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Humble Beginnings

by Chicago Agent

Big-time luxury agents deal with the finer things in real estate — multi-million dollar estates, the finest finishings, sprawling lawns in some of the ritziest suburban neighborhoods and some of the highest high rises that offer the best views of the city.

But often, luxury agents weren’t always selling luxury listings. Here, a few of Chicagoland’s top luxury agents recall their very first listing.

Carol Hunt, Baird & Warner

Carol Hunt

Carol Hunt, Baird & Warner

“My first listing was a Gold Coast studio in 1979. It was in a mid-rise, nice building and had good views. The seller had no idea that I was brand new, and I have no idea how. As a new agent, I didn’t like to tell people I was brand new, and the way I got around that was this first listing was a $44,000 listing. No other agents were working the bottom of market, so I looked credible, and was excited and engaged, and I must have shown some confidence. I was so excited to get the listing! It only took a few months to sell it.

I moved to Winnetka in 1985. In my early years, I took listings no one else wanted and taught myself how to sell effectively. That’s how I got to be where I am today.”

Nancy Adelman, Griffith, Grant And Lackie

Nancy Adelman, Griffith, Grant And Lackie

Nancy Adelman, Griffith, Grant And Lackie

“My parent’s home was my first listing. It sold for $525,000. My mother was in the real estate business before I got into it, and when they retired, I sold their home. They closed on it, then rented it back from the guy who bought it so I could get married there in 1986.

However, one of my other first listings came through an agent in my company who left the business. She introduced me to clients of hers who were getting ready to sell their home. I got their listing thanks to her referral, and even 25 years ago, their home sold for $550,000. It was a huge deal for me, and an incredible opportunity. Also, the woman whose house I sold, who was 15 years older than me, became my best friend in life. We connected at the time, and when she needed to sell her house again six or seven years later, they hired me to sell it. Real estate is all about business and networking, but it’s also about the friendships you make.”

Phil Bowers, Platinum Partners Realty

Phil Bowers, Platinum Partners Realty

Phil Bowers, Platinum Partners Realty

“I got my first listing in 1984. It was a little house that needed work on a busy street, but it was cute and cheap – it listed for $60,000 – in Downers Grove within walking distance of the train and downtown. I sold this house twice; it took 60 days to sell each time. That house is still there, but now, it’s worth $175,000. At one time in those days, I never thought I’d ever sell anything over $100,000. Now, I sell homes between $1 and $2 million, and higher.

I sold that house for my very first clients. Someone who knew me recommended they call me, and they ended up calling me three other times. After being in the business this long, much of my business is referrals. I don’t really sell houses, I just help people figure out what they like and then help them find that in a home.”

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