What was your first job in the realty industry? I was a broker at Prudential Preferred Properties for a little under one year before we opened Lucid Realty.
Where did you grow up? Dallas
Growing up, what did you want to be? A scientist – eventually I focused on becoming a physicist.
What do you do to relax when you’re stressed? I do not relax when I’m stressed. Seriously. If I’m stressed, it’s because I have work to do, so I have to get the work done to relieve the stress.
If you could have lunch with a well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why? Albert Einstein. The guy was incredibly brilliant and had a very unique way of looking at the universe. I’d love to find out how his mind worked.
Where is your favorite place to hang out? The London House rooftop bar.
What do you love most about the industry? It’s intellectually intriguing. So much about the consumer decision-making process is mysterious. You can never figure it out.
How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents? I run a full-service, discount real estate brokerage that does more than most agents and charges less. I provide analysis that nobody else does and I also don’t toe the party line. I tell it like it is. I expose the flaws in the industry and I expose the logical errors that consumers make as well.
What is the most difficult aspect of your job? Trying to figure out how to grow the business faster than it’s already growing. I’m looking for the silver bullet that, if I put another dollar towards, I’ll get way more than a dollar back.
Where do you go to network and meet new clients? The internet. I don’t do physical networking. It’s not cost effective. With an hour of effort I can reach far more people online than I can reach in one hour of going to some event.
What has been your greatest accomplishment? Starting this business from scratch at the beginning of the crash and building it to where it is today.
What was the last good movie you saw or book you read? The best book I ever read was “The Mind Of God” by Paul Davies. I also loved “The Big Short,” though I’ve seen some pretty good movies since.
What is your favorite restaurant? Giordano’s. I’m a simple guy.
Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Chicago? It’s a toss up between the Tribune Tower and The Wrigley Building.
What kind of car do you drive? A six-year-old Lexus ES350. I can’t justify paying the sales tax to get a new one.
Smartphone or paper? Smartphone. I haven’t figured out how to get internet access on paper.
What is your favorite city after Chicago? San Francisco, but it’s too expensive.
In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry? Pick another business or join a team.
What’s your favorite real estate iPhone/Android app? Google Maps. I use it even to drive one mile because it knows what’s going on with traffic.
Who are your favorite people to follow on Twitter? Diana Olick, Dennis Rodkin, The Wall Street Journal