What was your most interesting job before going into real estate? I have only done real estate since graduating college. But one of my most memorable high school jobs was working in a pro shop at a country club. For the life of me, I still cannot figure out how to calculate a golfer’s handicap!
Where did you grow up? I grew up in Downers Grove in a wonderful subdivision with a pool & clubhouse. I had an idyllic upbringing.
Growing up, what did you want to be? Either an orthopedic surgeon or a psychiatrist. I broke a few bones and was always interested in people’s viewpoints and what makes people tick.
What do you do to relax when you’re stressed? I walk outside, either through Lincoln Park or along the lakefront, with my miniature poodle Scoot. We also check out all of the great dog parks throughout the city!
If you could meet any well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why? Might as well go with the ultimate dinner companion on this one — God. God would be able to answer any questions that I have about anyone or anything.
What is Chicago’s best-kept secret? I think the answer to this is the same no matter what city it is. The neighborhoods. It’s important to get out of the touristy areas and into the true flavor of the city, which is found in the diverse neighborhoods where the people of the city live. My favorite strip is down Wells Street in Old Town. The lamplights, improv history, annual art fair, restaurants and bars that have been around for ages hold special memories for me.
What do you love most about the industry? Meeting so many clients that have turned into best friends of mine for life. You never know who you will meet each day and what you will have in common. I also love the endless growth opportunities and freedom it has provided.
How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents? My niche has evolved over the years into the relocation marketplace. I specialize in relocating clients to and from Chicago, whether they are buyers, sellers or renters. I have a team of agents that work with me. They are all top-notch real estate professionals, and we are well versed in all of the neighborhoods of the Chicago market. Relocation companies, employer contacts and past clients are my main referral base.
What is the most difficult aspect of your job? Juggling the day-to-day duties to the point where I can go to sleep without pressing items still on my mind.
What’s your best advice for generating new leads? Try everything! Until you call, mail, email, advertise, social network, do open houses or assist a top agent, how do you know what works best for you? Find your strengths and interests, and go with it! Don’t hold back. Don’t question yourself or your readiness. Jump right in! There are still things I learn on each and every sale.
It is impossible to know everything in the beginning, which brings me to the second most important piece of advice. Find the brokerage that fits your needs and can guide you as you grow. Talk to several. I found the perfect brokerage for me two years ago at Luxury Living Chicago Realty. My business has exploded and I could not be more proud of who I work for.
What has been your greatest accomplishment? My greatest accomplishment to date was handling the United Airlines and Continental Airlines merger in 2010-12. Just a year before the merger, I had solidified a contact in United’s Talent Acquisition Department. Right before the merger was officially announced, we sat in the boardroom planning the relocation of 1,000s of employees to Chicago from Houston, Oakland and New Jersey. It was very exciting. One by one, my team and I represented over 1,700 moves of renters and buyers. I continue, to this day, to assist United’s new hires and transferees. Those clients often use me for subsequent moves within the city.
What are you binge-watching/reading/listening to lately? Does binge-ordering on Amazon count? I am a huge fan of all reality TV. Currently, I am watching “The Crown,” and I loved “Emily in Paris”!
What’s your favorite meal in Chicago? If I had to pick one, the first thing that comes to mind is Osso Bucco from Topo Gigio on Wells (served only on Tuesdays and Saturdays!). Then, there’s always the Hamachi Carpaccio at Rise Sushi in Bucktown!
Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Chicago? Tribune Tower. My first job out of college was for RELCON Apartment Finders, which was owned by the Chicago Tribune. It holds a special place in my heart, plus it has artifacts from significant places and events from all over the world. The newly converted condos look pretty amazing, too!
What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to you on the job? I am not sure I can share that in here. It involved walking into a condo to show it to my buyer clients. Wink, wink. Surely, you can take a guess on what we saw, and it’d be correct!
What’s one thing people are surprised to learn about you? I am into cars and love driving. I think I would be Danika Patrick in another life. Luckily, I have a career that satisfies my urge to get behind the wheel!
What is your favorite vacation spot and why? So far, it has been South Africa. The safari at Shamwari Game Reserve was incredible, from the accommodations to the food to the animals. Cape Town is a shopping and food mecca. I have a craving for new experiences that only travel can satisfy.
In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry? When in doubt, ask for help! Trust yourself, too!
What’s your favorite real estate iPhone/Android app? I am old fashioned and don’t use a lot of apps so I will go with Gmail and texting! I really need to learn about some apps that can improve my business.
Who are your favorite people to follow on social media? This is going to sound funny, but Bennett from “The Bachelor!” Or anyone on “Million Dollar Listing” New York or LA.