Fun article on David Tufts ’81.

Tall, tanned, blond, wearing a three-button designer suit with bright pink shirt and a coordinated tie, David Tufts greeted guests in the soaring atrium of the Paramount, a luxury high-rise three blocks from the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead.

Flanked by an entourage of associates, Tufts, 47, executive vice president of Coldwell Banker the Condo Store, is in his element. He guided visitors upstairs to the Paramount’s reception room, where caterers kept tables laden with gourmet hors d’oeuvres, and bartenders mixed and poured on request.

David Tufts founded the Condo Store in 1993, determined to sell properties that many real estate professionals disdained. Coldwell Banker bought the business in 1999 and has exported its strategies to 14 other cities including Nashville and Miami.

Tufts moved through the room. Small groups migrated toward elevators to tour the stylishly decorated units now in transition from apartments to condos. Prices were posted on the unit-model doors.

Fun though it is, this is business for Tufts, who founded the Condo Store in 1993 and sold it to Coldwell Banker in 1999 for an undisclosed amount. Upscale parties like the rollout of the Paramount’s conversion from rental to purchase are his signature sales tool. The gatherings are so successful they are now replicated in cities nationwide and helped the company post almost $2 billion in sales for 2005.

“I feel like I’m running a cruise ship sometimes,” Tufts said.

Tufts, a Boston native and son of a Harvard University professor, said his career trajectory switched abruptly at the end of his senior year at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass.

He was on an archaeological dig in France, planning to attend Yale School of Architecture, when his archaeology professor advised him against it.

“He told me my tastes were too extravagant to go into architecture,” Tufts said. “He said I needed to go into something where I could make a lot of money faster.”

Don’t we all! Comparisons between Tufts and Tom Wolfe’s Charlie Croker are sought.

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