What was your first job in the realty industry? My first job in the realty industry was working alongside my brother, Sean J. Conlon, who had already been in the business for a few years. I began working for Koenig & Strey based in Lincoln Park in the late ‘90s, the first brokerage to hang my license.
Where did you grow up? I grew up in a small village, Rathangan, in the county Kildare in Ireland.
What do you do to relax when you’re stressed? My passion is traveling, especially to the areas with wildlife and nature surrounding me. I especially enjoy traveling out west to Colorado and British Columbia. Fishing is one of the most relaxing and enjoyable pastimes, and helps me to relax.
Growing up, what did you want to be? I wanted to be a professional “football” player (that’s soccer for you Americans!).
If you could have lunch with a well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why? It would be very hard for me to choose just one. I would love to have lunch with John F. Kennedy, Winston Churchill and Bono! As an avid history buff, the impact that both JFK and Churchill have had on not only American history, but their impact on world politics, is monumental. Having grown up listening to U2 and following their tours around the world, I would never pass up the opportunity to have lunch or a beer with one of my idols!
Where is your favorite place to hang out? Hugo’s or Dublin’s, two of my favorite places to grab a drink after a long day! They both have a fun and chill atmosphere, great service and cold beer!
What do you love most about the industry? I love the negotiation! Advocating on behalf of my client, whether they are a seller or a buyer, is what makes this job interesting each day. I love to negotiate with the other side to get my client the very best deal on the table. When I see my satisfied clients leaving the closing table, I know my job has been done, and done to the best of my ability!
How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents? I have surrounded myself with the best of the best! Having worked alongside Sean Conlon for over 15 years, I have learned from and followed the very best in our industry. I have learned that creative marketing strategies and pricing my listings correctly get the job done quickly, which in turn makes my clients extremely happy.
What is the most difficult aspect of your job? Knowing when to “turn off”! Now that we’re able to handle almost all facets of our jobs basically able to be done from your phone or tablet, it only makes it that much harder to disconnect.
Where do you go to network and meet new clients? My greatest source of business are my past clients; praise from your past clients goes a long way. Aside from those referrals, I am constantly reminding everyone I know and meet that I am in the real estate business.
Between business networking events, school functions, charitable galas, or the soccer field it never hurts to talk a little business.
What has been your greatest accomplishment? My greatest business accomplishment has been opening CONLON/Christie’s in 2009 and helping to grow the company into what it is today. My greatest personal accomplishment has been marrying my wife and raising my three amazingly wonderful kids!
What was the last good movie you saw or book you read? “American Sniper” and “Great Bear Wild” by Robert F Kennedy, Jr.
What is your favorite restaurant? Chicago Cut is the absolute best! Their service and hospitality are impeccable and you will not find a better steak anywhere.
Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Chicago? The Tribune Tower. This building is truly amazing – it has stones from famous landmarks around the world embedded into its façade.
What kind of car do you drive? A BMW 750
Smartphone or paper? Smartphone
What is your favorite city after Chicago? Dublin
In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry? Treat everyone the way you would like to be treated.
What’s your favorite real estate iPhone/Android app? Either DocuSign or ScannerPro