While she's earning thousands of dollars selling high-priced Washington real estate, Basheyba wears only yellow. Her yellow clothes, yellow coats, yellow purses, and yellow shoes make her red hair look all the more vivid. She eats only vegetables because "you don't need much sleep and your endurance is incredible." And she hustles.
In four years as a real estate agent with Town & Country Properties, Basheyba (she does not use a surname) has become a premier saleswoman, the one other agents talk about when they compare notes. In 1976 she picked up the telephone and called the office of Vice President Rockefeller to suggest he sell his 25acre estate in the posh Foxhall Road neighborhood of Washington.
"I was flabbergasted when he returned the call within 30 minutes," recalls Basheyba, who then worked two years to stitch together a $5.5 million package that Rozansky and Kay Construction Co. bought. (Building begins this summer on the expensive houses that will fill the subdivided property.) She's now awaiting closing on a $25 million sale of McLean Gardens to a California investor and should soon ink a $41 million sales contract which will transform The Towers apartment building into condominiums.
Prior to that, Basheyba made her reputation by selling embassies to about a dozen ambassadors who had listened to this woman dressed in yellow explain how they could live or work in grander style if they would only allow her to do some fancy real estate trading.
When an ambassador from a poor African country came to her with only $65,000 to invest in a residence for his ill wife and children, Basheyba found an underpriced Chevy Chase home. The ambassador bought it for $200,000, and hours later Basheyba sold it to another buyer for $300,000, giving the ambassador an extra $100,000 to play with in the real estate game.
Basheyba rises each morning at around 3 a.m. to get an early start on her 20-hour day of jogging, reading the Bible, and "studying the numbers" on any of the approximately 70 deals she juggles at one time. Born the daughter of a wealthy Baltimore real estate dealer (she says Dad gave about 80 percent of his income to charity), Basheba spent the '60s and early '70s in New York and Los Angeles writing documentaries, doing some occasional acting. In 1975 she settled in Washington and got a real estate license.
"I'm extremely psychic," says Basheyba, "and I believe God has a path of life for all people. My life's work is to put people together with property and make these magnificent marriages."
Says Allen Rozansky, coowner of the firm developing the Rockefeller property: "She's extremely aggressive and obviously with her get-up, one doesn't ever forget her. It's a gimmick in a way. I meet hundreds of real estate agents, I forget most of their names.Basheyba, no one forgets. She has a bit of show business, and she has enormous contacts in the diplomatic area and in upper crust Washington."
Basheyba-effusive, charming and seemingly awed by the millions of dollars foreign investors beg her to invest in Washington-says her style is unaffected.A meatless diet gives her more energy, she argues, and she simply adores the color yellow-"it illuminates, it's supposed to be the color of happiness and intelligence."
Her income-she expects to sell property worth "hundreds of millions of dollars" in 1979-is forcing her to buy property to shelter some of her earnings. She's considering a shopping center. CAPTION: Picture, No caption, By Bill Snead