What was your first job in the realty industry? I started out working for a new home builder in Lemont, Ill. I fell in love with the business and decided to make a career move. In my first eight months as a licensed Realtor, I closed on 19 properties. My prior sales experience, combined with a passion for real estate and a desire to teach has brought me to where I am today.
Where did you grow up? I grew up in Indianapolis, Indiana and moved to Oak Lawn when I was 24.
What is your favorite free-time activity? I love spending time with my family. I have one daughter, four step children and 11 grandchildren. I also enjoy gardening and sewing.
What do you do to relax when you’re stressed? Stressed? I don’t get stressed that often. I like to relax with a good book, playing with the kids or sewing.
Growing up, what did you want to be? I didn’t know what I wanted to be growing up. But, during a meeting with my high school band director, Bruce R. Smith, he told me that I needed to sell real estate.
If you could have lunch with a well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why? Maya Angelou. She always looks at the big picture and simplifies life.
Where is your favorite place to hang out? Anywhere my grandkids are.
What do you love most about the industry? Meeting people, solving problems, creating happiness and making money.
How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents? I’m a real estate trainer. My agents say that I’m different from other trainers because I listen, I never just assume that they get it, I am very patient and I give them examples of what I’m teaching and how they can use it to make more money!
What is the most difficult aspect of your job? As a trainer, the most difficult aspect of my job is making sure that the agents follow through with what I teach.
Where do you go to network and meet new clients? I travel around to our 60+ offices to network with our agents. I’m not actively listing and selling anymore, so our agents are my clients.
What has been your greatest accomplishment? On a professional level, it’s the appointment to my current role as Education Director for CENTURY 21 Affiliated. We have 60-plus offices and 1,200 agents throughout five states. I have a passion for their success. On a personal level, I served on the Board of Education for Ridgeland School District 122 in Oak Lawn. I received the “Thanks for Making a Difference” award as a recognition of my service.
What was the last good movie you saw or book you read? “Blended.”
What is your favorite restaurant? Salt of the Earth in Fennville, Mich.
Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Chicago? Navy Pier.
What kind of car do you drive? Pontiac G6 presently – but I’m looking for a new one.
Smartphone or Paper? Smartphone and Paper.
What is your favorite city after Chicago? Douglas, Mich. or Delafield, Wis.
In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry? Never stop learning and asking questions – always listen.
What’s your favorite Real Estate iPhone/ Blackberry app? Midwest Homes.
Who are your favorite people to follow on Twitter? Marki Lemons-Ryhal.