What was your first job in the realty industry? I started in real estate in 2008 in California, a week before the market crashed. One would think it was bad timing, but it ended up being perfect timing for me. I did not know a good market, and had a fresh business perspective that allowed me to focus and build my real estate business.
Where did you grow up? I grew up in Madison, Wisc., although I have lived all over, including New York City, Newport Beach, Calif. and in Europe.
What do you do to relax when you’re stressed? I live very close to the lakefront, so the lakeshore path is my backyard. I absolutely love my morning walks on the lake to start my day or calm my mind from a stressful day.
If you could have lunch with a well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why? I would have loved to have lunch with Gandhi. I respect his humanitarian worldview and the goodness of human nature. My favorite quote of all time is: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Where is your favorite place to hang out? A Sunday afternoon or evening at Big Star is pretty awesome.
What do you love most about the industry? There is not one thing that I love the most. I think the variety, the opportunity to meet new people everyday and the art of a deal are very exciting, and it keeps it interesting.
How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents? My approach to real estate is very consultative, as I spent many years in management consulting. I try to educate my clients and provide unparalleled customer service, and I think they truly value and respect that.
What is the most difficult aspect of your job? You have to love people to work in real estate. I would say one of the most difficult aspects is managing different personality types and expectations when events are out of your control.
Where do you go to network and meet new clients? Ninety-eight percent of my business is referral, so I have been fortunate to be able to leverage past clients and friends.
What has been your greatest accomplishment? I love quotes, and a particular quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson reflects my answer to this question: “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
What was the last good movie you saw or book you read? “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson. And right now, I am reading “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead” by Sheryl Sandberg.
What is your favorite restaurant? I love sushi or any kind of Asian food, so I would have to say Sunda and/or Sushi Dokku.
Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Chicago? I will always love the Wrigley Building. For me, it is quintessential Chicago.
What is your advice for someone new to the industry? Focus, work hard and surround yourself with the best in the industry. It will elevate you.
What’s your favorite real estate iPhone/Android app? I use Evernote or PDF Expert on my iPhone. I can’t live without these apps for preparing for buyer clients or for creating contracts live.
Who are your favorite people to follow on Twitter? I am a Twitter junkie. I love following @DanielleLaPorte for positive truth and motivation, and I like @andyborowitz for news with a sense of humor!