What was your first job in the realty industry? I worked for Kemmerly Real Estate for five or six years and then moved to RE/MAX Suburban. After RE/MAX, I moved to Real Star, which was bought 15 years ago by Baird & Warner, and I’ve been here ever since.
Where did you grow up? In Wicker Park.
What is your favorite free-time activity? Needlepoint. I finished a big needlepoint of the Art Institute, which took me two and a half years to make. I also make cases for eyeglasses and give them as gifts.
What do you do to relax when you’re stressed? I like to bake a lot, and then I give them away. That’s my way of working stress out – making the best cookie or trying new recipes.
Growing up, what did you want to be? I wanted to be successful.
If you could have lunch with a well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why? My brother Walter. I came from a family of nine and he was the middle brother of three boys; I was the last to be born. I looked up to him because he worked hard and made it in the world and did well. When mom died, he thought we were too young to be living alone (I was 14 and my sister was 16) and we lived with him. He was just so good-hearted.
Where is your favorite place to hang out? I like visiting friends. I also belong to a birthday club where when it’s someone’s birthday, we try a new restaurant and get together.
What do you love most about the industry? Meeting people and making them feel good about what they’re buying. And the most important thing is liking what you do. if you don’t like your job, you’re never really going to be happy and satisfied.
Where do you go to network and meet new clients? I try to stay around the church and a lot of my intake is seeing people there from the same mass every Sunday. They might not know me by name, but then people ask me my name and say they’ve heard of me.
What has been your greatest accomplishment? Seeing people happy at their closing. That means I’ve put someone in the right house and they’re very happy with it. Also, being a mother – that’s a big job, being a mother to two children.
What is your advice for someone new to the industry? What I see today is for, some reason or other, agents think they’re going to make $1 million their first year. They come to me for advice, and I have to tell them that first year is only a learning year and a chance to practice skills. Agents need to hone their skills and practice in order to be successful.