to fight his own demons from his past which has occasionally led him to associate with the wrong people and make the wrong decisions. Having been brought up in a world where might was right and shooting straight was seldom viewed as a past success, Carucci's biggest accomplishment has been to rethink the world and how he relates to it.
I recently sat down with Boston's best agent to find out his advice on creating a personal brand, building relationships with the affluent, creating a legacy, and bouncing back. Here's the real deal with Michael Carucci:
Relationships: Michael says that he learned a long time ago that he's not in the real estate business, although that's where he earns his living. Rather, he's in the relationships business. He explained that real estate is simply a commodity, and for him, he considers his transactions to be a score card of his success as a relationship builder. He says that he spends all day every day, creating relationships with people. He doesn't have clients, he has friends. He says the difference is that friends trust you, believe in you, and are invested in your success.Michael believes that the byproduct of close family-like friendships with a handful of people is immense trust, and that trust results in business.
Falling Greatly: Roger Crawford once said, "Being challenged in life is inevitable, being defeated is optional." Carucci says that the success he enjoys today as a top real estate agent in Boston, could not have been possible without the struggle. He admits to running with the wrong crowds at a young age. Early in his real estate buisness, he got mixed up with a real estate client that almost cost him his career. There were many years where everything went against him and where every single day was a challenge. Carucci says he's extremely thankful for the hardship he went though and when people still ask him about those very public times, he candidly talks about them. Michael says that although there were very difficult times in his life, where just getting out of bed was a chore, those times taught him mental toughness, resiliency, and the determination to win. He says he learned to block out naysayers, and to believe in himself. He learned to keep his circle very small, and to trust and confide only in the few who believed in him. Carucci says that those hard times have contributed to much of his success today. He says that what he's learned from spending so much time with CEOs and industry tycoons, is that they all went through massive hardship to get to the top, and the struggles they face are a badge of courage they all now wear bravely. He says that the friendships and bonds he has with friends and business associates are stronger because if there's one thing they've all been through and understand, it is overcoming adversity. Carucci's advice for those going through tough times, is to keep getting up, putting one foot in front of another, and never allowing defeat. And for those who have been through struggle and huge obstacles, he recommends being transparent with people about the journey, because that's what makes you amazing.
Legacy: Michael says that legacy, for him, has nothing to do with real estate or his close friendships, but rather with his family, which includes his three kids and his ex-wife, Darlene, who he very much still cares for and considers family. I've known Michael for some time, and when I receive a text from him, there's a good chance there's a profoundness to it. One evening, out of the blue, I received a text from Michael of a picture of he and his adult daughter, Micaela. at the Boston Ballet. The text said something to the effect, "When I look at my daughter I see so much hope, beauty, and greatness in the world." Once you get to know Michael, he enjoys opening up and talking about all three kids. Michael was excited to send Savannah, his youngest, on a European trip over the summer so that she could explore art, culture, and the world from a different perspective. He could spend hours talking about his son who is building his own business in Colorado. Michael says that there's only so many days we each have on this earth, and so, for him, building a legacy is about giving the next generation the opportunities, tools, motivation, and push to go make the world a better place.
It's Not Just an Affluent Thing: What is intriguing about Michael is that he's a true rags to riches story where the beginning of his life was spent in the projects, and where today he spends much of his time building close relationships with the most affluent power players in Boston, NYC, and Miami. And if this were just any interview, that's all we would know. However, those that know Michael best have come to understand that what makes him extraordinary is that those deep rooted friendships extend way past people of affluence and influence, to the doormen, the housekeepers, and the everyday people who work behind the scenes to make each city great. I witnessed this first hand at a dinner party he hosted at his home. One of Michael's guests brought flowers, and he didn't have a vase so he called concierge. One of the Four Season's guest service team members brought a vase up to his condo, where he commented that the food smelled delicious. Michael, who knew the team member by name, promised to be down later with plates made for the concierge team. And that's what makes Michael unusually rare. What he's known for is the strong relationships he has with the affluent, because that's the part of him that everyone sees when they open the society pages of The Boston Globe, Boston Common Magazine, or Boston Magazine. What most don't see, is the Michael Carucci who will make a plate of food for the doorman, or the Michael Carucci who will spend a few minutes talking to the hotel housekeeper about her day, or the one who will insist that the waitress at his favorite restaurant try a bite of his dessert (I've witnessed this too). What's uncommon about Michael Carucci, is that he treats everyone he meets like they are the real deal...and that's what makes him the real deal too.