Agent Snapshot: Kinga Sandor, Broker, Coldwell Banker, Lincoln Park Plaza


Kinga Sandor is a broker with Coldwell Banker’s Lincoln Park Plaza office

What was your first job in the realty industry? I started off in apartment leasing at a Lakeview office during prime time rental season and instantly fell in love with the industry. After a year, I went ahead and took the next step to get my broker’s license.

Where did you grow up? I grew up in Transylvania and moved here when I was 10. Yes, Transylvania does exist. All monsters and draculas aside, it’s a region in Romania. To make things more complicated, I am Hungarian, which I speak and write fluently. I spent my teenage years in the northwest suburbs, specifically Arlington Heights.

What is your favorite free-time activity? I love to travel as much as I can, but if that’s not possible, then just exploring this city! There’s always something going on here. There is Restaurant Week to check out new restaurants, and then Theater Week to check out a few plays. You can never be bored in Chicago; that’s one thing I’ll always tell my clients who have just moved to the city.

What do you do to relax when you’re stressed? I love to cook and bake. More importantly, I love to cook and bake difficult or long recipes. The more intricate, the more likely it will take my mind off stress and help me relax.

If you weren’t a real estate agent, what would you be? I haven’t been in this business long, but having met so many successful people who really love what they are doing, I want to be a real estate broker!

If you could have lunch with a well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why? I would have to go with Fredrik Eklund. He’s probably the most entertaining real estate broker on television. Watching Million Dollar Listing: New York was actually one of the shows that inspired me to be in this industry, so I wouldn’t mind having a chat with him. I’m sure he could give me a few tips.

Where is your favorite place to hang out? Dollop is my local coffee shop. If I want a change of scenery from working at home or the office, I love going there. Their pastries are fresh daily and their coffee is nice and strong.

What do you love most about the industry? What I love and what is the best about this industry is really just the people. I love meeting new people and helping them accomplish their real estate dreams. Everyone is different, each with their unique needs, so there’s no such thing as a “boring day at the office.”

How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents? With so many great agents, it’s important to distinguish yourself. I think mainly if you choose to do this job then do it 100%. Clients can feel if you’re really there for them or not, and if you’re not then it’s easy for them to find another agent who will help them with their needs. Knowing your market and being tech savvy is also important (social media is a great free tool every agent should use). I also try my best to be available to my clients, potential clients, as well as other agents at all times. But having “me” time is key in order to stay happy and positive in those tough situation when thinking quick is what will save the deal.

What is the most difficult aspect of your job? As a new agent I’m having the most difficulty with time management and truly being efficient with my day. With time, I’m getting better and better at in. The more detailed my schedule is the better it works for me in order to get things done.

What was the last good movie you saw or book you read? I just saw “About Time” the other night. If you want to see a romantic comedy, you can’t go wrong with this Rachel McAdams one.

What is your favorite restaurant? I would have to say that one of my favorite restaurants would have to be Tango Sur. If you like meat, this is the the place to go, and it’s BYOB. They do have some great vegetarian options as well. It won’t disappoint, I promise!

Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Chicago? I have too many. But at the top of my list is 188 W. Randolph. It’s a building that has been stuck in my head ever since I first saw it after it opened as Randolph Tower City Apartments. It’s a sophisticated gothic style architecture mixed with ultra modern luxury. It’s a building where you can truly feel Chicago’s history, but it’s also sexy — and you can’t say that about too many other buildings.

What kind of car do you drive? I drive a little red BMW half my age. It’s kind of part of my signature look. I call it “little red,” aka “piroska” in Hungarian.

Smartphone or Paper? Both. My smartphone is usually glued to my hands, but I prefer to have a planner with my calendar. Having important things written out helps me remember them better.

What is your favorite city after Chicago? It would have to be Budapest. A true romantic city with beautiful architecture and scenery, as well as some of the best cafes, restaurants and pubs in Europe. If you’re visiting Europe, you can’t miss a trip to Budapest!

In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry? Being new in this industry, I would definitely recommend others to start getting well connected by networking and meeting as many people as you can! It’s not easy at the beginning, but try to learn as much as you can all the time, and as long as you’re enjoying it and you stay positive you’ll be really successful in this business.

What’s your favorite Real Estate iPhone/Blackberry app? I love Open Home Pro. It’s great for open houses. I use it on my iPad because you don’t need wifi and guests seem to love the modern aspect of a sign in sheet vs. the old paper and pencil version. Also Genius Scan comes in handy when I have to scan and email a document right away.

Who are your favorite people to follow on Twitter? Well, besides @ChicagoAgentMag, (duh) @CurbedChicago, @HuffingtonPost and @Chicagoist always keep me in the loop. Otherwise, @designsponge and @AptTherapy give great home design, decor and DIY ideas!

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