Friday, December 19, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

No time for retirement: Two Florida real estate agent selling homes into their 90s

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — At 91 years old, real estate agent Claire Abrams has a time-tested strategy for selling homes.

“I take customers out on the golf course,” Abrams said, “and if you don’t beat them too badly, you might sell them a house.”

Woody Gorbach, a year younger than Abrams, also sells real estate full-time, mostly in south Palm Beach, Fla. He tried retiring once, in 1998, at age 74. It wasn’t for him.

Even in an era when people work well past the traditional retirement age of 65, Abrams and Gorbach remain exceptional. And they work for the same company, Lang Realty, though in separate offices.

They insist they don’t need the money; they keep working for the thrill of the deal.

“I love the action,” Gorbach said.

Married for 60 years, Gorbach is an Army veteran who served in World War II and spent most of his 60-year real estate career in Bridgeport, Conn., where he primarily was a mortgage broker.

Here, he focuses on condominiums up to $500,000 along South Ocean Boulevard. His son, Donald, a senior broker associate for Lang Realty in the same Manalapan, Fla., office, said his father handles 10 to 12 sales a year.

Gorbach concedes that many buyers and sellers want to work with younger agents who are savvy with social media and electronic transactions. But experience and personality still count for something, he said.

“I can give them everything youth can give them – even more,” Gorbach said, sitting in his office wearing a blue-and-white-pinstriped shirt, tan slacks and loafers without socks. “I love people. I don’t feel 90.”

Gorbach and Abrams had never met until this week. Abrams and her business partner, Suzanne Block, sold about three dozen homes last year, mostly at Delaire Country Club in Delray Beach, Fla., where both live. Abrams has sold so many in the 324-home community that some joke the club should be renamed DelClaire.

She grew up in Toronto and moved to Florida in 1988. Her most memorable transactions were in Scarsdale, N.Y., in the 1970s, when she sold homes to several New York Rangers hockey players – and ended up attending hockey games for free.

Her best year ever: 1995, when she earned more than $1 million in commissions while working for Coldwell Banker.

A widow with two children and four granddaughters, Abrams stands only 4 feet 9, but it’s best not to underestimate her. She once rattled off a phone number from memory that Block had given her six weeks before.

“Real estate flows through her veins like water,” said Block, 53. “If you think she’s just this little old lady, watch out.”

Freddie Molson, a competing agent at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty, said some brokers brazenly try to recruit his clients right in front of him. Not Abrams.

“I think she’s the type of agent that other agents should aspire to be,” he said.

Dan Lambert is part of an investment group that has worked with Gorbach on about 10 deals over the past decade. Next week, Lambert is scheduled to close on the sale of his mother’s condo, and Gorbach is his agent for that, too.

“I didn’t even know he was 90,” said Lambert, 52. “It’s a non-issue.”

Neither Abrams nor Gorbach intends to call it a career anytime soon. Abrams might get indignant if you even mention it.

“Are you kidding?” she said. “If I retired, it would be the end of me. I really believe real estate is what’s keeping me alive.”

Mcclatchy-Tribune News Service

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • RetirementLiving (@RetirementSite)May 08, 2014 - 6:55 am

    Some people will never retire because work is their life or because they can not afford to retire. Others find that they can redefine themselves in retirement. There are several great guest posts on the site Retirement And Good Living by recent retirees who are now sailing full time, RVing across the US, backpacking across the globe, biking in Europe, volunteering with the Peace Corps and more. It gives you a good perspective of the possibilities.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

 
Sondheim’s ‘Woods’ holiday showcase for Missouri Street Theatre

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Groundbreakings, ribbon-cuttings play role in civic life

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

Frankye Kelly ready to spread holiday cheer

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Celebrate the magic of Christmas

By Tony Wade | From Page: A2, 2 Comments

 
Santas have busy week at schools

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

 
Safe streets task force work nets 3

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3, 2 Comments

 
 
Solano College approves officers, meeting schedule

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A4

Longtime Suisun harbor master to retire

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A4

 
 
Fairfield police log: Dec. 17, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Dec. 17, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

Police arrest 2nd suspect in Fairfield credit union robbery

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A12 | Gallery

 
.

US / World

Spy’s parents search for son after Cuba-US deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Hope and some fear in Cuba amid thaw with US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Next steps on Cuba: Normalizing could take awhile

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Sony hacking fallout puts all companies on alert

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Sony film took aim at North Korea’s biggest taboo

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1, 3 Comments

 
Timeline of the Sony Pictures Entertainment hack

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

Digital dilemma: How will US respond to Sony hack?

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
 
Local emergencies in Northern California counties after rain

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

California’s top utility regulator defends record

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
‘Pretty horrible’ scene; car slams into crowd

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Police: Drunk man shot while entering wrong house

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 4 Comments

Tsarnaev appears in court for 1st time since 2013

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
President signs legislation ending Nazi benefit checks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

2 states challenge Colorado marijuana legalization

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8, 3 Comments

 
‘Prison Houdini’ set to make his 1st legal escape

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Top Islamic militants killed; more US troops going to Iraq

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
Feds sue NYC over Rikers Island jail violence

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Russian sailors leaving France without warship

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

 
Putin: West wants to defang, declaw Russian bear

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

European court rules obesity can be a disability

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

 
Suspected Islamic extremists kidnap 185 in Nigeria

By The Associated Press | From Page: A13, 2 Comments

.

Opinion

Another look at school bonds

By George Guynn Jr. | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

 
Editorial Cartoon: Dec. 19, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

News of the day strikes a chord

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: A11, 10 Comments

 
 
.

Living

Today in History: Dec. 19, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 1 Comment

 
Community Calendar: Dec. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: Dec. 19, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: D8

 
Should I use Child Protective Services threat to get back rent?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: D8

.

Entertainment

Week in preview Dec. 19-25, 2014

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B1

 
Sweet ‘Night at the Museum’ bids farewell to Robin Williams

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Craig Ferguson to end 10 years as host of ‘Late Late Show’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Eric Idle brings ‘Not the Messiah’ to Carnegie Hall

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Entertainment calendar Dec. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: B4

.

Sports

A’s trade All-Star catcher Derek Norris to Padres

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Warriors beat Thunder 114-109 after Durant injury

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
A’s acquire lefty De La Rosa from Arizona for cash

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

Raiders defense depleted by injuries

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
49ers’ Harbaugh mum on reported offer from Michigan

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

49ers’ Aldon Smith hopes to build off tough year

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Column: Thaw in US-Cuba relations warms up MLB

By Jim Litke | From Page: B8

Rivera: Newton ‘probably’ will start vs. Browns

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Bears bench QB Jay Cutler for Clausen

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

‘Hands Up’ players to attend Ferguson Christmas party

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Celtics trade Rondo to Mavericks

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Rodriguez boys open Les Curry Tournament with victory

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B8

 
39 bowl games and a reason to watch every one

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Signups for Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B9

 
This date in sports history for Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

Sports on TV/Local sports for Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B11

 
.

Business

Roomiest Subaru Legacy debuts for 2015

By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1

 
Dow industrials have their best day in three years

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Ford expands drivers air bag recall nationwide

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Constantly changing online prices stump shoppers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

.

Obituaries

Lisa Dee McHughes

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Dominic C. Scolaro

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Ernest “Ernie” Moretti

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Travis Curt Price

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

Jennie Ponce Reyes

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Patricia “Pat” Anne Stringfield-Pierre

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics