What was your first job in the realty industry? I’m still a fairly new agent, having joined Baird & Warner’s Barrington office in August 2013. I left a 16-year human resources career to pursue a new path. I have since returned to that world on a part-time basis, so I can add further value by not only selling my clients a house, but explaining their health insurance benefits as well.
Where did you grow up? My father was transferred a lot when I was a child. I moved six times before I was 16. I was born in the Maywood/River Forest area and then lived in Joliet, Carpentersville, Broken Arrow, Bartlesville, Oklahoma and Plano, Texas before returning to the Chicago-area in 1989 when my parents bought a house in Hanover Park.
What is your favorite free-time activity? I have bowled in leagues since I was about 9. Today, I bowl in a monthly league in Des Plaines called 9-Pin No Tap where you get credit for a strike if you knock down either 10 or nine pins on your first ball. I’ve bowled several perfect 300 games under that format.
What do you do to relax when you’re stressed? I’m addicted to the Game Show Network. It’s always relaxing to just sit back in my chair and shout answers at the TV. I’m particularly fond of the older shows from the 1980s and earlier.
Growing up, what did you want to be? I was always interested in computers when I was growing up and I wanted to be either a computer programmer or a systems analyst. My bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago is technical, but a summer temporary job in human resources the summer before I graduated changed all that.
If you could have lunch with a well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why? Any well known chef because they would have made the lunch!
Where is your favorite place to hang out? I don’t have a specific place I frequent, but lately I’ve been discovering craft distilleries throughout Chicagoland that make their own vodkas, rums, whiskeys, etc. I have a ton of respect for the owners because, like agents, they are trying to find their niche and stand out among their competition.
What do you love most about the industry? I love the fact that one day is completely different from the next. I also enjoy being able to control how I work. Knowing that only I am responsible for my success makes the job more challenging and rewarding.
How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents? My bright pink hot pants. Seriously, I think it’s the fact that I market myself as someone who doesn’t use agent rankings and volume as a way to get new clients. I would prefer to be the agent who provides outstanding service to 10 clients a year rather than provide mediocre service to 100. The clients I’ve had have come to me for my services because they know they can trust me to do a good job and that I genuinely care about them.
What is the most difficult aspect of your job? The most difficult aspect of my job is that sometimes I care too much. I am probably a worse critic of myself than my clients. I want everything to go smoothly and am pretty hard on myself if something doesn’t go the way I felt it should have, or if I feel I let my clients down when, in fact, I didn’t in their eyes.
Where do you go to network and meet new clients? I don’t go anywhere specific, but I try to tell people in a non-obnoxious way that I’m an agent, whether at a social gathering or in casual conversations. People are always interested in knowing how the market is doing.
What has been your greatest accomplishment? My greatest accomplishment was deciding to obtain my real estate license. I left a great job with good pay and good benefits to essentially start from scratch. A lot of loved ones gave me a lot of credit for trying something new in life. I was very nervous about making the change, but I knew I would regret it later if I didn’t at least try. I am not a risk-taker, so this was way out of my comfort zone. I am very proud of myself for what I did.
What was the last good movie you saw or book you read? I absolutely adored the Lego Movie. I loved building with Legos when I was a child, and still do as an adult.
What is your favorite restaurant? My favorite restaurant is Bandera on N. Michigan Avenue. My friends and I have been going there several times a year for nearly 15 years. Having spent some of my childhood in the south, I really enjoy Bandera’s southwestern-style menu. I highly recommend the cornbread, the cheeseburger and the rotisserie chicken.
Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Chicago? Marina Towers
What kind of car do you drive? I drive a Honda CR-V. It’s a safe and practical vehicle, plus it is a great car for taking clients around to houses.
Smartphone or Paper? I use my smartphone for most everything, but I still use a paper calendar where I can see a month at-a-glance. It is easier for me to remember things if I write them down on paper rather than type them into my phone.
What is your favorite city after Chicago? My new favorite is Sedona, Ariz. There are at least three hundred days of sunshine every year and they don’t get quite as hot in the summer. Plus, you’re centrally located between the mountains and the desert for plenty of year-round activities.
In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry? Have some money saved and be patient. It takes time.
What’s your favorite Real Estate app? I use SentriSmart all the time to access SentriLock boxes without needing my SentriCard.
Who are your favorite people to follow on Twitter? I’m not much of a Twitter user, so even though I clicked the button to follow them, I’m probably following from way behind.