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Agent Snapshot: Erin Ward, Broker, Related Realty, South Loop

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Erin Ward is a broker with Related Realty in South Loop.

What was your first job in the real estate industry? I started my real estate career in 2001 with an initial focus on resale business. Ironically, my parents were my first clients. I helped them sell their house and purchase the home they still live in today.

In 2003, I branched out into new construction sales, ultimately awarding me the opportunity to sell some of the largest and most successful developments in Chicago’s history. I decided to join Related Realty following its launch in March of 2013. My focus is now twofold – I am a member of the sales team for Related’s South Loop Luxury condo collection, while working with buyers and sellers in an effort to grow my resale business at the same time.

Where did you grow up? I grew up on the South Side of Chicago in the Beverly neighborhood.

What is your favorite free time activity? My husband and my five-year-old are the center of my universe; when I’m not working, the next place I want to be is home hanging out with them.

What do you do to relax when you’re stressed? Ideally, I would book a massage. That doesn’t happen very often, but it’s definitely my first choice to decompress.

Growing up, what did you want to be? I wanted to be an FBI agent, specifically in the behavioral science department. The movie Silence of the Lambs came out in 1991, and I wanted to be a profiler like the character Jodi Foster portrayed in that movie. My degree from the University of Iowa was in criminal psychology. And now I’m a Realtor? A fork in the road, apparently?

What do you love most about the industry? I love that no two days are the same. I’m always meeting new people, and their individual needs are all so different when it comes to their sale or purchase. I’m able to be out and about taking in all of the different Chicago neighborhoods while being able to see all of the different types of housing stock each area offers. I never know what each day will bring, and that new energy every day is exciting.

What is the most difficult aspect of your job? Time management. In order to be successful in this business, you have to be diligent with allocating the right amount of time to prospecting, client care and time in the field. It’s easy to have your to-do list set in place when the alarm goes off in the morning, but then the day starts to happen. Keeping myself focused and making sure my day doesn’t go off track is something I have to manage in my business every day.

Where do you go to network and meet new clients? Since I started in real estate in 2001, I’ve focused on building my business by referral. Fortunately, my clients continue to refer me to their friends and family, and my network continues to grow.

What was the last good movie you saw or book you read? I just saw Captain Phillips.  Once again, Tom Hanks was phenomenal and I loved the suspense of the movie. I’m also a fan of The Heat with Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock. I can’t ever pass up a movie with Melissa McCarthy; I think her roles are hysterical.

What is your favorite restaurant? Tufano’s in Little Italy. I’ve been going there my whole life. It’s an old school Chicago mainstay on a little side street called Vernon Park. It’s been featured on “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” and noted for its home-style Italian food and laid back atmosphere.

Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Chicago? I love 333 W. Wacker; its exterior is crafted with all green glass right where the river bends, and at sunset, the light reflecting up from the river onto the glass is stunning. My second pick is a tie between the Great Hall in Union Station and the lobby of Tribune Tower.

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