Sam Kahn Director of Listings, Luxury Living Chicago Realty

What was your most interesting job before going into real estate? Before I got into real estate, I thought I would go into sports marketing or work in the front office for a professional baseball team. I spent a lot of time with baseball teams including interning for the University of Kansas baseball as well as with the Pittsburgh Pirates over the summers during college. I even took a semester off my junior year and lived in Bradenton, Florida with the Pirates during spring training.

Where did you grow up? Shaker Heights, Ohio

Growing up, what did you want to be? I wanted to work in the front office for a professional baseball team such as working under a general manager or scouting director. I’m pretty far removed from that now in real estate, yet anytime I get a pro athlete client, I still get the jitters.

What do you do to relax when you’re stressed? I love to ride the Peloton. A 45-minute ride with either Kendall Toole or Alex Toussaint is perfect. Outside of the typical “workout for relaxation,” my wife and I love to walk around the neighborhood and try new restaurants.

If you could meet any well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why? I’d love to meet Barack Obama. Meeting a president is definitely on my bucket list. To meet the first person of color leader of the United States would be unbelievable. Plus, he’s from Chicago and just seems like a cool guy.

What is Chicago’s best-kept secret? Chicago has the best sandwich shops across the country like Tempesta Market, Bari Sub, JP Graziano’s, Boefhaus. The list really does go on and on. None of them are on any “top lists” across the country but I’d stack them up against anywhere. We have hole in the wall hidden gems.

What do you love most about the industry? This is an easy question — it’s meeting new people everyday. Being a real estate agent for nine-ish years now, I’ve seen it all. However, working with new clients daily, I learn something new as no two deals are ever the same. It’s so fun to help individuals either buy, sell, or rent their biggest asset.

How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents? I’m uber responsive. Agents are a dime a dozen. If you don’t respond the client will find someone else. Clients tell me sometimes to not worry about responding and enjoy your weekend. I say, “What weekend?” I’m always there to help make sure the clients get everything they need. I want clients to be treated the same way I’d like to be treated.

What is the most difficult aspect of your job? Most agents always say limited inventory and losing out on a multiple-offer situation for their clients. I think that part is pretty easy. I’ve learned that being buttoned up, organized, and having a great relationship with other agents will stop that from happening.

For me the hardest part about the job is controlling myself. I always want to work, whether it’s responding back to the client, writing the offer, or drafting the lease. For example, I put together an offer on behalf of my client while walking up to the Michelangelo in Florence, Italy. So the most difficult aspect of my job is checking out and taking a true vacation and some downtime.

What’s your best advice for generating new leads? Do a good job with the clients you’re currently working with. Focus on giving them the best experience possible, and then you’d be surprised by how many referrals of new leads come to fruition.

What has been your greatest accomplishment? I haven’t had my greatest accomplishment yet to be honest. I haven’t felt like I’ve reached that point. While I’ve won a top producer award, sold my first condo, sold multi-million dollar properties and worked with A-list celebrities, I’ve not had that “wow” moment. I feel like once I get there I will know. Everything to date is just part of the hard work and the expectations I have of myself.

What are you binge-watching/reading/listening to lately? I’m OBSESSED with sports. I don’t watch much Netflix or the popular shows out there. Currently, I have become very hooked on European Soccer. In 2020 during the pandemic, soccer was the only sport that was playing. I never was really fond of it until I didn’t have any other sport to watch. And now it’s safe to say I schedule some appointments around Chelsea FC soccer matches.

What’s your favorite meal in Chicago? Pasta Chicken Vesuvio from La Scarola.

Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Chicago? Willis (Sears) Tower. Such a Chicago icon. When driving into the city, it hits me when I see it light up the sky.

What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to you on the job? I’ve been a real estate agent for a while now so it’s hard to be surprised by anything you see on the job. This is definitely one of the most asked questions by current clients. And truthfully I never have a good answer. I’ve walked in on R-rated things taking place in people’s apartments. Let’s leave it at that and to imagination.

What’s one thing people are surprised to learn about you? That I’m not from Chicago. When I’m on showings or at a listing appointment, clients have told me that they can hear my love for Chicago in my voice. So when they ask me where I went to undergrad or where I’m from, they are stunned that I relocated to Chicago in 2012 and am not born here. I think Chicago is the coolest city in the country. It has great food, is not too big, and centrally located.

What is your favorite vacation spot and why? Europe. It was pretty special that the first time my wife and I had ever been there was on our honeymoon. We went to Rome and Florence, Italy and then spent several days in Santorini, Greece. The cultures and experience are sooooo cool.

In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry? Take every lead given to you without complaining.

What’s your favorite real estate iPhone/Android app? The mail envelope icon at the bottom of the screen.

Who are your favorite people to follow on social media? Darren Rovell on Twitter for crazy stats and facts. And any sports breaking-news analyst.

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