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Donna Betsanes, Broker Associate, Weichert, Realtors – First Chicago, South Loop

What was your first job in the realty industry? I began as a licensed agent after I bought and sold two properties by owner. I enjoyed the process to the point that attaining the license was the next logical step to continue in the industry.

Where did you grow up? Burbank, southwest suburbs. I have always lived southwest. There is such a variety of housing styles, lot sizes and easy access to major routes for transportation.

What is your favorite free-time activity? Road trips have always been an adventure for me. It is eye-opening to see the lay of the land in the States up close and personal. The people I have met and tasting the regional foods make for an interesting time.

What do you do to relax when you’re stressed? Give me a good book and a warm bath and I’m a happy woman!

Growing up, what did you want to be? My earliest memory was wanting to be a mom, and I have been blessed with a son and daughter that mean the world to me. Besides wanting to be a mom, I wanted so badly to be a flight attendant, because I knew at a young age that the world was big and I have such a curiosity to explore. Unfortunately, back in the day, attendants had to be a certain height, and I didn’t meet that criteria so I never applied.

If you could have lunch with a well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why? Thomas Jefferson – a renaissance man that must’ve had such turmoil in his personal thoughts and relationships, but managed to be a true statesman for the good of our country during its formative years. I would have many questions for him.

How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents? My response time to clients and other professionals is immensely prompt. I pride myself on maintaining a high standard for quick responses. Even if I don’t have the answer right away, I will connect just to relay that I’m working on it. No one likes to be left in the dark when dealing with such a major issue in their life.

What is the most difficult aspect of your job? There’s never enough time in a day to accomplish all I hope to.

Where do you go to network and meet new clients? I talk to people all the time. You have to go anywhere; it’s all around you.

Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Chicago? The Wrigley Building’s architectural details are awesome.

What kind of car do you drive? Hyundai Santa Fe. It has a great ability to transport loads of college student stuff and great finds on my road trips.

Smartphone or paper? A nice combo of both. They each have an important purpose.

In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry? Don’t give up; forge ahead.

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