Agent Snapshot: Stacy Karel, Broker, @properties, Chicago


Stacy Karel is a broker with @properties in Chicago

What was your first job in the realty industry? I got my real estate license while still selling consulting services for a big accounting firm. Post-9/11, I was let go, and I transitioned into real estate full-time.

Where did you grow up? I grew up in Deerfield.

What is your favorite free-time activity? Travel and wine tasting. I’m happiest when I can incorporate both!

What do you do to relax when you’re stressed? I watch mindless reality TV – “Project Runway,” “Top Chef,” “Amazing Race” and “Survivor.”

Growing up, what did you want to be? My kindergarten wishes were to be a ballerina on ice skates, but I think I was always headed towards a sales career; I took my first retail job at 15.

If you could have lunch with a well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why? I would like to have lunch with my great-grandmothers Sophie and Bessie. I am named for them, and would like to get more insight on our family’s immigration experience and life in Eastern Europe.

Where is your favorite place to hang out? Anywhere I am buying a glass of wine in a foreign currency – Argentina is next!

What do you love most about the industry? Every day is different! I like the satisfaction I get from finding that perfect home for someone.

How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents? Marketing and branding, great agent relationships and communication.

What is the most difficult aspect of your job? Right now, appraisal value.

Where do you go to network and meet new clients? Everywhere, really. My last great client came from a wonderful doorman I know.

What has been your greatest accomplishment? Finding a great work-life balance. I honor the bigger picture.

What was the last good movie you saw or book you read? I see a lot of movies. My favorite would be Argo. I’m also a sucker for James Bond, so Skyfall would be another.

What is your favorite restaurant? I like restaurants all over the city, so to pick one is difficult. Bistro Margot, for lunch outside in the summer, makes me smile.

What is your favorite city after Chicago? In the U.S., it would be San Francisco. Outside the U.S., there are so many choices!

Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Chicago? I love the buildings that make up the skyline coming in on the Kennedy from the airport – I know I am home.

What kind of car do you drive? An Acura SUV in the winter and a red Ford Thunderbird convertible in the summer. The Thunderbird is named Susie to honor the memory of my fiery red-haired grandmother. My single clients love to tool around in the two-seater.

In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry? Listen and follow up

What’s your favorite Real Estate iPhone/ Blackberry app? Dropbox to keep important documents at my fingertips and Turboscan to quickly turn a photo of a document to a .pdf to email.

Who are your favorite people to follow on Twitter? Huffington Post- gives a variety of news worthy and not so news worth tweets which I find entertaining.

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