Learning from the best

by Meg White

This might not mean a lot to you, as Chicago Agent magazine has been creating this special issue since 2008 — but this is my very first year working behind the scenes of a Who’s Who in Chicagoland Real Estate.

From an editor’s perspective, the best thing about what we like to call “Who’s Who season” is the opportunity to get to know some of the real movers and shakers in Chicagoland real estate. If you don’t happen to be one of the lucky people in this very special issue of Chicago Agent magazine, you might not know this, but every year, pretty much everyone on staff will spend a day or two at a Who’s Who photo shoot. While operating as tie-straighteners/subject wranglers/stand-ins for lighting tests, we also have the distinct opportunity to talk to the agents, brokers, association executives, lenders and developers who are at the top of their games. Needless to say, I learned a great deal on my days on-site with the people you’ll meet in the coming pages.

And while I received many valuable insights into the market — as well as some inside information about some of the frustrations real estate professionals are facing right now — there were some really fun moments as well. Mo Dadkhah schooled me on why there aren’t really manual transmissions in race cars anymore. Erika Villegas shared her mom’s secret for getting kids to do what you ask (let’s just say ketchup is involved). But more than a grassroots view of the market or wisdom from years in the business, what I really learned in my first year of editing our Who’s Who issue is that these people really care about the industry. They understand the value of investing in it, and know that the dividends of their dedication and hard work might pay off in a closing tomorrow or a referral two decades from now.

I sincerely hope you thoroughly enjoy this issue and refer back to it for inspiration and networking purposes throughout the next year. If you have thoughts on our Who’s Who program, please send them my way at meg.white@agentpublishing.com.

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