Agent Snapshot: Melanie Stone, Real Estate Broker, Coldwell Banker, Gold Coast

Melanie-Stone-Agent-Snapshot

Melanie Stone is a broker with Coldwell Banker

What was your first job in the realty industry? In real estate school, I worked as an assistant for a top-producing agent at Coldwell Banker Gold Coast. I gained an immeasurable amount of knowledge from him, and today, I’m grateful to have him as a mentor and colleague.

Where did you grow up? Hinsdale

What do you do to relax when you’re stressed? After a tough day, my routine looks like this: I come home, change into pajamas, light a candle, and watch one of my favorite movies with a big bowl of popcorn.

Growing up, what did you want to be? I always thought I’d graduate from journalism school and move to New York City. For most of my life, I dreamed of magazine and newspaper jobs. I still love to write, but I’ve fallen for the real estate industry. Thankfully, this career has plenty of opportunities for creativity, from blogging to marketing.

Where is your favorite place to hang out? I spend an inordinate amount of time in hotel lobbies. I am instantly soothed by the luxe décor at the Peninsula or Four Seasons. Occasionally, I’ll bring my lunch and loiter for a while.

What do you love most about the industry? Ah, there is much to love – connecting with my clients, cultivating my brand, celebrating at the closing table. Some of my past clients have turned into treasured friends. The relational aspect of this industry cannot be beat.

How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents? I am relentless, detail-oriented, and passionate about serving others. I understand Millennials (after all, I am one!), and know how to reach my generation. My background in journalism makes me an excellent communicator.

What is the most difficult aspect of your job? The emotional ups and downs of this career can be gut-wrenching. I might wake up in the morning and feel confident about a transaction, but by dinnertime, it could fall apart.

Where do you go to network and meet new clients? I spend a lot of time networking. I’m a founding member of the Chicago Wolfpack, a young professionals referral group – similar to a BNI. We just hosted our first-ever public networking event at Chop Shop in Wicker Park. It was called “Network + Chill.” Clever, right?

What has been your greatest accomplishment? My No. 1 real estate moment so far has to be the week I received 10 offers on a fantastic duplex in Old Town. I felt like the popular kid in high school. Agents were calling me nonstop, begging for private showings and insider information. The winning bid was $25,000 over list price. Cash.

What was the last good movie you saw or book you read? Nancy Meyers can do no wrong – she’s written and directed all of my favorite movies. “The Intern” is her latest film, and oh, it was quintessentially Nancy. I’ve watched it five times already.

What is your favorite restaurant? Chipotle. No shame.

Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Chicago? There’s a little line of 19th century row homes on Oakdale Avenue in Lakeview – white brick with black, blue and red front doors. I slow down every time I pass by.

What kind of car do you drive? A white Mercedes E-Class

Smartphone or paper? iPhone

What is your favorite city after Chicago? I really like Las Vegas, but not crazy Vegas – elegant, plush, five-star Vegas.

In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry? Keep all things in perspective.

What’s your favorite real estate iPhone/Android app? It’s not a real estate app per se, but I’m obsessed with VSCO. It makes my photos look phenomenal.

Who are your favorite people to follow on Twitter? I don’t use Twitter as much as I used to. However, I’m a big Instagram fan. My favorite Instagram accounts as of late are @ElleDecor (an interior design mag), @meg_fee (a writer in NYC) and @alwayssssleep (photos of the coziest bedrooms).