Although they lived only blocks away from each other growing up in New York City, Lisa Interdonato and Raymond Dillulio didn’t meet until high school. After dating for a while, they got married “very, very young,” said Interndonato. “No one thought it would last—but it has!”
Longevity is also a hallmark of the couple’s enduring business partnership, from their 30-year stint owning and operating a garment production company to their current run as the longest-tenured members of The Eklund|Gomes Team at Douglas Elliman.
In their 11-plus years with the powerhouse team, Raymond and Lisa (as they are known on Instagram) have established themselves as specialists in off-market resale properties, primarily in Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood but increasingly uptown and in Miami, the Hamptons and other markets where Eklund|Gomes operates.
The two had begun to dabble in real estate while running “a fairly large production company,” Interdonato recalled. “We had about 100 employees, a shipping department, marking and grading, cutting room, and we did everything from design to the finished product, including a lot of private-label work for companies like Betsey Johnson, Macy’s and Brooks Brothers.”
Having worked and forged a friendship with Elliman agent Chris Peters (who, incidentally, made his first sale to the couple), Interdonato and Dillulio had bought and sold a number of properties. And as experienced business owners, Dillulio said, transitioning to real estate was “a natural progression.”
In 2012, the couple was preparing a pitch to represent a FSBO property when they learned the owner was a fan of Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing New York, then in its first season and featuring star turns by Fredrik Eklund and John Gomes. Dillulio invited the agents to accompany him and Interdonato on the pitch, which thrilled the starstruck owner, helped to close the deal and led to an invitation to join the still nascent Eklund|Gomes Team.
“John and Fredrik liked how we handled it and offered us a spot on the team,” Dillulio recalled. “We were lucky to hook up with them so early because they gave us immediate credibility, and things really took off from there.”
In addition to leveraging a growing referral network, Interdonato and Dillulio built their business primarily through converting direct leads, including many who came to open houses they covered on behalf of the Eklund|Gomes Team.
“We just never give up,” Dillulio said. “I have clients I’ve working with five, six years before finally doing a deal. I never let it die.”
That persistence and an abiding sense of discretion have enabled Interdonato and Dillulio to establish themselves as off-market specialists for a clientele that has grown beyond the typical subset of celebrities and ultra-wealthy individuals.
“COVID really took off-market to a new level,” Dillulio said, noting that sellers were reluctant to list and show their properties publicly.
“And with all the economic uncertainty,” Interdonato added, “a lot of people don’t want to commit to listing at this point.”
In addition to tapping their cohort of fellow off-market agents, the two have taken steps to adapt their brand of discreet expertise for social media. Dillulio has begun to post video versions of the weekly market reports they have emailed to their clients and contacts since 2019.
And while the couple has no aspirations to become the next breakout stars of Million Dollar Listing, Raymond and Lisa have earned a degree of celebrity in their own right thanks to their chosen mode of transportation: a Piaggio motorcycle, which they use to “zip around the city” between appointments.
“I don’t understand why every agent doesn’t have one,” said Dillulio, who does the zipping with Interdonato seated behind him. “I can get everywhere so fast—and I’m never late for an appointment.”