What was your first job in the realty industry? Surprisingly, my first job in the realty industry was as a secretary. My brother had owned his own brokerage at the time and I answered phones, filed and worked on spreadsheets.
Where did you grow up? I grew up in Beloit, Wisconsin. It was a wonderful childhood in a rural area. Everything was slow paced and relaxed.
Growing up, what did you want to be? I was/am a nerd! I wanted to go into mathematics and I did. I studied actuarial science and worked as an actuary for several years. I realized it was not the right fit for me – too much time at a desk!
If you could have lunch with a well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why? Ryan Serhant. I love all the “Million Dollar Listings” shows, and especially love his work ethic and professionalism!
Where is your favorite place to hang out? The West Loop. I love the vibe. Soho House, Smack Shack, High Five, Parlor, Lone Wolf – I love it all!
What do you love most about the industry? I love that I meet so many fantastic people in all stages of their lives, and that I’m assisting them on enhancing their lives. It’s important to me to be able to make a difference, and this career provides me with the opportunity to do so.
How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents? Any of my clients will tell you that I am extremely hands on. Whenever they need assistance on contractors, ideas or even restaurant recommendations, I am happy to help. Our careers are serviced based, so it’s important for me to provide the best real estate service possible. In addition, my actuarial background really helps me show my clients the bigger picture. I assist them with a real estate game plan for their family and needs, whether it be for upgrading or investing.
What is the most difficult aspect of your job? I work international hours, since I have clients from Europe and Asia. I would say it’s difficult to always be “on,” but that’s no different from working with all local clients. Everyone seems to want to talk at 10:00 p.m.!
Where do you go to network and meet new clients? I have had the pleasure of working with several international clients. I believe they like my insight in the macro aspect of real estate. The referrals have been fantastic from those initial clients. Online marketing is where it’s at. I started from the very beginning. Though I may not have the largest online presence, I do think it’s very effective for my business.
What has been your greatest accomplishment? Continuing to grow my business as my family grew. The year my daughter was born, I sold $12 million; the year my son was born, I sold $20 million. I was still always involved with my children, but I managed my time and worked efficiently to reach goals in my career as well.
What was the last good movie you saw or book you read? “The Big Short”! Everyone in our industry should watch it.
What is your favorite restaurant? Le Colonial
Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Chicago? 340 E. Randolph
What kind of car do you drive? A Tesla. Everyone should get this car.
Smartphone or paper? Smartphone and iPad Pro
What is your favorite city after Chicago? NYC – specifically, Manhattan
In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry? Have grit. That’s all you need.
What’s your favorite real estate iPhone/Android app? I have two: Home Pro and AnyDo