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THE EXPERTS WEIGH IN:

by Chicago Agent

What is the best part about being a Realtor?
Dympna Fay-Hart: The best part about being a Realtor is that each day is different, and brings with it many different people. I also enjoy the flexibility of hours.
Alice Chin: Having a different schedule every day, and also being able to help people at a very emotional and exciting time in their lives.
Marc Perlove: Every day has new and different challenges.
Genie Birch: The best part is waking up and knowing that every day is different. That I can make a difference in the quality of life of my clients, regardless of whether they are buyers or sellers.

Besides your office, where is your favorite place to do business?
DFH: Besides my office, my favorite place to do business is my custom home office!
AC: In my car – it is definitely a mobile office.
GB: If I am not in my office you can find me working either out of my home or at the Chicago Association of Realtors headquarters.

Are a lot of your closest friends people that you’ve met through the industry?
DFH: Many of my close friends are people that I have met in my office over the 17 years I have been there and also in the industry.
AC: Yes, a lot of my closest friends are either other real estate agents or industry partners (attorney, mortgage brokers, etc).
MP: Some – there are great people in the business, many are smart with great ethics and integrity.
GB: Several of my closest friends have been part of this industry. One actually introduced me to my husband, and several of my clients have become close dear friends.

What invitation do you always say yes to?
DFH: Opportunities to meet new people through networking, chamber meetings and home-hosted parties.
AC: Any social event that involves other real estate individuals that I know well
MP: I always enjoy events with an open bar and free food, as well as sporting events!

Where are the fun afterhour events?
DFH: There are many afterhour events, from Chicago Association of Realtors afterhour gatherings to LinkedIn-hosted events, that I try and follow!
GB: My fun afterhour events usually revolve around industry-related cocktail parties.

What kind of company social events does your office have?
DFH: We participate annually in the neighborhood St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which all the local businesses join in, as well as the Edison Park Fest and Parade in late August. We usually rent a float or a double-decker bus. We have an annual Christmas brunch and this year we raised funds for Toys for Tots. The U.S. Marines came to collect the toys during the brunch.
AC: We have happy hours once in a while and office parties for different holidays throughout the year. We also have a pizza day every other Friday at our office, and once a month we have an all-office birthday celebration for individuals who have birthdays that month.
MP: Holiday parties and summer barbecues
GB: Our office hosts a happy hour at a nearby bar or restaurant just about once a month.

What are some perks at your office?
DFH: We are a brand new state-of-the art facility in a pristine location with a free health club in the building for all agents. There are private offices, free advertising, heated indoor parking for top producing agents, a high percentage commission structure, our office agents speak 17 different languages and more than half of our agents have been with the company 10 years or longer.
AC: All of our office supplies and almost all printing is paid for. We also each individually get a postage reimbursement allotment, depending on our production.
MP: The secretaries are very knowledgeable in technology.
GB: My office is in the Bloomingdale’s building, so I love the convenience of having everything just an elevator ride away. But most of all I love having a gym in the building.

Where do you network?
DFH: I network at local neighborhood chambers, my church and my children’s schools.
AC: Mostly on social networking sites, such as Twitter and Facebook.
GB: Anywhere, everywhere, all day long

What do you like most about doing business in Chicagoland?
DFH: I love the city and I am a lifetime resident. I love the conveniences of transportation, proximity to airports, entertainment, shopping and dining.
AC: Everyone is so friendly in the Chicagoland area. Also, there are so many different types of homes and properties to show buyers.
MP: Diversity – so many people of different backgrounds and cultures, and that is great!

What do you give your clients as a closing gift?
DFH: I have many different gift ideas for my clients based on their age, hobbies and, sometimes, needs.
AC: If they were a seller, I usually give them a memory album of their last home. If they were a buyer, usually a gift card to a local hardware store and customized “We’ve Moved” cards.
MP: Gift certificates
GB: I try to find a unique gift for each client that either reflects their personality or our relationship.

Do you remain close with any of your clients who have completed a purchase/sale?
DFH: I keep in touch with most of my clients and consider many of them very good friends.
AC: Yes, I stay in close contact with almost all of my past clients.
MP: Yes, some are great friends
GB: Of course, actually several. We have become very close and go out as couples. We even invite each other to life events.

Have you ever brought someone into the realty business?
DFH:
I have brought many people into real estate, there is plenty of real estate for all of us to sell, and my wish is always that they love it as much as I do. Sometimes, though, it’s not for everyone!
AC: Yes, an agent on my team started in the business after she had worked as my full-time assistant for a little over a year.
MP: Yes, one woman I work with was my customer and left a teaching career.
GB: One of my son’s closest friends. He even works in my office since he got his license.

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