What was your first job in the realty industry? Homescout Realty. I initially started primarily doing leasing, and I was one of the leasing agents. Since I had my sales license, I opened up our sales division and transitioned to be full service for our clients.
Where did you grow up? Highland Park. However, Chicago runs through my blood now.
What is your favorite free-time activity? To stay sane, I go to the gym and I also love to play golf.
Where is your favorite place to hang out? Anywhere outside on a nice day with a scenic view of Chicago. I cannot stop looking at this gorgeous city, and a beautiful summer day can wipe your stress away. Erie/Kingsbury Park and East Bank Club’s rooftop are my frequent stops.
What do you love most about the industry? There are two interconnected factors that create my passion. In real estate, I believe you do not have to actually sell your specific product, only yourself. All you have to do is prepare them to be ready, and the rest will fall into place with your guidance. Simultaneously, we provide a large basis of human needs as outlined in Maslow’s hierarchy. This is a powerful opportunity to be a part of someone’s life.
How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents? My clients have said it best: “Joel is genuine.” I truly love my life and the ability to help those I care about. Getting in front of someone to convey this in the first place is not always easy, but that is the fun of the challenge we face.
What is the most difficult aspect of your job? There is no such thing as being “off” work. However, this is also one of my favorite aspects in my constant efforts to make a better version of myself.
Where do you go to network and meet new clients? Volunteering is a strong passion of mine. Years ago, an associate of mine, Judson Kinnucan, took a conversation we had and started “Bin Donated,” a social enterprise that provides everyday giving to existing organizations in need (bindonated.org). I get to meet great people, get good exposure with clients and building managers and give back to the community.
What has been your greatest accomplishment? Being happy with my life and career. Too many people I know are not.
Smartphone or paper? My life is on a Google calendar, but nothing beats scratching off items on a paper to-do list.
In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry? Never stop educating and challenging yourself.
What’s your favorite Real Estate iPhone/Blackberry app? Showing clients a map feature is the most helpful for me. I never take for granted how well I may know the city and someone does not realize the value of the location.