Christine Riso, Broker Associate, G.R.I., Baird & Warner, Naperville

What was your first job in the realty industry? I was a residential sales associate and then opened my own real estate school, along with a property management company.

What is your favorite free-time activity? A tie between cooking, gardening and enjoying city life. I am a foodie. I love to cook and share with friends. I love my gardens and growing great herbs, vegetables, etc., for my cooking fancy. I enjoy city life as a free time alternative.

What do you do to relax when you’re stressed? Cooking and relaxing with a glass of wine and good friends. It allows me to be grateful for all I have and think of all the good things in my life, like my great real estate background, which helps me in my career today. Thinking of how the market is going up from here helps my stress levels very much.

If you weren’t a Realtor, what would you be? Maybe a chef – I would love to open a restaurant – but if I wasn’t in real estate, I’d definitely have to be in a people-oriented business.

How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents? My vast experience, the time I devote to my clients and my understanding of the laws, rules, etc. I am the agent who will take my client through all steps of the transaction; I’ll be there at the beginning, the end and in the afterlife of the transaction. My knowledge of the area is unsurpassed. Given my history, I will help my clients find their dream home and I will assist them in making sure it is a good investment. My clients can call me from 9 am to 9 pm. Monday through Sunday, I am here for them.

What is the most difficult aspect of your job? Educating clients who have no idea of the market or the real estate process. Most people have an idea of education, purchasing cars, so many areas of life. However, many people have no idea when it comes to the market, real estate or other, and where to go to get the facts. As people get to know me, they trust me and understand I have the right knowledge.

Where do you go to network and meet new clients? Living life day-to-day with optimism and enjoying what I do brings so many opportunities. I have friends who give me referrals, and I network with my local communities. I am also grateful to work for a fabulous company, Baird & Warner, which is proactive with social media and has an award-winning website and unsurpassed reputation. It all comes together and works.

What has been your greatest accomplishment? The obvious is raising a beautiful daughter in mind and spirit, but that was easy; Candice is a wonderful person. My career accomplishments have been starting my own businesses and successfully running them for years, which led me to a successful career in residential real estate, my true passion.

What is your favorite restaurant? There are so many. Gaetano’s, Picolo Sogno, Spiaggia…yes, I could keep going and going.

Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Chicago? The Wrigley Bulding.

What kind of car do you drive? Toyota.

Smartphone or Paper? Smartphone, of course.

What is your favorite city after Chicago? New York

What is your favorite real estate app? Bairdwarner.com. It has everything and is the most user friendly.

In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry? Remember that you could be working with someone’s largest investment.

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