What was your first job in the realty industry? The one I currently have. I started in real estate July 2003 after being downsized from an investment analysis position in corporate America. I decided I wanted to have a career where I could control my destiny.
What is your favorite free-time activity? I’ve always found the most fun when I leave the house without a specific agenda. I suppose my very favorite thing would be being outdoors exploring the city and people-watching.
If you weren’t a Realtor, what would you be? I would attend cooking school and learn all the different techniques for food preparation and open a restaurant. I love to prepare meals and have family and friends over to dine with me. Nothing is more satisfying than feeding a person and seeing them appreciate the time and effort I spent preparing the meal.
If you could have lunch with a well-known figure (living or not) who would it be and why? Madame C.J. Walker. She was the first known female African American millionaire. A former cotton picker from the South, she built a hair care empire that catered to African American women during a time when it was rare to hear of a successful woman entrepreneur. She was also a philanthropist and social activist.
Where is your favorite place to hang out? Home. I have a lovely home and I rarely have time just to enjoy it. I find myself always showing or previewing someone else’s home. Monday through Saturday, I leave early and return late. By the time I get home, all I want to do is eat and go to bed.
What do you love most about the industry? The excitement! No day, transaction or client is the same. Before I began selling real estate, I had no idea there were so many different personalities; in corporate America, every day was typically the same. Selling real estate gives me flexibility and continual growth, and at the end of the day, I feel I made a positive difference in my client’s life.
How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents? I am fortunate to have clients that I usually connect to from our first meeting. I’ve had many clients tell me when they read my online profile, it resonates with them. Quite often, I am working with clients that just need confirmation of their intuition. I work hard for my clients; their needs are my sole concern. I work diligently at educating myself on the latest trends in our industry, previewing properties, touring neighborhoods, knowing loan products available to buyers and studying neighborhood and market values. I don’t ask for dual agency because I can’t imagine how an agent can juggle priorities between both the seller and the buyer. It’s all about the client.
Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Chicago? The Trump Tower. I was driving into the city coming south on the Dan Ryan, and the sun hit the building and it looked like gold. It looked magnificent.
What kind of car do you drive? A 2006 Kia Optima.
Smartphone or paper? EVO smartphone.
What is your favorite city after Chicago? San Francisco.
In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry? FOCUS – find one course until successful.
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