Joyce Okal, Fisher & Okal, Koenig & Strey – The Schiller Office, Elmhurst

What was your first job in the realty industry? I started out in the southwest suburbs as an agent. Within two years I was back in Chicago, where I remained for 14 years.

What do you do to relax when you’re stressed? If I am in the Upper Peninsula, I go fishing. It’s so quiet you can hear the eagles’ wings flapping. If I’m home, I cook.

If you weren’t a Realtor, what would you be? A restaurant owner.

If you could have lunch with a well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why? Barack Obama, because I would love to pick his brain and because he is a Chicago sports fan.

What is your favorite place to “hang out?” At home with friends and family. I love cooking with my family. They all are experienced cooks.

What do you love most about the industry? The freedom of not sitting at a desk all day. I never get bored looking at homes or how people live.

How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents? Not many agents have chosen real estate as their career; most came from other industries. This is all I have ever done and I have always been full time.

What is the most difficult aspect of your job? Having to tell people that their home may not be worth as much as they paid for it. Also, dealing with home inspection issues. Every buyer deserves a safe home, but home inspections are not the time to renegotiate an entire contract.

What has been your greatest accomplishment? My daughter. Hands down.

What was the last good movie you saw or book you read? “Sarah’s Key” by Tatiana DeRosnay.

Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Chicago? The Stone Container building at 150 N. Michigan.

What kind of car do you drive? Black Ford Edge.

Smartphone or paper? Smartphone.

What is your favorite city after Chicago? Seattle.

In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry? It’s going to get better. It always does.

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  • Barb Freudinger says:

    Dear Joyce,Congrats!Your name has come into conservsation over the years,and I think of you and our old company on occasion.I am glad to
    see you are doing well,and of course a friendly face.Best of luck!
    Barbara Freudinger

  • Sylvana says:

    I’ve known Joyce for many years and her partner Marilyn and they are just terrific people to know and work with. Over the years we have conducted business together, and it’s always been first class. Best wishes to you Joyce!!

  • Joyce Okal says:

    Thanks Barb and Sylvana. What great compliments from some of the best agents around.

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