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Helen Oliveri, President & Broker, the Helen Oliveri Team, Keller Williams Realty, Northern Cook and Lake County specializing in Glenview, Morton Grove, Northbrook and Hawthorn Woods

What was your first job in the realty industry? I sold a $950,000 farm in the first week I got licensed. I hit the ground running and became Rookie of the Year within three months of becoming licensed.

Where did you grow up? Lincolnwood.

What is your favorite free-time activity? Movies, dinner, shopping, reading, cooking, walking and family time. I just had a baby, and I love spending time with my husband, our son and our beagle.

What do you do to relax when you’re stressed? I make to-do lists and start tackling them one at a time. When the list is complete, I am no longer stressed. I also walk every day with my husband, which helps, and we talk and strategize and problem-solve together. We are a true partnership in every sense of the word at work, at home and in business. My husband is my best friend and confidant. I just don’t know what I would do without him. He makes me laugh away my stresses and shows me that they are not so bad!

Growing up, what did you want to be? A professional actor making movies on the big screen. It was another passion of mine before real estate, and I just really enjoy the movies. Or a professional athlete; I love athletics and competition.

If you could have lunch with a well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why? Barbara Corcoran. She is a shark, a real estate mogul, a mother, a daughter, an entrepreneur and an overall powerhouse. She is one to admire, and I would absolutely love an opportunity to share a conversation with her on how she accomplished so many amazing things in her career.

What do you love most about the industry? Negotiating, networking, problem-solving and being able to help people realize their goals and helping them get there. I love the lack of a glass ceiling and love controlling my own future while helping others achieve theirs. The ever-changing dynamic of real estate is simply thrilling to me.

What is the most difficult aspect of your job? Staying cool and even-keeled under extreme pressure. My business is so intense and fast-paced that at times we have multiple issues to tackle at once. It can be hard to juggle so many issues and stay calm, cool and collected throughout the resolution process. However, my passion to be the best overcomes my frustrations, and I am very much in control of how I react…though it can be hard at times!

Where do you go to network and meet new clients? Everywhere! I wear a name badge that signifies who I am and what I do, which is great for networking and conversation. I tell everyone who I am, what I stand for and what I do. From parties to sporting events, shopping and the local pool, I am always networking for business. It is the thrill of the hunt and the challenge that I love most.

What has been your greatest accomplishment? My greatest accomplishment is my family. I have a tremendous family who have given me the support and strength to be an overachiever. Being able to conquer my professional, financial and personal goals has been the most amazing and rewarding experience, and if I didn’t have such a genuine support system, it would not be possible.

What was the last good movie you saw or book you read? The last great book I read was “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.” It is a terrific book. You can never learn enough when it comes to being a great leader.

Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Chicago? Trump Tower. It signifies strength, power and dominance. It is a sharp and savvy building set amongst traditional buildings, which makes it distinctive.

Smartphone or paper? There are uses for both. I am very tech-savvy and do most everything digitally, but there is still a need for paper, and I use it when I have to.
What is your advice for someone new to the industry? Persistence, diligence, education and work ethic. It takes all of this to be a true real estate professional.

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