Vol.3, Iss.16, Agent Snapshot: Michael Hampton

Michael Hampton
Equity Marketing Services, Inc.
Sales Director
474 North Lake Shore Drive Condominiums

What was your first job in the realty industry?
I was the weekend receptionist at the Habitat Co. brokerage office on Wells Street. Six months after I started, I was promoted to office manager.

Who inspires you and why?
I am always inspired by my father, who was also a salesman. He was an importer of lighting fixtures from China and Taiwan, and was a good friends of Sam Walton of Wal-Mart fame! As a man with little to no college education, he was able to take three small, regional companies and turn them into huge, multi-national companies in only a few years. He even received an award from the President of Taiwan for being an inspiration to Taiwanese children. I really think that he is amazing, and now that his health is failing, I like to remind him of who he was.

What is your favorite free-time activity?  
I have many, but I would have to say that performing is my favorite thing to do when I am not at work. I used to be part of Second City and performed with several comedy groups around town. I also try to do one or two plays each year to keep myself balanced. I also write and compose music, so I’m always busy with something creative.

How did you learn the business?
I learned the business from the inside out. I started by watching what other people were doing and saw both the good and bad. That way, I knew the consequences of something happening before it happened to me. By listening to what was going on around me, I could pick up on trends, find out new information and learn techniques that really brought out the agent in me. Beginning in the administrative side of the business also helped me a great deal in learning how to talk to people in a way that makes them want to do things for you.

What was the last good movie you saw or book you read?  
I am reading David Rakoff’s “Fraud” right now and am loving it. David Sedaris compiled a book called “Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules” that I am also reading and loving. As far as movies go, my tastes are a little more obscure.

What is your favorite restaurant?  
I would have to say that my favorite restaurant in Chicago is Francesca’s on Bryn Mawr. The food is fresh, they have a lovely room and it is three blocks from my house. A close second is Timo on Halsted. Their patio is one of the best in town.

Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Chicago?
I love the Monroe Building at 104 S. Michigan Ave. It is stunning. I love the style; the lobby is real Rookwood pottery and the pointed roof looks so unusual on Michigan Avenue.

What kind of car do you drive?
I am not very flashy — I have a 2005 Toyota Corolla. Her name is Betty.

BlackBerry, Palm or paper?
I am better with paper. I don’t remember to look at BlackBerrys or Palms, but I always remember to look at my calendar and notebook.

What is your favorite city after Chicago?
Every city that I visit never compares to Chicago. If pressed to choose, I would pick Austin, Texas, as a close second to Chicago because they are very similar. I lived there for seven years and loved it. Also, Hong Kong was an amazing city with so much to see and do. I went there with my father when I graduated from college.

What is your personal motto?
If it is worth doing, it is worth doing right.

In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry?
Listen! It’s the most important tool at any agent’s disposal.

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