Tina Johnson, Broker Associate, Premier Living Properties, South Elgin

What was your first job in the realty industry? I worked as a buyer’s agent where I learned everything I could. My very first sale was a HUD home – I have only known this tough market and have managed to do better each year. I am now working as an independent agent.

Where did you grow up? I grew up in Bartlett in a great subdivision where we all could walk to our friends’ houses, the park and the pool.

What is your favorite free-time activity? Reading anything to do with real estate and watching my kids play sports.

If you weren’t a Realtor, what would you be? I can’t think of anything else I would possibly want to do!

If you could have lunch with a well-known figure (living or not), who would it be? Oprah – she has had great success and I would love to hear some of her secrets.

Where is your favorite place to hang out? Tough one – anywhere the team (one of my kids’ sports teams) is going after a great win. It is usually Buffalo Wild Wings.

How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents? Customer service – I am accessible to my clients and if I don’t know the answer, I will find it.

Where do you go to network and meet new clients? I work with a lot of investors, so we have breakfasts, and I am lucky to receive lots of referrals from happy past clients.

What do you love most about the industry? I love the people – I have met some great people and enjoy sharing my knowledge and just helping them with such an important purchase.

What has been your greatest accomplishment? I think my overall career so far has been my biggest accomplishment. I have managed to juggle being a mom while working as a full-time agent. I have successfully seen my business grow year after year since I started. I am proud of that.

What do you do to relax when you’re stressed? I like to go for a walk or just sit in a quiet place and relax.

What is the most difficult aspect of your job? In this market, it is telling sellers their homes are not worth as much as they had hoped or bringing them an offer that is lower than they were expecting.

What was the last good movie you saw or book you read? Eat, Pray, Love.

What is your favorite restaurant? Any place that serves seafood or steak!

Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Chicago? I love French country-style homes and English Tudors.

What kind of car do you drive? BMW – I love it.

Smartphone or paper? Smartphone and paper. You just never know when you are going to lose all your contacts on your Blackberry.

What is your advice for someone new to the industry? Just work it.

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