What was your first job in the realty industry? I signed with Prudential Preferred Properties which, six months later, became Prudential Burnet, which one year later became Coldwell Banker.
Where did you grow up? I lived in Morton Grove until I was 10 years old, and then we moved to Glencoe.
What is your favorite free-time activity? I love to watch movies – mostly old ones. When I have the time, I will needlepoint while watching.
What do you do to relax when you’re stressed? I try to run every morning to keep the stress factor low. When I am feeling stressed, chilling and listening to music or watching mindless TV helps.
What do you love most about the industry? I would have to say the wonderful people I have met and helping them. First-time buyers have always been a favorite, because it gives me a great opportunity to educate them about the process and help them become familiar with various areas. The latter is one of the reasons I also love relocating buyers. I like to think of myself as a relationship builder, and I still have lunch with some of the clients I met my first years in the business.
How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents? I would have to say honesty, integrity, the credentials I bring to the profession and the way I work for and with my clients. I have always put them before any commission I am earning. I will spend all the time they need to feel comfortable with their purchase or sale.
What is the most difficult aspect of your job? I would have to say the overkill scrutiny of the lending environment is tied with other real estate agents who are not well educated in the business. Both of those situations take an inordinate amount of effort on everyone’s part, and often prolongs the already intense and lengthy process. It is so important for the real estate professional to keep their cool and help their clients navigate the stress. Having to do it for the other side just increases the stress.
Where do you go to network and meet new clients? I am always out in my community. I am currently serving on the board of education for our high school district, and I previously served 12 years on our elementary school district’s board. Community meetings, forums, gatherings, etc., are a great way to meet new clients as well as network with industry colleagues and those from other professions. I make sure that I take continuing education classes, and I love the informational interchange that is facilitated during those classes.
What has been your greatest accomplishment? A successful marriage of 29 years and raising three incredibly wonderful children, all of whom are in their twenties.
What was the last good movie you saw or book you read? I loved reading “The Book Thief” and “Sarah’s Key.”
Smartphone or paper? Both. I use my smartphone to text, email, make phone calls and keep my calendar, but I still have paper files in manila folders for all of my deals. I do not like to read lengthy things online. I still prefer paper for that.
In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry? Honesty is the best policy. Follow the rules.