What was your first job in the realty industry? A sales agent.
Where did you grow up? Kenilworth.
What is your favorite free-time activity? Playing bridge.
What do you do to relax when you’re stressed? Meditate, and take long walks in the gardens and prairies.
Growing up, what did you want to be? Just like my mom – a suburban housewife. But it didn’t turn out that way! I ended up working in the corporate world for 22 years and lived the life of a “road warrior,” traveling and working all over the globe.
If you could have lunch with a well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why? I’ve actually had lunches and dinners with some present day well-known figures, and I have found that they tend to be a little self-absorbed and not all that interesting. Historically, I would have liked to have met Abraham Lincoln.
Where is your favorite place to hang out? The Chicago Botanic Gardens.
What do you love most about the industry? I think of our homes as a backdrop for our lives. I find it so interesting to learn about people and the transitions they are experiencing within their lives.
How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents? By being very tech-savvy for someone of my age and generation. I come from a pretty intense business background, so I tend to analyze things professionally and with a greater business perspective. I also look at my business as more consultative and less transactional. My goal is to create long-term client relationships – not just push through a bunch of deals. I see myself as an advocate for my clients – not just an agent.
What is the most difficult aspect of your job? Dealing with people who are whiny, needy, unprofessional or unethical. I find that aspect of the job pretty depressing. It really is a people business, and I prefer to bring and have positive energy and people in my world.
Where do you go to network and meet new clients? I usually pick up one or two clients a year from holding open houses. I network through the Internet – emails, blogging, etc. I also find that I have acquired quite a few clients from playing bridge. However, the best way for me to get clients is through referrals.
What has been your greatest accomplishment? My greatest accomplishment was probably making partner at my former consulting firm. It was a big deal because there weren’t that many women partners. I also was asked to work for the CEO for three years, which meant I was sitting on the executive committee, and was the first woman partner to do so! It was a very exciting time, and I got to meet a lot of interesting people from around the world.
What was the last good movie you saw or book you read? Argo was good.
What is your favorite restaurant? The Berghoff has always been a favorite of mine – love their wiener schnitzel.
What kind of car do you drive? A Prius.
In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry? Be prepared to handle rejection and to work every day.