Maria Schmidt, Habitat, Wells Street Office

What was your first job in the realty industry?
I was a property manager for a private developer.

Who inspires you?
My parents

What is your favorite free-time activity?

How did you learn the business?
I learned by observing others and asking a lot of questions.

What was your most difficult sale, and how did you succeed?
Finding a store space for a very particular commercial client; I spent a lot of time listening to his needs, and found him a store he was able to customize.

What is the most difficult aspect of your job?
Being accessible all the time

What was your worst job, and what did you learn from it?
My worst job was with an insurance consultant for a large company. I learned how to be an ethical businessperson by observing unethical business practices.

Where do you go to network and meet new clients?
Career and social networking functions

What has been your greatest accomplishment?
Starting my own consulting business when I was 30 years old

What was the last good movie you saw or book you read?

What is your favorite restaurant?
Red Light

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

What kind of car do you drive?
Subaru Tribeca

BlackBerry, Palm or paper?

What is your favorite city after Chicago?
New York

What is your personal motto?
When one door closes, another one opens.

In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry?
Listen, be ethical at all times and re-invent yourself often.

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