Masters of the Market

by Doug Pitorak

A Team-Based Schedule

Forty-hour workweeks are a mirage. Jennifer Mills, an agent with Koenig & Strey, routinely works 80 hours a week, a typical workweek for many top producers. Such a schedule, though, presents a challenge for Mills, a mother of two young children. So to manage her business alongside her family life, Mills assembled a team of five licensed brokers to help her with various projects.

That team, Mills explains, is pivotal to her success, and not because they do menial tasks for her – rather, they are key components to Mills’ business success. She is training them to get to a level where she could leave town and feel 100 percent comfortable that everything is covered, and that her team members uphold her professional standards.

In 2013, Mills totaled more than $61 million in sales volume in Cook County. She closed 64 list-side transactions, which amounted to $34.31 million, while adding 48 buy-side transactions for $27.59 million. Overall, Mills ranked among the top 10 highest-producing agents in Cook County in 2013.

The importance of a team approach also resonates with Jane Lee, an agent with RE/MAX Top Performers in Lake Bluff, who topped all agents in Lake County in 2013 with $131.95 million in sales volume. She closed 252 list-side transactions in 2013, amounting to $81.27 million in sales volume, while generating $50.68 million in sales volume from 158 buy-side transactions. As large as those numbers are, there is an equally prodigious amount of work behind them.

Lee, a veteran agent who has spent 23 years in the business, works seven days a week for 10 to 12 hours a day. She wakes up at 6 a.m., arrives at the office two and half hours later, and heads home around 8 or 9 o’clock at night. She delegates just about everything to her assistants, including CMA appointments, showings and, at times, marketing.

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