Sir Del Realtors

Then, in 1963, my older brother, Sergio, and I opened our own office. By now we were calling him Del. He was quite sharp as well. We came in like gangbusters with new ideas. We soon had the whole industry against us, not just one office. People were griping, “How can they come in and do this?”

How? Because we could. It became a very successful office.

— Sir Del Realtors team. Ozzie center rear. Brother Del 2nd from right. —

We came in with a new design for our signs. My brother suggested the name Sir Del Realtors. Our insignia was a shield with a castle. Our name, Sir Del Realtors, was in Old English lettering.

I told my brother, “Del, let’s face it, the salesmen don’t know how to dress as professionals. They don’t know how to look good. We’ll give them uniforms.” So we introduced uniforms: a navy blue blazer, beautiful gray flannel slacks, a nice vest, a white shirt, and a blue tie. The men had really nice black boots. The women sales agents had the blazer and a nice skirt. The blazer had a gold emblem. There was probably only one other company in the United States with uniforms at that time. The Century 21 uniform you have all seen came later.

— Ozzie at his Sir Del Realtors desk —

Our personal tailors made the uniforms. Every salesman got the tie, the beautiful starched shirts, nice pants, and a nice vest. The whole city saw us in our uniforms and with our shield symbol. We looked incredible. My brother and I had gorgeous personal clothes, mostly imported and custom tailored, but we decided we would wear the uniform, just like our salesmen.

We opened up our office and everybody was wowed. Our signs, with the gold shield on black, were all over the place. People wondered, “Who are these guys?” We became famous in the area where we did business. We made a lot of money. I had a 1949 Jaguar coupe. That car would be worth a fortune right now if I still had it. It was black with red leather. It was only for my personal life at night. I had a brand new Cadillac for business. At night, I pulled out in the Jaguar with its tuned pipes. What a beautiful sound!

— The Sir Del team in front of their office. —

I had a private office upstairs, above the sales offices at Sir Del. If anybody phoned in for me, the secretary put the call through to me upstairs. By now I was selling mostly income property. I needed privacy and a quiet space to deal with investors. The salesmen were all downstairs.

When people wanted to buy a house, I might say, “Well, why not go and get more than one house?”

“What? I can’t—how can I?”

I said, “You can. I’ll show you.”

— Business Card from Sir Del Realtors —

“You mean with the small house I have and the little money I have, I can get . . .” Then I would show them how to do it.

See, I knew all the lenders. They all wanted to do business with me. To sweeten their deals with me, they took me to bars where models were posing in bikinis.

“Ozzie, we have a date lined up for you . . .”

— Ozzie as Sir Del —

I might reply, “Gee, sorry, I’ve got a date with another lender.” At that time, in a way, they had my number. But I played them too.

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