John McHatton, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Naperville-Wash

What was your first job in the realty industry?
A sales associate for Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Naperville.

Who inspires you?
The agents I work with; they are a team I can always count on.

What is your favorite free-time activity?
Spending time at the beach, the pool or the gym. But my real passion is cooking, which I incorporate into showings by serving elaborate lunches at open houses. I love doing it and the crowds love eating it!

How did you learn the business?
From other sales associates — experienced agents are a wealth of knowledge

What was your most difficult sale, and how did you succeed?
A delicate circumstance, such as a divorce, will make or break you in this industry, so you must always listen to your clients and make their interests a priority. I’ve also found that patience, honesty, diplomacy and a good sense of humor will gracefully get you through any challenging situation.

What is the most difficult aspect of your job?
Long hours can steal your personal time, so you must schedule moments for yourself. My favorite way to relax is to share a bottle of wine with friends and toast the day.

What was your worst job, and what did you learn from it?
Working retail in high school. I learned to appreciate everyone you encounter no matter what their position is or what job they hold. It also taught me to be a good listener because everyone has a story.

Where do you go to network and meet new clients?
I like to talk, so anytime I am awake I am networking: BBQ’s, gym, shopping, weddings, etc. My office makes fun of me because there was one time where every listing I had for three months came from funerals. That’s not to be insensitive, but merely to show that people need Realtors throughout their lives. I’ve handed out cards in the gym while only wearing a towel. I would get questions while I was playing water polo or buying gas. Even at parties!

What has been your greatest accomplishment?
When I’m working, it’s all about putting a smile on each of my clients’ faces. In my personal life, it has to be surviving the canopy tour in Costa Rica. The tour is a zip line through the jungle, 200 feet in the air. I had to run off a cliff and fly from tree to tree. It was terrifying, exhilarating and also the best vacation day of my life.

Where would you like to be in five years, professionally?
In a corner office with staff to handle paperwork (so that I can spend all my time being with my clients).

What was the last good movie you saw or book you read?
Sicko by Michael Moore

What is your favorite restaurant?
Joy Yee (my mouth is watering just typing it).

Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Chicago?
The Water Tower. It epitomizes Chicagoans’ work ethic to rebuild after the Chicago Fire, and is now surrounded by all that is new and vibrant with Chicago.

What kind of car do you drive?
Acura MDX with Navigation. An Agent’s best friend!

BlackBerry, Palm or paper?
Paper…. No need for batteries, just good penmanship.

What is your favorite city after Chicago?
London for culture. Miami for fun!

What is your personal motto?
Work hard, play even harder.

In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry?
Don’t be afraid, learn from your peers, just do it!

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