Carmen V. Rodriguez, Broker Associate, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Edgebrook

What was your first job in the realty business? I was my husband’s office assistant in his sole proprietorship.

Where did you grow up? I grew up on Chicago’s North side, in the Edgewater neighborhood.

What is your favorite free-time activity? I enjoy boating, spending time with family and friends and soaking in the sun.

What do you do to relax when you’re stressed? I read books or write.

Growing up, what did you want to be? A campaign manager.

If you could have lunch with a well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why? Ron Santo, no contest, because he was a great Italian, a great Cub, a great man and a great person, and I’d bet he’d be a terrific lunch date.

What is your favorite place to hang out? My backyard or my friend Eileen’s backyard. I haven’t tried the French Riviera yet, but I bet I’d love that, too.

What do you love most about the industry? Hearing stories and telling stories. Every buyer has one, every seller does, too, and – of course – we agents have a million stories! The stories keep the job interesting.

How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents? I’m a very real person; no veneer, no pomp.

What is the most difficult aspect of your job? Knowing someone is making a bad decision and trying my best to counsel them out of it and failing.

Where do you go to network and meet new clients? I’m very active in my community and in my association. I believe the more you engage in the things you care about personally, the more likely you are to come across to someone in that arena as a person they’d like to do business with.

What has been your greatest accomplishment? Lucy, age 13, and Sam and Sara, ages 10. Nothing else really matters.

What was the last good movie you saw or book you read? “The Shadow of the Wind” by Carlos Ruiz Zafon – great read!

What is your favorite restaurant? Wow, tough one – I’ll say Wholly Frijoles on Touhy, but I’ve got a ton of favorites.

Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Chicago? Impossible to say – I got into real estate because I am so addicted to the architecture here and I wanted to see as many places as I could from the inside. I adore the Tribune building and am fascinated by the Britannica building. There’s a mansion on the corner of Thorndale and Sheridan Road that I dreamt about all my childhood. I think 3314 N. Lake Shore Drive is a gorgeous building, and the old Norwood and Granada theaters, which sadly are gone, are all among my favorites.

What kind of car do you drive? A 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee or a 2004 Chrysler Pacifica.

Smartphone or paper? Have the phone, but prefer the paper.

What is your favorite city after Chicago? There are other cities?

In 10 words or less, what is your advice to someone new to the industry? Work hard, follow your instincts, value others’ experience, be yourself.

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