Agent Snapshot: Laura Topp, Topp Chicago Real Estate Team, BHHS KoenigRubloff Group

What was your first job in the realty industry? My first job in the industry was with Hallmark & Johnson Properties. They are a commercial real estate firm still in existence in Lincolnwood. When I worked for them they were located on the very north side of Chicago. When I was hired, I was in my early 20s and was the only residential agent in the office. The company president, Jerry Ettinger, took me under his wing and taught me the basics for both residential and commercial real estate. It was a great environment; everyone helped me learn and grow. I give credit and a huge debt of gratitude to Jerry Ettinger and Hallmark & Johnson for my firm roots in the field.

Where did you grow up? I grew up in Berwyn for my early years. When I was in college, my family moved to Oak Brook where they are today.

Growing up, what did you want to be? I believe I wanted to be a princess, a queen and then a veterinarian as a child. I majored in finance and thought the financial world would be great, but found my way to real estate a couple years out of college and have been in the business ever since.

What do you do to relax when you’re stressed? I read when I want to relax. I also enjoy mindless television and love “Say Yes to the Dress”!

If you could have lunch with a well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why? I would want to have lunch with Jesus. To have an opportunity to hear about his life and teachings would be an unbelievable privilege.]

Where is your favorite place to hang out? My favorite place to hang out is home. I love being home with my family. After work, I rush home as fast as I can.

What do you love most about the industry? I love my clients most. Many of my clients become friends. I am involved in their lives at a crucial time, typically during a life-changing event such as a relocation, a marriage, the birth of a child, a divorce, kids grown and downsizing, and everything in between. Helping them buy the home that fits their need is a gift I cherish.

How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents? I distinguish myself from other agents as different because I truly care about my clients as people. I am there to help them fulfill that need first and foremost. As I help them to the best of my ability, they can achieve their goal.

Where do you go to network and meet new clients? I am blessed to get great referrals from past clients. I truly give my all to every single client and they refer me to friends and family. I also market on line through various real estate websites for new business.

What has been your greatest accomplishment? My greatest accomplishment is personal. My husband and I have an amazing adopted daughter who is the light of our lives. My family is my greatest accomplishment and greatest joy.

What was the last good movie you saw or book you read? I see many kids movies and the last one was “Goosebumps.” It was very good. We will probably see it again on the big screen.

What is your favorite restaurant? It’s hard to say which restaurant is my favorite. There are so many great ones in Chicago and the three of us, we love to go out to dinner. We also love to stay home and cook a fabulous meal too.

Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Chicago? I am a huge fan of the Benjamin Marshall buildings for their amazing architecture.

What kind of car do you drive? I drive a BMW X5.

Smartphone or paper? I use my smartphone for everything and paper occasionally.

What is your favorite city after Chicago? My favorite city after Chicago is Rome.

In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry? Be passionate and truly care about your work.

What’s your favorite real estate iPhone/Android app? So many apps, I couldn’t choose just one. They are all helpful and very much needed on a daily basis.

Who are your favorite people to follow on Twitter? I like to read what my peers are saying. No one in particular. They all have different insight into our business.