Welcome to Chicago Agent’s Third Annual “What Drives Realtors” issue. While being a Realtor is supposed to be all about houses, many agents will tell you that it’s also about cars. Serving the equally important functions of mode of transportation and status symbol, the kind of car you drive is the utmost important. The distances around Chicagoland are long and winding, and luxury customers are discriminating and observant.
Following are nine cars that could become your vehicle on the road to success. You’ll also meet local Realtors who represent the diverse network of professionals currently operating in Chicagoland, with backgrounds and interests as broad as the area is extensive. Learn what they drive, and what drives them.
Charles Rutenberg Realty
2007 MAYBACH 57S – $369,750 (BASE)
• AMG-tuned 6.0-liter, 612-Horsepower
• 0-60 in less than 5 seconds
• Top Speed – 171 mph
• 11/16 MPG
Nothing pleases Michelle Jeziorski, a Realtor with Charles Rutenberg Realty in Naperville for the past 18 months, more than helping people find their ideal home.
“I find it extremely gratifying to be part of the achievement process of other peoples goals,” she says. “Helping people is something that has always driven me in business and having a degree in social work has given me the tools and resources needed to listen, understand and communicate closely with my clients.”
When tooling around the neighborhoods of the western suburbs, Jeziorski needs a vehicle that delivers comfort, style and dependability among other things. The Maybach 57S delivers on all of these requirements with elegance and sumptuousness to spare.
With a father who develops homes around the Chicagoland area, and a mother who has worked in real estate for more than 15 years, Jeziorski has a successful pedigree and knows that it takes honesty, integrity and plenty of hard work to offer the best possible service to her clients. She builds a solid foundation with each and every client and, in the end, always makes a new life-long friend.
For more information about the Maybach 57S, visit Loeber Mercedes-Benz at 4255 W. Touhy Ave., Lincolnwood, www.loebermercedes.com, or call 847.675.1000. To contact Michelle Jeziorski, call 630.689.3224.
ERA Jensen & Feinstein Realtors
2007 JAGUAR XK COUPE – $75,000 (BASE)
• DOHC, 32-valve, 300-Horsepower V8 Engine
• 0-60 in 5.9 Seconds
• Supple, Hand-selected Leather
• Automatic Climate Control
• 160-watt, 6-speaker Alpine Audio System
• 10-way Power-adjustable Seats
For the last 11 years, Realtor Kim Hoey has been serving homebuyers from Hinsdale to St. Charles and Oak Park to as far away as Rome, Italy. She greatly enjoys her clients, always happy to relate to their humor and intelligence. As a result, she’s built quite a number of lasting friendships.
The Jaguar XK leaves a lasting impression on all those who get behind the wheel. From the keyless entry system that allows for push-button ignition, to the gear-change paddles, which afford fingertip shifting, the XK is an unforgettable driving experience.
Hoey, who specializes in selling single-family and townhomes, believes that it’s important to make her clients feel special when on the road showing homes. “It’s important to have a navigation system, a luxurious interior and the ability to seat more than three people,” she says. “Clients like to be treated with special care.”
With a seven-inch color touchscreen control system, navigation system with DVD mapping program and 10-way electric adjustment leather seats with variable lumbar, heating and headrest adjustments, the Jaguar XK lives up to Hoey’s expectations.
For more about the Jaguar XK, visit Howard Orloff Imports at 1924 N. Paulina St., Chicago,
www.orloff.com, or call 866.561.0012. To contact Kim Hoey, call 630.522.2064, or visit www.kimhoey.com.
RE/MAX At Home
2007 CADILLAC ESCALADE – $57,675 (BASE)
• Bose 5.1 Discrete Surround Sound System
• 17-inch, 4-wheel ABS with VAC Power
• All-wheel Drive
• 19/23 MPG
• Vortec High-output 6200 V8 Engine
• In-dash DVD Player with Remote Control
• Climate Package Including Heated and
Cooled Front Seats
Since taking up the family business in 2004, Realtor Kim Suhanek with RE/MAX At Home in Rolling Meadows works mostly with selling single-family homes in the northwest suburbs and city. She loves the freedom selling real estate affords and the ability to be her own boss.
Ideal for escorting clients in comfort and style, the 2007 Cadillac Escalade has fully customizable seating. The driver and front passenger seats have both three-setting heated and cooled cushions and backs with fold-down armrests. A DVD-integrated navigation system, touchscreen CD/DVD/MP3 player with voice-activation technology and two separate slots for discs are available in the front media console, and the back seat offers an entertainment system with overhead display.
Suhanek prefers her vehicles to have an abundance of luxury features, but still be reliable. With the Escalade, the opulence is unparalleled. The SUV includes a remote-start ignition system, and she can easily back up or parallel park on those crowded city streets with the rearview camera system. The Escalade also comes with the OnStar protection program, so immediate assistance is only a call away.
For more about the Cadillac Escalade, visit Patrick Cadillac at 526 Mall Drive, Schaumburg,
www.patrickcadillac.com, or call 847.605.4000. To contact Kim Suhanek, call 847.255.2530.
Koenig & Strey GMAC
2007 RANGE ROVER SPORT – $57,250 (BASE)
• 4.4-liter, 300-horsepower V8 engine
• Touchscreen DVD-based satellite
• 550-watt, 13-speaker Harman Kardon
Logic 7 audio system
• 6-airbag Supplemental Restraint System
• Adaptive Cruise Control
• Optional Personal Telephone Integration System with Bluetooth®
Dale Shea with Koenig & Strey GMAC Lake Forest loves being a Realtor because it allows him to stay in control of his own destiny. With the Range Rover Sport, he’s also in control of the road. Featuring a 4.4 liter, 300-horse power V-8 engine, the Range Rover has plenty of power but is kept in check by a permanent four-wheel-drive system that consistently delivers the best possible traction.
Sticking with the real estate business for the last 23 three years, Shea predominantly sells single-family homes in Lake County.
Shea prefers a vehicle that offers an all-around package of comfort and functionality. “The most important features to me are a smooth ride, a minimum number of blind spots and something that is both comfortable, roomy and has a great grip on the road, as I sometimes have problems in the winter with snowy driveways.”
The Range Rover Sport is the perfect balance of power, agility and control. The SUV includes the Dynamic Response suspension system, which utilizes hydraulic actuators to help the anti-roll bars resist cornering forces, resulting in a smoother, more relaxing ride.
To learn more about the Range Rover Sport, contact Howard Orloff Imports at 1924 N. Paulina St., Chicago, visit www.orloff.com, or call 866.561.0012. To contact Dale Shea, call 847.561.4022, or go to www.daleshea.com.
Baird & Warner City West
2007 BMW X5 – $42,500 (BASE)
• Active Steering
• Adaptive Drive
• 205-watt with MP3 Auxiliary Input Jack and Under-seat Subwoofers
• Optional Heads-up Display
• 260-horsepower, 3.0-liter Inline
• Rear Cabin DVD System
Like the active steering system in the 2007 BMW X5, which offers drivers an the option to enhance maneuverability by varying the steering ratio according to the vehicle speed, allowing drivers to roam freely throughout the city, agent Ramsey Al-Ramahi with Baird & Warner moves with the flow of his clients.
“I go wherever the business takes me,” he says. “I enjoy learning about new areas that I have yet to explore. Balance is key; it ultimately comes down to costs versus profit. If I know I cannot spend quality time to ensure my client is extremely satisfied, I would rather refer the business to someone who can.”
Specializing in selling single-family homes, multi-units, condominiums and even parking spaces for the last 18 months, Al-Ramahi understand the importance of having the right automobile. He likes to have a vehicle with plenty of room for clients and is enamored with parking sensors.
“[Agents] spend a good amount of time driving our clients to view properties, so it is important to have a spacious interior to ensure our clients travel in comfort,” he says. With optional third-row seats, the X5 can transport up to seven people at one time, or the seats can fold to accommodate additional cargo.
To learn more about the BMW X5, contact Perillo BMW at 1035 N. Clark St., Chicago, visit www.perillobmw.com, or call 312.981.0000. To contact Ramsey Al-Ramahi, call 312.738.7600.
Keller Williams Realty
2006 PORSCHE CAYENNE – $42,200 (BASE)
• 3.2-liter, 24-valve, 247-horsepower V6 engine
• All-wheel Drive
• 4-wheel ABS
• 19/23 MPG
• Variable Intermittent Rain Sensing Wipers
• 12-speaker In-dash CD Player with Speed Sensitive Volume Control
An admitted car addict, Nick Libert, managing broker of Keller Williams Realty Chicago Properties, recognizes how important the right car can be to real estate agents. Personally specializing in selling high-end residential properties in Lakeview, Lincoln Park, Wicker Park and Bucktown, Libert relishes his work.
“I love the freedom of being in business for yourself and empowering lives through what you are doing. When you help someone buy or sell a property, you are aiding them in investing in their own future. And — what’s most exciting — you truly make your own destiny.”
The Porsche Cayenne, a four-door luxury SUV, has all of the features to keep Realtors and their clients happy. The Cayenne comes with a five-person total seating capacity, leather upholstery, dual-zone air conditioning, front and rear reading lights and cup holders.
Libert enjoys the luxury and comfort amenities and thinks they’re an important feature for agents. “I think navigation is a great new feature and a big, comfortable back seat with lots of cup holders is also nice.”
To learn more about the Porsche Cayenne, visit Loeber Motors at 7101 N. Lincoln Ave., Lincolnwood, www.loeber.porschedealer.com, or call 847.675.1000. To contact Nick Libert, visit www.nicklibert.com or call 312.493.0920.
Baird & Warner City West
2007 AUDI Q7 – $39,900 (BASE)
• Power Tailgate
• Panorama Sunroof
• Heated Steering Wheel
• Bose® Premium 14-speaker
Surround Sound System
• Universal Phone Preparation with Bluetooth®
• Audi DVD Navigation System
• 4.2-liter, 350-Horsepower V8 Engine
• 14/19 MPG
Like the Audi Q7 — which boasts 350 horsepower and a top speed of 130 mph — ideal for freely exploring every nook and cranny of the city, Alex Till of Baird & Warner loves the independence of being a Realtor. Having moved from Britain in 1999, and working as a Realtor for the last 18 months, Till specializes in selling condominiums and single-family homes all across the city, from Hyde Park to Rogers Park.
Widely acknowledged as being an industry leader in interior design, the Audi Q7 elegantly addresses the needs of both the driver and passengers. With a choice of second-row luxury comfort seats in a six-seat configuration, or five- and seven-seat bench seat configurations, agents would easily be able to carry an entire family to showings in style.
To Till, the ease of maneuverability in a vehicle is important, and with the introduction of Audi’s quattro system to the Q7, shifting the bias to the rear wheels under normal driving conditions, enhances the SUVs performance, allowing for a smoother, more comfortable ride.
For more information about the Audi Q7, visit McGrath Audi at 301 N. Waukegan Road, Glenview,
www.mcgrathaudi.com, or call 888.243.9741. To reach Alex Till, visit www.bairdwarner.com or call 312.738.7644.
John Lee Bingham
Baird & Warner
2007 LEXUS RX350 AWD – $38,800 (BASE)
• Voice-activated DVD Navigation System
• Power Rear Door
• Four-sensor, Four-channel ABS
• 19/24 MPG
• Traction Control
• 10-way Driver’s and Passenger’s Power Seats
• 8-speaker Premium Sound System with Automatic Sound Levelizer
A jack of all trades, working as a Realtor, a part-time corporate/public seminar trainer, frequent keynote speaker travelling to sometimes five dates each month, former U.S. Marine and two-time political candidate, John Lee Bingham with Baird & Warner in Evanston needs a vehicle that is as versatile as he is.
Specializing in selling mostly condominiums in Evanston and the north side of Chicago for the last two years, Bingham utilizes every facet of his automobile in order to get the job done. One feature that’s particularly important to him, an in-vehicle navigation system, is one of the key features of the Lexus RX 350, which comes with a voice-activated DVD navigation system as part of a liquid-crystal, multi-information console display.
Bingham likes his vehicles to have four doors, an abundance of leg room for passengers and space in the trunk, but not be too ostentatious as to put off clients. Simple and refined with seating for up to five passengers and a power rear door which opens to ample trunk space, the RX 350 has plenty of room to store both signs and clients.
For more information about the Lexus RX 350, contact McGrath Lexus of Chicago at 1250 W. Division St., Chicago, www.mcgrathlexusofchicago.com, or call 888.217.0332. To reach John Lee Bingham, visit
www.johnleebinghamrealtor.com, or call 847.905.5232.
Lincoln Park Plaza
2007 ACURA RDX – $32,995 (BASE)
• Turbocharged, 2.3-liter, 16-valve, DOHC
i-VTEC 4-cylinder Engine
• 240 Horsepower
• 4-wheel ABS with Electronic Brake
• Heated Front Seats
• 360-watt, 7-speaker, Premium Sound System with MP3 Auxiliary Input Jack
• Side Curtain Airbags with Rollover Sensor
• 19/23 MPG
A life-long resident of Chicago, Brenda Tabak, an agent with Coldwell Banker in Lincoln Park, has been selling real estate and building an enduring list of friends and clients since 1978. Working mostly with new construction, Tabak covers a wide range of the city that spans from Hyde Park to Rogers Park.
With a sophisticated drive system that places an emphasis on handling and performance, the 2007 Acura RDX can easily traverse distances across the metro area. The RDX offers Super Handling All-Wheel Drive that allows the vehicle to grip the road in snow and rain by distributing varying amounts of engine torque between the front and rear wheels to match the conditions.
Tabak’s favorite feature is the hands-free, steering wheel-mounted controls which offer Bluetooth wireless connectivity for her cell phone so she can safely talk to clients while on the road. In addition to its HandsFreeLink technology package, the RDX allows a variety of convenience features to be tailored to the driver’s personal tastes, including whether and when the doors automatically lock and how long the headlights stay on once the vehicle has been turned off.
For more information about the Acura RDX, visit McGrath Acura at 9105 Waukegan Road, Morton Grove, go to www.mcgrathacura.com, or call 800.331.8199. To contact Brenda Tabak, call 312.915.4741.