By Trang Ho, Investor’s Business Daily

Dolly Lenz reigns as the queen of U.S. real estate.

As vice chairman of Prudential Douglas Elliman in New York City, she has moved more than $7 billion in real estate.

That's more than double the next top agent in the country.

"It's wonderful to achieve, but it's not fulfilling because it's not revolutionary," she said philosophically

As it is, Lenz sold $750 million worth of property in 2007 and raked in $10 million in commission, she says. By contrast, real estate agents' median sales volume that year was $1.6 million. And the income for an agent with comparable experience was $69,500, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Catering to wealthy entertainers and entrepreneurs, Lenz is a top power in New York real estate, along with Donald Trump.

Steady As She Goes

Lenz, 50, aims to improve each day. That course kept her steady as she faced rejection from a dozen firms when she first sought a real estate job 25 years ago.

Idaliz Dolly Camino was born in the Bronx to Spanish immigrants. She started working at age 12, making sandwiches at a deli in her Washington Heights neighborhood. She worked several part-time jobs as a teenager and rode an hour to public school.

While attending Baruch College, where she majored in accounting, Dolly worked full time as a floor manager at Macy's. In 1979, she took her degree to United Artists and hit the sweet spot. As an auditor at the movie firm, she developed relationships with Barbra Streisand and other stars.

Lenz kept learning. She went back to school and earned a master's degree in auditing at New York's New School in 1983.

And she kept building her income. Although she had a lucrative career at UA, she bought and rented out apartments for extra money.

She sure had the know-how. Since age 9, she had gone with her father to every house he bought for investments in the Bronx. As an engineer with a mechanical background, he taught her about boilerplates and other technical details.

When she was 18, her father helped her buy her first studio apartment, which faced a brick wall on Park Avenue on Murray Hill, for $63,000. As squeezed-in work outside of UA, she bought seven other units in the building and made herself treasurer of the board.

Lenz was so good at closing deals that her husband, Aaron, suggested she become a real estate agent. But she couldn't find a job in the industry. "I was basically told, 'You don't cut it. Why would you even apply?' and other things that would be illegal these days," she said.

Lenz heard the rejections — 16 in all — and shrugged them off.

"I must have had really thick skin or was very stupid," she said.

Bottom line, she was smart enough to embrace her motto: Next.

She realized it wasn't her lack of experience, but her looks that turned off prospective employers. She was overweight, pulled her hair back in a scrunchie and didn't wear makeup. Still, that wasn't enough to keep her out forever. Soon enough she landed her first real-estate job at New York-based J. Rodman Realty, which has since gone out of business, and finally left UA.

One day a broker went out of town and asked her to show a client an apartment. She sold it in one day. Then she sold 18 in six months.

Her experience following her dad made her a natural at selling. Plus she applied herself. She read reams of material and grasped the facts: the house's square feet, how long it was on the market. "I knew that market cold," she said.

In her first year, Lenz tripled what she made as an auditor. By Year 5, she was J. Rodman's top seller.

She switched to Sotheby's International Realty and sold town houses and condos, concentrating on the high end. She reigned as its top broker for 12 straight years. By 1999 she was at Prudential Douglas Elliman, which she says she'll never leave.

She was looking good physically, having lost 80 pounds, and financially, having owned 80 properties.

She says that at one point she had 40 properties under her name and owns eight now.

If any Realtor knows New York, it's Lenz. She and her husband used to move from one apartment to the next every nine months to get a grip on areas. "I wanted to speak with authority to a neighborhood or lifestyle in a building," she said.

Now they've been in the same abode for three years.

Lenz never lets up. She works seven days a week, with hardly any sleep. She hasn't taken a vacation in two decades. She answers hundreds of e-mails a day and carries around three BlackBerrys, though she owns 12. And talk about sweat: She jogs every day in Central Park.

Lenz somehow finds time to volunteer at Ronald McDonald House, which provides housing for families of cancer patients. She also mentors kids in the Police Athletic League.

"I just believe in trying to help in any way I can in adding value to somebody else's life," she said.

Making Connections

Lenz attributes her success to long-term relationships. She figures 60% of her business comes from referrals or repeat clients. They include many foreigners, thanks to her fluency in French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish — her first language.

Lenz goes the distance. She once flew to Hong Kong and back to New York within 48 hours to close a deal with a Chinese client. She did the same for a deal in Moscow.

She hires limos and charters helicopters to take prospective buyers to see multimillion-dollar estates in the Hamptons.

"She's very, very hands-on, even though she's pretty high up," Sue Firestone, a Lenz friend and founder of interior designer SFA in Santa Barbara, Calif., told IBD. "Her success hasn't made her unreachable. She makes herself completely available, and her clients really like that about her."

Lenz's Keys

What: Has sold over $7 billion in real estate.

How: "It's not work. It's a passion."
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"Our Guide to Who's Up, Down"
The Wall Street Journal

"Easing Apartment Pain"
CNBC

"Secret Lives of the Super Rich Mega-Homes"
Gotham

"Foreign Policy"
CNBC.com

"The Secret to Selling Real Estate to the Rich and Famous"
Global Property Guide

"U.S. Spices Up Property Sector with Proposed 'Homeowners Visa' for Foreigners"
International Business Times

"Europeans Flock to Buy New York Real Estate"
NY Post

"The $1 Million Dollar Parking Space"
ABC.com

"Manhattan's Million Dollar Parking Spot"
New York Times

"Big Ticket"
Bloomberg Commercial Real Estate Conference

"Dolly Lenz Speaks at the Bloomberg Commercial Real Estate Conference on 11/19/2011"
The New York Times

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Business Insider

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The Real Deal

"Lenz Says NYC Buyers in $3M Range Have the Most Power"
IMD Women's Network

"Dolly Lenz Speaks at Empower, Challenge and Inspire: IMD Women's Forum"
ABC 7 One Your Side

"Drop in Home Values Causes Homeowners to Consider Renting"
Credit Suisse

"Dolly Lenz to Speak at the Credit Suisse - 2011 Homebuildi​ng and Building Products Conference"
The Real Deal Online

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Wall Street Journal

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Real Deal Online

"Sports Legend John Madden Lists At Dakota"
Metro

"Ins and outs of hiring a real-estate agent"
Financial Times

"Steinmetz goes straight to well-heeled source."
The New York Observer

"TV Journos - Walters, Zahn, Bartiromo - Descend on Four Seasons"
Real Deal Online

"Lenz Exits Annual Elliman Awards & Gets New "Stratosphere Award""
The Wall Street Journal

"Madden Kicks Off Hunt for Buyer"
The Real Deal

"Lenz Wins Top Elliman Prize"
Wall Street Journal

"Butler Did It: Sell Dakota Co-op"
NY Post: Gimme Shelter

"Westward Go!"
The Wall Street Journal

"Gilt's Summer Home in the Hamptons"
The Globe and Mail

"Will Owning a Penthouse Pad Help You Get Lucky Tonight?"
New York Post

"Welcome Ladies"
The New York Observer

"A Very Fashionable Week at the Grill: Photographers, Actors, and Style Icons Storm the Four Seasons"
Real Deal Online

"Sports Legend John Madden Lists at Dakota"
New York Observer

"Maybe the Market Isn't Doing Badly After All"
Wall Street Journal

"A Drag on prices on Park Avenue"
New York Post

"BIG TOP"
New York Observer

"The Lunch Crowd"
Bloomberg Businessweek

"Dolly Lenz talks to Tom Keene"
New York Post

"Forgetfull Sellers' Surprise Housewarming Gifts"
The Wall Street Journal

"Condo Fetches A Record $31.5 Million"
New York Times

"Nestled in the Clouds"
Money Watch

"Dolly Lenz on Money Watch: Follow the Money"
Credit Suisse

"Dolly Lenz speaks at Credit Suisse Conference"
Online PR News

"Real Estate Queen helps broker $13M UWS deal"
The New York Observer

"A Good Day for Dolly"
Wall Street Journal

"Manhattan Gains Amid Housing Stall"
New York Post

"Rescue me: Apthorp gets its second wind"
Real Deal

"Lenz helps broker $13M UWS deal at 40 percent off"
SI.com

"Countdown to the start of NBA free agnecy"
New York Post

"Lebron eyes Village digs"
New York Post

"Out of Sight"
Wall Street Journal

"Signs of Upturn in Manhattan"
NY Post

"Downtown Exposure"
The Commercial Observer

"100 Most Powerful People in NY Real Estate"
Wall Street Journal

"Market Brings End to Apartment as Canvas"
Wall Street Journal

"Spring is Blooming for Manhattan Property"
Real Estate Weekly

"Lenz, Bracha Reign at PDE Awards"
New York Post

"Katie Lee Lists Delicious Digs"
The Russell Banks Women's Power Lunch

"Invitation to The Russell Banks Women's Power Lunch"
NY Post

"Blast from the Past"
The New York Times

"A Season of Adjustment"
The New York Post

"Topsy-Turvy"
The Real Deal

"Dolly Lenz on The Real Deal 5th Annual Forum Panel of Experts"
The New York Times

"For the Luxury Do-It-Yourselfer"
The New York Times

"Kitchen and Court"
Vanity Fair

"The Thrill Room: The Four Seasons 50th Anniversary Photo Shoot"
The Real Deal

"Dolly Lenz to be honored this month"
On The Air

"CNBC to Broadcast 'The Ultimate Power Lunch: 50 Years of the Four Seasons'"
New York Post

"Gimme Shelter: Apthorp re-Bourne"
New York Times

"As Some U.S. Markets Level Off, Housing Slump Hits Manhattan"
New York Post

"5 reasons the market isn't as bad as you think"
Barron's

"Barron's Review & Preview"
NY Post

"Gimme Shelter: Matt Damon Still Hunting""
Investor's Business Daily

"The Sky-High Rise Of Dolly Lenz"
The New York Times Magazine

"The Hard Sell"
New York Times

"Quotation of the Day"
Dolly Lenz on CNBC's On the Money with Carmen Wong Ulrich

"Web Extra: Three Reasons Why Your Home Won’t Sell"
Earth Times

"Dramatic slump at New York's housing market"
New York Post

"Page Six: Four Seasons Photo Shoot"
Winter 2008 issue of ForbesLife Executive Woman

"Dolly Lenz: The $7 Billion Sales Whiz"
The Real Deal

"Conde Nast holds bigwig forum"
New York Post

"From the Desk of... A peek at where five NY notables make it happen"
The New York Observer

"The 100 Most Powerful People in New York Real Estate"
New York Post

"The 50 Most Powerful Women in NYC"
The Real Deal

"Dolly Lenz, Bracha Group take Elliman's Top Honors"
Financial Times

"FT WEEKEND - HOUSE AND HOME: 'I'd condo all of Central Park if I could'"
New York Post

"Bright Spots"
New York Post

"Sir Alex Ferguson Purchases Penthouse at Manhattan House"
The Economist

"New York Real Estate Queen: At the top of the market with Dolly Lenz"
The New York Observer

"The $748,319,000 Woman"
New York Sun

"This Broker Says She's Driven by an Obsession to Close Deals"
The Wall Street Journal

"TOP 50 AGENTS: SALES VOLUME"
New York Post

"Dolly Lenz Represents Buyers in $200M Acquisition and Will Be Exclusively Marketing the Property"
The New York Times

"Sale of Estate in Hamptons Raises Bar to $45 Million"
Vogue

"Uptown Girl, Dolly Lenz is the person to call in New York’s property scene, but be warned: her phone may be busy"
New York Post

"Lenz Gets Top Realty Prize"
New York Post

"Meet Gotham's Leading Ladies: New York's 50 Most Powerful Women"
Real Estate Weekly

"Dolly Lenz — From Nerd to Superstar Broker"
Lore

"The 2007 Real Estate Top Two Hundred Professionals"
New York Post

"Dolce Duplex"
New York Sun

"“Prudential Douglas Elliman Chairman Claims Title of Market Leader with $13B in 2005 Sales”"
The Martha Blog

"Thanksgiving Dinner at the Four Seasons"
The Real Deal

"Co-ops Starting to Bend - Ever so Slightly"
Curbed.com

"As the Apthorp Turns: First 'In Contract' Listings Revealed!"
New York Post

"Singer Buys Apartment in The Apthorp"
Luxury in Vietnam

"A Deep Discount at 15 Central Park West"
The Real Estalker

"A Little NYC Floor Plan Porn"
The Wall Street Journal

"Overheard"
Mr. Gatsby's

"Dolly Lenz: 'Keeping it Real (Estate) at Cipriani’s at the Sherry-Netherland'"
New York Post

"House Party"
The Real Deal

"Dolly Lenz Says Elliman Losing Deals Because of Madoff"
cityfile New York

"Four Seasons 50th Anniversary"
New York Post

"Dwell at the Dakota"
New York Magazine

"Daily Intel"
New York Post

"Page Six, Endquote... endquote"
New York Sun

"Condos Planned for Manhattan House"
NY Real Estate Journal

"O'Connor Capital Partners Completes $86M sale of 102,842 s/f Retail to Madison Capital"
New York Post

"Go For Broker"
New York Observer

"Glenn Close at the Princess Grace Awards Gala"
New York Post

"Princess Grace Awards Gala"
New York Social Diary

"The Price of Fame"
Broadway World.com

"Ted Danson to Present Glenn Close with Princess Grace Award"
New York Times

"Main Street Pauses"
New York Post

"Beauty and the East"
The Real Deal

"NY Attorney General Certifies Manhattan House Conversion Plan"
Curbed.com

"Dolly Lenz Cells Out"
New York Observer

"The Voodoo Economics of 15 Central Park West"
New York Post

"Dakota Deal"
New York Observer

"Real Estate Elite Rub Elbows at Observer Awards Party"
New York Times

"New Is Nifty, Old Is Gold"
Portfolio Magazine

"Dolly Lenz Discusses Impact of Today's Economy on the U.S. Real Estate Market"
New York Post

"In the House"
New York Post

"Going Greek"
Avenue Magazine

"Manhattan House Welcomes The 2008 Kips Bay Decorator Show House at the Opening Night Gala"
Quest Magazine

"Kips Bay at Manhattan House"
The Real Deal

"Finishing First as Rivals Gain"
Newsday

"Billy's Rich Crib is Back on Market"
New York Post

"Page Six: Power Crowd"
New York Times

"Kip's Bay - Coloring in the White Boxes"
New York Times

"Greatly Exaggerated?"
The Earth Times

"Dolly Lenz Wins Top Prudential Awards"
New York Times

"A Repository for the Rich"
CNBC Power Lunch

"Dolly Discusses the Impact of Bear's Collapse on NYC Real Estate"
New York Times

"Kips Bay Goes White-Brick"
The Real Deal

"Divorce, Developer Style"
Forbes.com

"Million-Dollar Starter Homes"
Tatler

"Uptown Girl"
Barron's

"Last Week Review: They Said What? Wish List"
Law.Com

"Rich Lawyer, Poor Lawyer"
Forbes

"Homes To Blow Your Bonus On"
The New York Observer

"Dolly Lenz, Superbroker of Gotham"
Fox News

"The Case of Kathie Lee Gifford's Missing Wedding Ring"
New York Post

"Page Six"
Yahoo! Finance

"The Wall Street Journal, lore Magazine and REAL Trends Announce America's Top 200 Real Estate Professionals"
Curbed.com

"Floorplan Porn: Manhattan House Unveiled"
New York Post

"Objects of Design"
New York Times

"Curtain Call for Condo"
Curbed.com

"Celebrity Real Eastate: Cats Scratch Fever"
New York Post

"Quick Change"
New York Sun

"Manhattan House Has Brokers Revving Up"
New York Post

"$12 M. in June, $25 M. Now? Can Lily Lee Lee Wong Flip Her Townhouse?"
Page Six Magazine

"Five-Star Living"
New York Times

"Opulence Everywhere"
New York Post

"Gimme Shelter: Tiki Scores"
New York Times

"Suddenly, a Hesitation About Splurging"
New York Post

"Gloom with a view as ritzy apartments $lump"
The Real Deal

"New Rules for Celeb Brokers – Agents: more hangers-on, paparazzi than ever before"
CNBC

"Power Lunch Guest List"
New York Post

"Painful Realty Reality in $5M+ NYC Market"
New York Sun

"High-End NY Real Estate Cools Along With Stocks"
New York Post

"Music Manse"
New York Post

"Kalikow Passes on Manhattan House"
The Real Deal

"A herd of white elephants waits around; Even in a strong market, some top homes aren’t finding takers"
The New York Social Diary

"The ACRIA 2007 annual summer benefit at Ross Bleckner’s home"
Forbes

"Most Expensive Homes in the South"
New York Post

"Park it for $35M"
Forbes

"Most Expensive Homes in the Northeast"
Forbes

"How Wall Street's Top Earners Live"
CNBC

"Time to Buy or Sell"
New York Post

"This ain't no Bubble - Manhattan Luxury is Back with a Vengeance"
Forbes

"Most Expensive Homes in the U.S."
Haute Living

"Saving History – The Savoy Honors its Roots, and Returns to its Rightful Place as the Deco King of Sofi"
New York Post

"Market Movers"
New York Post

"Bill Rips Times' Hill Bashing"
New York Post

"JOIN THE CLUB – Movie moguls and models buy into Cipriani"
The New York Times

"Pristine, but for How Long?"
New York Post

"Page Six: Noncelebrities"
Dan's Papers

"North Haven Land Offered for $80 Million"
New York Post

"PAGE SIX"
Newsday

"Home Sweet Home for $80M"
New York Post

"Gimme Shelter: The Sound of Money"
Barron's

"Firm Footings: Sweet Home Manhattan"
Haute Living

"Dolly Lenz & Dottie Herman at Essence of Luxury Roundtable"
The Real Deal

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Haute Living

"Dolly Lenz in News and Views: Events"
Barron's

"Lap of Luxury"
Haute Living

"Dolly's World"
Bloomberg

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New York Post

"WEST SIDE STORY: Dakota apartment for sale"
New York Magazine

"Buy Low(er)"
New York Post

"Pssst…The President of Kazakhstan purchases 2 apartment at Cipriani Club Residences"
New York Post

"Count Vornado Among Stuytown Bidders"
Avenue Magazine

"Avenue Magazine profiles Manhattan's Power Elite"
CNBC

"Dolly talks on the market in NYC"
Tiburon International Film Festival Article

"Documentary Featuring the Lives of New Yorkers on 9/11's 2nd Anniversary"
The New York Daily News

"9/11 - Milestones To Recovery: Downtown’s rebirth 5 years after 9/11"
New York Times

"Second-home Buyers are Looking to the Vibrancy of City Living"
New York Post

"New York's Sizzling Home Market is Feeling the Chill"
New York Post

"Dolly Lenz Sells $20M Southampton Guesthouse"
New York Post

"Gimme Shelter - The 411 on 515"
Barron's

"A Castle of One's Own"
Inside Edition

"Dolly Lenz Gives a Tour of Trump's $125M Palm Beach Mansion"
New York Post

"Dolly Lenz shows Trump Park Avenue apartment to Paris Hilton"
Hamptons Style

"The 500 People Who Most Impact the Hamptons Are Profiled"
New York Post

"Hello-O Dolly"
New York Post

"Dolly Lenz brokers sale of Trump International Hotel & Tower apartment"
Avenue Magazine

"Exclusive Listings: The Shining Stars of New York Real Estate"
The Australian

"Well, Hello Dolly! It's so Nice to Buy from You"
Fortune

"Living it up on Wall Street"
New York Times Magazine

"Dolly Lenz in New York Times Magazine"
New York Daily News

"Bonuses Spur Apartment Buys"
The New York Times

"Indulging the Quirks of the Stars"
New York Post

"Ciprianis to Shop Condos via PRU"
New York Magazine

"Let's Put On a Showing"
The New York Times

"To Sell a High-End Home, Let Them Sleep On It"
Financial Times

"Make that Two Ferraris"
New York Post

"Bruce Willis sells his never-inhabited Trump Tower duplex"
Avenue Magazine

"Most Talked About Powerbroker"
NY Sun Magazine

"740 Author found Window on Aristocracy"
Fortune Magazine

"Island Shopping"
New York Magazine

"Who Makes How Much"
The New York Times

"In August, the Rich Race to Renovate"
New York Post

"Dolly Lenz Represents Terry Allen Kramer's $35M Southampton Estate"
USA Today

"Selling Castles in the Clouds"
New York Post

"Land adjacent to “Burnt Point” for sale at $35M"
Crain's New York

"Developers Defy Housing Bubble"
New York Post

"823 Park Avenue is Being Redeveloped"
Newsday

"Money & Power"
The Wall Street Journal

"Gold Coast Fever: A New York History"
The NY Observer

"The Week in Real Estate, October 2-October 9"
New York Post

"Gimme Shelter"
The Real Deal

"The Top Ten: Manhattan's Biggest Firms"
The Real Deal

"China's Wealthy Look to City Real Estate"
New York Post

"Nicole Kidman puts SoHo Triplex Penthouse on the Market"
New York Magazine

"How Cooperative"
New York Times

"Water View From a Perch Atop the Housing Market"
Marie Claire

"Can a Fragrance Help You…"
Haute Living

"Mansions in Hamptons"
New York Post

"Getting by on 500G"
New York Post

"485 Fifth is Going Condo"
New York Post

"Back to the Beach — Manhattan Meets Miami in Ulta-Luxe Waterfront Condos"
MSNBC.com

"Luxury Brand Stores Invest in Wall Street"
Barron's

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Newsday

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The Real Estate Professional Magazine

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New York Living Magazine

"Dolly Lenz at Trump Benefit for ‘Operation Smile’"
Gotham Magazine

"Agents Provocateurs"
Gotham Magazine

"Dolly Lenz' $62.5 Million Southampton Listing"
Wall Street Journal

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New York Post

"Out Of Sight"