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Mike Windish

Century 21 S.G.R. Inc.
Near South Side

What was your first job in the realty industry?
I joined Century 21 S.G.R. Inc. in 1996 and have been with them ever since.

Who inspires you?
The management team in my office inspires me. Nancy Suvarnamani, Jim Lynch and Alex Chaparro have more combined knowledge and experience in real estate than most offices as a whole.

What is your favorite free-time activity?
I love to ride my Harley in the summer and I play golf. As for the winter, traveling to Mexico to visit my wife’s family is something we enjoy very much.

How did you learn the business?
Like most agents, I learned the hard way through trial and error. I did have a great support system and wonderful training in my office.

What was your most difficult sale, and how did you succeed?
I sold a six-unit building with 32 code violations my first year in real estate. One of the tenants was a notorious drug dealer and the community took the owner to court. Fortunately, I found a buyer who was a godsend. He was a contractor who went to court and agreed to clean up the building and evict the problem tenants.

What is the most difficult aspect of your job?
I believe in this challenging market the most difficult aspect of my job is to contend with all of the negative press. There are people who still need to buy or sell a home, regardless of the condition of the market. As long as you are honest with buyers and sellers and understand what their expectations are, you will be able to bring value to the table and to your clients.

Where do you go to network and meet new clients?
Everywhere I go I try to work real estate into the conversation, especially at social functions where there are many different types of people.

BlackBerry, Palm or paper?
Motorola Razor. I don’t want to be a slave to e-mail. I can check it when I get to the office, not while I’m driving, thank you very much.

What is your favorite restaurant?
Plush on West Madison Street. This is a sophisticated neighborhood lounge with a moderately-priced menu of very fresh food. The Apple Ravioli and Coconut Gulf Shrimp are out of this world.

Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Chicago?
There are so many great buildings in Chicago. What impressed me the most when I first arrived in Chicago in 1993 and drove down South Michigan Avenue was the old buildings across from Grant Park, which are stately and timeless.

What is your favorite city after Chicago?
Probably Philadelphia. I grew up there and it has a lot of history, which makes Philly a great place. Oh yeah, and their cheese steaks rule!

What is your personal motto?
There is never a substitute for hard work.

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