Richard Similio, New West Realty

Ivy Hall at University Village, Chicago
What was your first job in the realty industry?
Selling new construction for New West, which I still do

Who inspires you?
My three-year-old daughter, Evelyn Autumn

What is your favorite free-time activity?
Spending time with my daughter

How did you learn the business?
By doing it; there’s nothing like selling to teach you how

What was your most difficult sale, and how did you succeed?
I had a client who nickel-and-dimed me to death, riddling me with questions and requests, and then threatened to walk from the deal if I didn’t give him an additional $5,000 off. I said “no” on principle. He pulled the deal, but then showed up the next day to reinstate it. I had the paperwork all ready for him.

What is the most difficult aspect of your job?
Dealing with client requests for changes to the existing floor plans; if we can’t do something, the reasons why are never good enough

What was your worst job, and what did you learn from it?
Landscaping, or pulling poison ivy out with my bare hands, was the worst. I learned when to say “no,” and quitting half an hour into the job was way too late.

Where do you go to network and meet new clients?
Wherever I happen to be: the gym, church, the grocery store; I talk to everyone about what I do

What has been your greatest accomplishment?
Being named “Rookie of the Year” at New West in 2005; it’s always good when your hard work is recognized

Where would you like to be in five years, professionally?
I’d like to be managing my own team of highly successful agents.

What was the last good movie you saw or book you read?
“Business Statistics;” I’m in grad school. Who has time to read for pleasure?

What is your favorite restaurant?

Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Chicago?
The Civic Opera Building

What kind of car do you drive?
Honda Civic hybrid

BlackBerry, Palm or paper?

What is your favorite city after Chicago?
Boston, my college town

What is your personal motto?
Never get too up or too down; keep an even keel.

In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry?
Never assume who has money to spend and who doesn’t.


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