Evan Smeenge Broker, Compass

What was your most interesting job before going into real estate?
Sold wine, beer, and spirits

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in West Michigan — Holland Michigan to be exact.

Growing up, what did you want to be?
The thing I remember most was wanting grow up and “fix” my mother’s vitiligo on her hands. So, I would say doctor. But I thought power rangers were pretty cool too!

What do you do to relax when you’re stressed?
Pour myself a glass of scotch and smoke a cigar.

If you could meet any well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why?
I’ve always had an affinity for people who rose to significant power. I immediately think Napoléon Bonaparte or Saladin. There is grit there, there is resilience.

What is Chicago’s best-kept secret?
Honestly? The people. Visitors from around the world can sometimes feel intimidated by a big city, but the people here are incredibly kind and warm-hearted.

What do you love most about the industry?
Having vulnerable moments with people. I think the home buying or selling process brings out the clients true self.

How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents?
Innovate. Innovate. Innovate…. I’ll leave that to your imagination.

What is the most difficult aspect of your job?
That vulnerability comes into play again. I tend to be a counselor who needs to calm clients down, especially those doing this for the first time.

What’s your best advice for generating new leads?
Run the business like a business, and all business have profits and losses – nothing comes for free.

What has been your greatest accomplishment? First 6 months of my second year I hit $8M

What are you binge-watching/reading/listening to lately?

What’s your favorite meal in Chicago?
Fat Chris’ pizza

Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Chicago?
Carbide and Carbon building

What’s one thing people are surprised to learn about you?
That I have a Master’s Degree in Museum and Gallery Studies,

What is your favorite vacation spot and why?

In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry?
Find another new agent to bounce ideas off of.

What’s your favorite real estate iPhone/Android app?
Showingtime – ’cause if I’m using the app, then I’m showing a property 😀

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