Agent Snapshot: Kate Mariani-Vacek, Broker, First Class Realty, Long Grove/Libertyville


Kate Mariani-Vacek is a broker with First Class Realty in Long Grove/Libertyville

What was your first job in the realty industry? My first job in the realty industry was as a broker on the Susan Coveny Team for RE/MAX in Long Grove.

Where did you grow up? I grew up in Lake Forest and went to Carmel High School in Mundelein. My parents both grew up in the area. My dad’s side of the family owns a well-known, longtime family company in Lake Bluff, so I am passionate about the area, the people and the community.

What is your favorite free-time activity? Spending time with my husband and my two little boys. They are my whole world, and they are growing up so fast. Any free minute I have, I am with them. We are very active and are constantly doing something – riding bikes, swimming, going to many of the amazing parks we have in Lake County or getting together with our family and friends.

What do you do to relax when you’re stressed? Nothing is better than a massage. If I don’t have time for that, a great pedicure does the trick, too.

Growing up, what did you want to be? Growing up, I always wanted to be a doctor. However, in college, I ended up working on the school newspaper selling advertising, and I fell in love with sales. I actually worked 10 years in newspaper advertising and marketing. The transition to real estate was perfect; they have a lot of similarities.

If you could have lunch with a well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why? Warren Buffett. Even if it were for 10 minutes, just to listen to his advice would be priceless. He is so humble and modest, and incredibly charitable, which I really admire, as well.

Where is your favorite place to hang out? Sitting out on my back porch with some good music and company.

What do you love most about the industry? Buying a home is the American Dream. I love working with first-time homebuyers; there’s nothing better than handing over the keys to a client and helping them start a new journey in their life.

What is the most difficult aspect of your job? The homebuying process can be frustrating and stressful for all involved. The most difficult part is when the deal falls through, which it can, even if I did everything I could. I never want to disappoint my clients. I will never stop until I meet and exceed my client’s expectations.

Where do you go to network and meet new clients? I utilize a lot of social media – Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and HomeSnap. I have a large extended family and several friends, who are great sources for new clients. Being out in the community and getting involved in my kid’s school is also a great way to meet new clients.

What has been your greatest accomplishment? In life, my children are my greatest accomplishment, no question. In my career, being in a job that I love and am passionate about. Not too many people get to say that, and I truly feel blessed every day that I can do what I do.

What was the last good movie you saw or book you read? Last good movie — “Wolf of Wall Street.” Last great book — “Heaven is for Real.”

What is your favorite restaurant? So many good ones. My favorite would have to be RPM Italian. Their food is amazing. Being Italian, I am usually hard to impress, but it was great!

Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Chicago? I love the Tribune Tower on Michigan Avenue. Having worked for the Tribune for a couple years, I loved that it was smack dab in the heart of the city. It was big and distinguished. It felt amazing to be a part of that.

What kind of car do you drive? SUV. Have to have room for for-sale signs, the kids, the dog and all the stuff that goes along with them.

Smartphone or Paper? Smartphone for sure.

What is your favorite city after Chicago? Kansas City.

In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry? Have a great mentor/mentors.

What’s your favorite Real Estate iPhone/ Blackberry app? Homesnap.

Who are your favorite people to follow on Twitter? Jimmy Fallon, all of the guys from Million Dollar Listing New York and KU Basketball.

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