Vol. 4, Iss. 9, Agent Snapshot: Jack Guest, Century 21 McMullen, Norwood Park, Chicago

Jack Guest.

What was your first job in the realty industry?
I was a staff accountant for JMB Realty working on institutional pension funds composed of commercial real estate properties.

Who inspires you?
My wife Stephanie and my three boys, with their infectious personalities, make me want to succeed and prosper.

What is your favorite free-time activity?
I enjoy coaching my three sons’ basketball, soccer, baseball and football teams.

How did you learn the business?
Growing up as the son of two Realtors, I learned at the dinner table as a kid, absorbing knowledge without realizing I was learning my future trade.

What was your most difficult sale, and how did you succeed?
My most difficult sale was selling an auto service station because of the environmental issues that accompanied the sale. After I became familiar with all of the governmental hurdles that needed to be overcome, I was able to explain those issues to potential buyers and make them comfortable with the property they would be buying.

What is the most difficult aspect of your job?
Being available seven days a week and interrupted when I am spending time with my family.

What was your worst job, and what did you learn from it?
I was very humbled when I tried my hand as a banquet waiter in downtown hotels during one summer as a college student. It made me appreciate how hard some people work in the service industry.

Where do you go to network and meet new clients?
I am networking constantly, as I meet new people wherever I am, although not necessarily planning specific outings to do so. My close friends and clients are constantly introducing me to people they know who might benefit from my services.

What has been your greatest accomplishment?
Passing the CPA exam was the most challenging and satisfying accomplishment in my career. I have two brothers who are also CPAs, but none of us prepares tax returns other than our own. Understanding numbers is a great foundation for any aspect of the business world.

Where would you like to be in five years, professionally?
In five years, I would like to continue to have a smooth-running real estate practice, embracing the advances in real estate technology to make my time more efficient.

What was the last good movie you saw or book you read?
“The Terrible Hours” by Peter Maas was an excellent non-fiction book about submarine rescue.

What is your favorite restaurant?
Twin Anchors and their BBQ ribs.

Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Chicago?
The Rookery at 209 S. LaSalle St., designed by John Root in 1885, its lobby was remodeled by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1905.

What kind of car do you drive?
A blue Toyota Highlander.

BlackBerry, Palm or paper?
Paper is my poison of choice.

What is your favorite city after Chicago?
Bloomington, Ind., where I met my wife and Bobby Knight in that order. He actually offered her his car to get away the day before our wedding. I am glad she didn’t listen. That is a true story.

What is your personal motto?
The House Guests – We make house calls.

In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry?
Don’t give up, listen and learn from your peers.

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