What was your first job in the realty industry? A Realtor with Century 21 Manno & Stanley, a small office in Rogers Park.
Where did you grow up?: Hungary, Germany and in Chicago.
What is your favorite free-time activity? Reading, and going to the opera and the symphony.
What do you do to relax when you’re stressed? Read and meditate.
Growing up, what did you want to be? An archaeologist.
If you could have lunch with a well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why? Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. His influence on modern architecture is enormous, and his minimalist ideas appeal to me. His trailblazing in the face of harsh criticism didn’t deter him from doing what he thought was right.
Where is your favorite place to hang out? My family room. It has so many windows, you get sunlight almost all day long. I can watch the birds in my silver maple in the backyard, and laugh at the squirrels’ antics. My second favorite is the Gerbaud coffee house in Budapest, where my grandmother took me when I was 12. It made me feel very grown up.
What do you love most about the industry? The happiness of people whom I helped find their dream home, and the satisfaction of sellers who can move on to the next phase of their life.
How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents? By communicating even when I have bad news to impart; by respecting my clients’ wishes even when I disagree with them; and by never inserting my ego into the process. Also, through my membership in FIABCI, the oldest international real estate association. We are a very select group who refer business to each other, and are dedicated to standardizing real estate practices all over the world. We are also involved with the United Nations in several areas, including affordable housing the world over.
What is the most difficult aspect of your job? Not having control of the whole process in a real estate deal. We depend so much on other professionals, whom we sometimes don’t get to choose.
Where do you go to network and meet new clients? Chicago Sister Cities – I serve on the Hamburg committee, my 49th ward Green Corps, the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, The Niagara Foundation and The City Club of Chicago.
What has been your greatest accomplishment? Helping agents new to the business complete their first sale/listing. I’m also proud to have served on the Professional Standards Committee of CAR.
What was the last good movie you saw or book you read? Our Idiot Brother and “The Princes of Ireland.”
Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Chicago? The AON Center. It says “I’m here” in a quiet, elegant way.
What kind of car do you drive? I don’t. I sold my car last year. I take public transportation or rent iGo cars.
What is your favorite city after Chicago? In the States, Washington, D.C.; otherwise, Budapest, Hungary.
In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry? Be focused, be disciplined and make all your clients feel they are important.
What’s your favorite real estate iPhone/Android app? I do not use any special apps, but I love that my Blackberry works overseas just like at home; I don’t have to do anything – I just dial, and people can call me as if I were at home.
Who are your favorite people to follow on Twitter? I do not do Twitter, but I do like LinkedIn and Facebook.