A T.E.A.M. For All Seasons


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When I was young the meaning of a team was sports related like baseball, basketball or football teams competing against one another. As I matured I began to develop a keener sense of life and began to see the competition and the drive these teams had to win! I was a cheerleader (little known fact) in elementary school cheering on the CYO basketball teams with a resounding T-E-A-M…GO TEAM. Still thinking that the only meaning a team had referred to sports.

Fast forward to the post college business world and a team was a department in a corporate structure that needed to perform and meet a goal. This was similar to a sports team with a difference only in what the actions necessary were to get the desired results.

As my concept of team evolved, 19 years into my real estate career, the team concept began to resurface and yet a new meaning emerged. A team was now something I was a part of, a participant, a cog in a wheel of a well oiled machine.  Integral to its results, involved in every way, an initiator and an innovator. Team changed my mind.

Together Everyone Achieves More,

there is no I in team,

teamwork makes the dream work,

many hands make light work,

none of us is as smart as all of us,

a chain is only as strong as its weakest link,

in union there is strength,

All of these clichés, a true representation!

Real estate teams today are extremely important to any real estate business. A careful craft of collaborative talent drawn together to accomplish wonders. Sounds too idealistic, lofty, unreal? Challenging is what it is, a team is born. Much more strategy than I ever imagined, needing both my right and left brain, combining creativity and analytics, an architect and alchemist of sorts.

The burning questions are…should I join a team? should I start my own team? what are the benefits?  the disadvantages? how do I do it? is it the right move? Before you do, here are some tips from this 30 year industry vet and collaborator:

  • Know your strengths
  • Surround yourself with people who have talents that compliment your own
  • Determine the roles of each team member
  • Set expectations and intentions
  • Believe in your team members
  • Be selfless, open-minded, non-judgmental and authentic
  • Communicate regularly and contribute enthusiastically
  • Be engaged and genuine
  • Always edify and encourage one another
  • Never assume – it’s leadership demise
  • Transparency is essential

Know your candidates when seeking them out. Talk about strengths, talents, skills and most of all expectations. This avoids disappointment and a disruption in flow, the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. Here are some components to a well rounded team based on experience and lots of personal trial and error.

  • Administration
  • Operations
  • Sales –  Buyers/Sellers
  • Financial/Accounting
  • Marketing/Promotions/Social Media
  • Technology – Website/CRM/SEO

I have discovered that it is not only the individual tasks and duties that creates a successful team, it is the mindset and collaborative nature that makes a good team great. We have individual roles and use our strengths to master our role, we also have a responsibility to share and communicate often. When there is lack of information flowing among all team members it is called the silo effect, limiting the interactions between the members thus leading to reduced productivity.  Working in your own silo restricts thinking, removing these silos unleashes innovation. Be sure your team understands the importance of collective genius.

TEAM UP my friends and within those relationships you will find your passion, your purpose, yourself!

Elisa Bruno-Midili is Co-Founder, Partner and Creative Director at Cafe Realty a hand-crafted, small batch independent real estate brokerage located in Mount Kisco NY. Contact Elisa 914-230-0650 to learn more about teams and if they are right for you.


😎Your Realtor as Your Wingman


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wing·man ˈwiNGˌman,ˈwiNGmən/ noun –  a person who helps, guides or supports another…  

My first blog of the new year is dedicated to all the hardworking, dedicated, fulltime Realtors who are truly concerned about people and always put their clients best interest above all else! Raise the bar and shine!

New York State has about 52,000 Realtors to choose from when consumers look for that “wingman” to get it right, represent them with the highest standards. Not all real estate agents are Realtors and there is a difference. Realtors have a higher standard and abide by a code of ethics. They have legal and ethical responsibilities. It is law (Article 12-A Real Property Law Section 443) in NYS that a Realtor is required to provide reasonable care, undivided loyalty, confidentiality, full disclosure, obedience and duty to account.  Know what to expect!

In addition here are some details that are a MUST!

  • A needs/wants consultation
  • A referral to a lender and loan officer for financing
  • A list of resources for all the other things (inspector, attorney, insurance, title etc)
  • An education about how the real estate transaction process works
  • Detailed explanation about each step
  • Follow up during the process so you will know what happens next
  • Timely responsiveness (especially for 1st time buyers)
  • Due diligence (a trip to town hall to verify all info for buyers and sellers)
  • Value assurance (is what I am buying a good value)
  • Market trend assessment (what’s happening in my area of interest)
  • Options (Preferences: area, price, purchase/rent, sell/rent, invest/hold/flip)

Ask your Realtor ???

  • What should you expect
  • Are you a team or do you fly solo
  • Who are your team members and their roles
  • What type of technology do you use
  • Do you use social media
  • Who handles your transaction management and will I be involved
  • What form of communication is used
  • How often will you communicate
  • How will I search for homes that meet my needs
  • Do you have references
  • What are your negotiation skills
  • Where can I find your reviews
  • What does being a Realtor mean to you
  • What are your office stats
  • How long have they been in the business
  • Are you a dedicated full time agent
  • Are you a dual agent
  • What is your specialty
  • What communities do you serve
  • What is your marketing plan (for sellers)
  • How large is your digital footprint (for sellers)

Need to know more about the process? Have questions about anything here? Café Realty has over 100 years of combined experience ready to answer all your questions so that you are presented with options to make an informed decision on representation and the real estate process.


We are real estate advocates committed to the people in the communities we serve.   

We strive to be the best professionals our areas have to offer by delivering the finest possible service and care to our clients in the sale, purchase, or lease of real estate.  

We cooperate and collaborate with other business professionals in a productive, courteous, and ethical manner that furthers the objectives and promotes the high standards of                                  the Realtor Code of Ethics.

Café Realty was founded in 2013 for the purpose of real estate sales, marketing,  consulting and valuation services.


   at the office      914.666.7792

                                      by email       Connect@CafeRealtyNY.com

           on the web        www.Cafe.Realtor

find us on social media       GOOGLE Cafe Realty

🎄🏠🎁REAL ESTATE & the Holidays: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!


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It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
When the houses are selling and kids jingle belling,
And everyone saying “I bought it this year”!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
It’s the hap-happiest season of all,
With those holiday greetings, Cafe Realty meetings, 
When your agent happens to call.
It’s the hap- happiest season of all!

There’ll be appointments for hosting,
Adult beverages for toasting,
And showings out in the snow.
There’ll be scary closing stories, 
And tales of the glories of 
Relationships long, long ago.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! 
There’ll be much party going,
And hearts will be glowing, 
When closings are near… 
It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

(original song written by EDDIE POLA, GEORGE WYLE)

Cafe Realty is a hand-crafted, small batch, privately owned, boutique Real Estate Company offering highly specialized, high-tech, personal service for sellers, buyers and investors. Ask us how we can offer you the world class service you deserve.

🎄🏘 State of the Real Estate Market December 2016


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This time of the year is full with reflections of happenings, experiences and memories. Family and friends gather to celebrate, share a meal, raise a glass to be together and in the moment.

The state of real estate is somewhat dormant, like much of the landscape in the northeast this time of year, with people focusing on their preparations for the holidays. For sellers who choose to keep their property listed throughout winter will experience a slow down in showings however those showings will be more significant and the buyers more serious. For buyers with a sense of urgency the inventory is less with homes priced more competitively creating opportunity.

So…if you are looking to SELL your property, BUY a property, INVEST in real estate NOW is the time. There is no wrong time or better time to sell, there is only the time that is best for you!  For a detailed explanation of the market, trends and values in YOUR area contact us!

Cafe Realty is a hand-crafted, small batch, privately owned, boutique Real Estate Company offering highly specialized, high-tech, personal service for sellers, buyers and investors. Ask us how we can offer you the world class service you deserve.

The Truth about Real Estate: Friends and Family as Clients


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friends-family_aA first person view about why friends and family are reluctant to do business with you.

I’m not sure what it is that makes friends and family so squeamish about consulting with me when it comes time to think about a real estate transaction. Here are some possibilities that are up for debate:

  • Trustworthiness? Your best interest is always first. If you don’t trust me then I understand.
  • Confidential Information? This is never shared nor are you judged.
  • Will we be on good terms after this transaction? I will guarantee a mutual understanding of the process and your transition. Listening to the experts is critical to a successful transaction.
  • Lack of expertise? After 30 years and 10,000+ hours, I believe I have a reached mastery level. Who better to entrust the largest monetary expenditure of a lifetime?
  • Is it the money? (aka”you are making money off me!) Look at it this way, yes this is my livelihood however friends and family are first and I would never take advantage of our relationship.
  • You are not in my area! Relocation is a large part of my business, I can help you choose a like-minded real estate agent anywhere.
  • I didn’t want to bother you! Don’t assume, really, it’s no bother, it’s what I do every day.
  • Your company is not a big brokerage! No, we are not. Cafe Realty was born out of need to elevate the standards of the practice of real estate.  What makes us different sets us and you apart. We are agile, adaptable and responsive.
  • Fearful that you will make a mistake OR that it will be a great experience? Communication of expectations is set. If your experience is less than stellar it’s probably because you didn’t listen. We stand behind everything we do and take responsibility.

The bottom line is that the first priority is to EDUCATE, ADVOCATE & REPRESENT, money is always secondary and a direct result of the dedication and industry engagement on how to best serve clients. There is no convincing arguments here so your complete understanding of WHAT I do and WHY I do it are essential. Please inform me if one of these situations exist so that I will be aware in order to learn.

TRUTH: There is no one better to consult than your friend who is a  30 year veteran of the industry, learning and engaging daily to assist you with a wholistic real estate approach. Understanding your needs, educating you about the market, the marketing, logistics,  and representing you in the process and finally the transition.

It is my pleasure to serve you and your real estate needs. There are many ways to contact me, call, text, email, social media.

Cafe Realty is a hand-crafted, small batch, privately owned, boutique Real Estate Company offering highly specialized, high-tech, personal service for sellers, buyers and investors. Ask us how we can offer you the world class service you deserve.

Cafe Realty   239 Lexington Ave   Mt Kisco NY 10549

914-666-7792  CafeRealtyNY.com   info@CafeRealtyNY.com



The Truth About Real Estate (a new series): Letter of Apology to Real Estate Clients Everywhere


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Dear Real  Estate Clients,

I apologize for the:

  • Incompetence
  • Overall Unawareness
  • Sloppy Follow Up
  • Inability to Educate
  • Miscommunication
  • Poor Attitude
  • Less Than Speedy Response Time
  • Lack of Responsibility
  • Statements Based Loosely on Fact

And general failure to act appropriately with utmost confidence and competence!


SELLERS AND BUYERS alike take heed! Your Realtor is a professional, your advocate, your educator during the process.  Please be aware of what to expect, don’t get caught off guard.
Here are some questions to ask when interviewing an agent to represent you in any real estate transaction:

  • What is your response time?
  • Where are your reviews published?
  • What kind of resources do you have?
  • May I have a copy of the list?
  • What is your list price to sale price ratio?
  • What is your average days on market?
  • Do you have marketing services?
  • Do those marketing services include internet marketing?
  • Please explain internet marketing?
  • Do you know the trends in this area?
  • Do you have what it takes to represent me?
  • Why?
  • What makes you different? special?

It’s not about how much we’ve sold, that we’re #1, that the company is large, or that an agent’s  recognition is placed ahead of what serves people best. It’s about the best that we Realtors can be to put you first, serve your needs, answer your questions, return your calls/texts/emails and perform the due diligence it takes to protect you and your largest asset whether selling. buying or investing.

If we happen to have an office where you live, we can be of service to you…if you live anywhere else we can be of service to you there too! Real estate is global and if the right tactics and strategies are employed then it makes no matter where we are. It’s all about the engagement, the competence, the understanding of our performance and the desire to be educated about the process and our product (a home). To be delighted and thrilled with the personal attention and enthusiasm  you receive from your Realtor and about how your lifestyle connects to the community you choose to live in. Hooray!

Again, I’m sorry you were not informed about what to expect when making the largest purchase of your life because it’s critical to a understand how we can be of service to you!

Cafe Realty is a hand-crafted, small batch, privately owned, boutique Real Estate Company offering highly specialized, high-tech, personal service for sellers, buyers and investors. Ask us how we can offer you the world class service you deserve.

Cafe Realty   239 Lexington Ave   Mt Kisco NY 10549

914-666-7792  CafeRealtyNY.com   info@CafeRealtyNY.com


Cafe Realty: An Original Hudson Valley Company


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cafe-realty-grand-opening-partners-with-mayorOctober 19, 2016 was the day…Our family, friends, clients and colleagues were the audience…Great conversation, delicious food, and beverages were offered for the tasting!

THANK YOU for joining us as we celebrated the Grand Opening of our NEW Mount Kisco location and our 3rd year in business. The partners: Carol Christiansen, Elisa Bruno-Midili, Walter Sadowski and Eric Lebenson were delighted to welcome over 100 well-wishers to our world headquarters on Lexington Ave. The energy was high and the weather cooperated with sunshine and 80 degree temperatures. The Cafe Realty Team and Mayor J. Michael Cindrich were all on hand for our ribbon cutting!

Delightful tastings were prepared by Chef Elisa, extraordinary cannoli cream by Elsa Albanese, wine pairings by Vine & Co, craft-brewed Cafe Beer by Tim and Alexandra Greeley and introducing our very own coffee blend locally roasted in Peekskill by Big Bang Coffee Roasters. Real Estate never tasted THIS good!  We support our communities, local businesses and farms.

Cafe Realty, an original Hudson Valley Company, is a  hand-crafted, home-grown, small batch, highly visible company born from knowledge, strengths and talent of the team – a truly collaborative effort. We are the only full service free-standing real estate brokerage in Mount Kisco with a convenient location and on-site parking. With over 100 years of combined experience we are ready to serve you and your real estate needs. We are a resource which means we are able to refer you to the hundreds of connections we have made over the years. Click here for our comprehensive website RESOURCE page.

It is our pleasure to serve you, please stop by our office, one of our open houses or visit us on the web!



real estate.coffee.conversation


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This is a story about a small real estate company that began a journey in 2013. During these 3 short years a 3 partner collaboration grew to 4 partners, 12 agents, 2 support staff, and a referral company of 11. We forged ahead at a time when many independents were retreating to corporate brokerage. We felt strong and powerful equipped with experience, charm and innovation. It was no small feat to orchestrate and ignite a start up, however, the companies we all were with formerly gave us the ability to be insightful. This truly collaborative company compelled us to combine forces that pool talent, strengths and skill. We realized in order to make a difference in this industry we must set ourselves apart by being responsible, responsive and ultimately real…we put the real back in real estate!

#MoreThanRealEstate  Our vision was that of a real estate company that was comfortable like that great pair of boots, smooth like a superior cup of coffee and evocative through educated conversation. We have a coffee for that! Cafe Realty’s Own Blend is organic, locally roasted and ethically sourced with love by Big Bang Coffee Roasters of Peekskill. It will remind you of home and set the mood for a delightful conversation. Real Estate never tasted THIS good!

Our message is to partner with and participte in the community and events and to be a reliable resource through the resource directory on our website. Creatively speaking we work with clean lines, bold statements and beautiful images…we are socially proficient and connected.

Now as 2016 winds down and our 3 year anniversary approaches we reflect on how we helped so many people realize their real estate dreams and desires and thank those who have shown support in so many ways.

We look forward to be of service to you and your family. Cafe Realty…the company you keep that educates, advocates  and represents with you in mind! We brew an awesome cup of coffee too! Look for us online, at the office and in person at a community near you.


Cafe Realty is a real estate brokerage, consulting and valuation services company serving sellers, buyers and investors in Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess and the Bronx http://www.Cafe.Realtor 239 Lexington Ave Mt Kisco NY 10549


Cafe Realty Talks About Keller, Inman, Hogshead, Godin


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I discovered Gary Keller and Keller Williams around 2006 while looking for something different in real estate. I was at Coldwell Banker for 19 years  and nothing was ringing my bell. I love the educational aspect of real estate and this man knew what he was talking about…trends, market analysis, and a sense of self! A true quantum leap for me!

Real estate is not magic, contrary to popular belief, it’s just basics and whole lotta awareness. Simultaneously the behavioral aspect of the industry is fascinating and my own journey of self discovery was under way. Changing the way I looked at real estate, (perspective), things began to change. I began to study behavior, psychology and how to develop talent and be more collaborative.

Gary Keller “live” is riveting, he’s someone who is listenable, practical, and has mastered the art of leverage. He has insight. Real estate is an insightful business, people like Sally Hogshead make everything fascinating and relatable. Seth Godin makes marketing intuitive and fun, Brad Inman takes things to the next level with innovation. I have learned so much from so many people on this real estate journey.

When you open your eyes and your mind it’s a palette for exploration and discovery. Set your mind on growth to maximize people and process.The industry needs this infusion of insight, innovation and intuition. Thanks Gary and thanks Inman for sharing Gary’s latest presentation from Mega Camp last week. I have shared your insight with my partners and agents. I educate our agents, clients and create public awareness about community and resources.

This industry is ever-changing and my 30 year dedication has lead me to starting my own brokerage…My true love now is Cafe Realty!

Elisa Bruno-Midili

Cafe Realty Co-Founder
Cafe Realty, Creative Director                                                                                                                        Former KW Team Leader

Cafe Realty is a Real Estate Brokerage, Consulting and Valuation Services Company serving clients in Westchester. Putnam, Dutchess and the Bronx.