Michael Opyd, Agent, Keller Williams, Lincoln Park

What was your first job in the realty industry? I jumped right into the industry head-first when I got my license. One thing I quickly realized is I should provide the best customer service to my clients that I can.

Where did you grow up? I grew up in the south suburbs of Chicago in Oak Forest. I went to grade school around there and then went to high school at Providence Catholic High School in New Lenox.

What is your favorite free-time activity? My favorite free-time activity is to play hockey. I’m wicked competitive, so this helps keep me sane in this business.

What do you do to relax when you’re stressed? For me, there are a few things I do: 1) If possible, I’ll play hockey 2) I’ll watch a movie and just get lost in the cinematic adventure unfolding in front of me on my TV, or 3) I’ll read for a while.

If you weren’t a Realtor, what would you be? I’d love to say professional athlete, but being vertically-challenged really kills that idea. I think I’d be involved with some aspect of finance. I was in finance before I made the switch to real estate, so I would work as a financial advisor and still be involved in customer service.

What is your favorite place to “hang out?” Home! It’s so relaxing to be in comfortable clothes, grab a beer and watch sports on my TV with my feet up.

How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents? I’m here to help people and to make sure my clients are getting the greatest customer service possible. Not many do this, and that’s where I differ.

What do you love most about the industry? Meeting new people every day! When you work in an office, it’s like Groundhog’s Day – you see the same people over and over and over. In this industry, you never know who you’re going to meet, from someone who is working to get their degree and needs a rental to someone who is looking to retire. It’s so diverse, it’s amazing!

Where do you go to network and meet new clients? I host open houses, talk with fellow hockey players at the rink, and join different leagues around Chicago. Last year I joined a kickball league. I met 10 new people I was able to add to my database, all while playing kickball and having a few beers. Can’t go wrong with that!

What was the last good movie you saw or book you read? I’m currently reading, for the second time, “The Millionaire Real Estate Agent” by Gary Keller. If you’re an agent and haven’t read this book, you have no idea what you’re missing.

What is your favorite restaurant? Nori Sushi on Diversey and Sheffield. Amazing sushi there and they have half-priced sushi on Mondays.

Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Chicago? Either One Museum Park or the Aqua building at 225 North Columbus Drive. Both are seriously cool to look at.

What is your favorite city after Chicago? Boston. I lived there for two years. It was sick! Great times and great people. It’s an amazing city, and the history there is unreal.

BlackBerry, iPhone or Paper? Seriously? What’s paper? I believe in being green, so for me, it’s my smartphone.

In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry? Prospect your database all the time!


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