Sanina Ellison Managing Broker & Owner, Chicago Homes Realty Group

Where did you grow up? South Side of Chicago.

Growing up, what did you want to be? I wanted to be a veterinarian, then an architect, then a graphic designer.

What do you do to relax when you’re stressed? I take long drives, hot baths, listen to music and laugh.

If you could meet any well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why? I’d love to meet Oprah Winfrey. She’s such a wealth of knowledge yet she came from such humble beginnings. I’d love to know if there was one thing or opportunity that catapulted her career or a series of events that occurred.

What is Chicago’s best-kept secret? The harbor. I had a chance to enjoy a boat ride this summer and it allowed me to view the city from a different perspective.

What do you love most about the industry? This is a very social industry. I love meeting new people and learning from my peers.

How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents? I know what I know. I pride myself on being very knowledgable for my clients. Also, I am probably going to be the best dressed. I’m just saying.

What is the most difficult aspect of your job? Time management on some days is challenging trying balance work and family, I have yet to master that.

What’s your best advice for generating new leads? I love nurturing my past clients. They are the best lead source for me. Social media has untapped potential. If you can master capturing and converting an audience, social media is a gold mine.

What has been your greatest accomplishment? My greatest accomplishment has been rasing my two sons in Chicago, marrying my best friend and busines partner and opening real estate brokerages in Illinois and Florida.

What are you binge-watching/reading/listening to lately? I listen to audio books. I guess I binge listen to books. I’m currently reading simultaneously “The Atomic Habit,” “The One Thing,” “48 Laws of Power,” “Ego is the Enemy,” “The Power of Habit,” “The Dichotomy of Leadership,” “Building A Storybrand” and “Never Split The Difference.”

What’s your favorite meal in Chicago? Pizza, duh. lol. I love Chicago pizza, but I also LOVE Mexican food and seafood. I know, very weird mix.

Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Chicago? Soldier Field

What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to you on the job? I had to take my client to the bank. That seemed weird.

What’s one thing people are surprised to learn about you? They are surprised to learn how much value I add to any team. I’m small and quiet but a huge asset to have around.

What is your favorite vacation spot and why? Anywhere warm. 80 degrees and me are friends. Although, I was rather impressed by Iceland and its Blue Lagoon. Go figure.

In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry? Be consistent.

What’s your favorite real estate iPhone/Android app? Canva

Who are your favorite people to follow on social media? Other real estate brokers who have great marketing and comedians. I love to laugh. This is a very social industry. I love meeting new people and learning from my peers.

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