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Barbara Burrell, Managing Broker, Burrell Realty

CHICAGO/MIAMI

What was your first job in the realty industry? I was very fortunate to get my start as a sales associate with Rubloff Residential, a premier Chicago company.



Who inspires you? My three children inspire me.



What is your favorite free-time activity? I love movies and listening to music. I also enjoy spending time with my three children.



How did you learn the business? I knew early on that I had an interest in real estate, though I never saw my path to real estate until after working for years as a teacher and in advertising. I was able to transfer many of the skills required of those disciplines to real estate. Also, I was lucky enough to have a strong managing broker and helpful colleagues when I started. Continuing education classes help to keep me current.



What was your most difficult sale, and how did you succeed? A real estate investor gave me 10 new construction listings to sell. Competing with the developer to sell units was the most difficult assignment I’ve had. It took lots and lots of time and painful negotiations, but I succeeded by working my butt off!



What is the most difficult aspect of your job? Time allocation is critical if you want a personal life. I had to learn to say “no.” In this highly competitive 24/7 business, the temptation is to take every piece of business that comes along, and you can’t always do it all.



What was your worst job, and what did you learn from it? My worst job was when a client who was rejected for the purchase of a co-op apartment fired me. I felt terrible! Upon reflection, there was nothing I could have done differently. I determined that the process was flawed. I licked my wounds and moved on.



Where do you go to network and meet new clients? Through the years I have volunteered throughout the community. My business is 100 percent referral from clients, friends, family and the many people I’ve met along the way in volunteer activities and on boards.

What has been your greatest accomplishment? Maintaining a reputation of honesty and integrity throughout my 15 years in the business.



What was the last good movie you saw or book you read? I love action movies. “Wolverine” was terrific. 



What is your favorite restaurant? Wishbone in Lakeview on Lincoln Avenue. I love the homestyle cooking and the relaxed atmosphere. 



Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Chicago? The Chicago Cultural Center. The grand rooms, massive windows and exquisite mosaic tile ceilings are breathtaking.



What kind of car do you drive? Volkswagen Passat



BlackBerry, Palm or paper? iPhone — I’m a Mac all the way!



What is your favorite city after Chicago? Miami

In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry? The first six months are the toughest. Hang in there!

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