Mary Higley Realtor, Jameson Sothebys International Realty, Home Discovery Team

What was your most interesting job before going into real estate?
I started my real estate career right out of college. I obtained my license over winter break of my senior year at the University of Kansas. But in high school, I worked as a kids birthday party coordinator at my local park district. One time I dressed up as Cinderella since the actor didn’t show up — ha!

Where did you grow up?
Glenview, IL.

Growing up, what did you want to be?
An event planner. I love the idea of being a part of someone’s special occasions. I feel I definitely get a piece of this when guiding clients with their homes!

What do you do to relax when you’re stressed?
Walking along the lake with a cup of coffee!

If you could meet any well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why?
Gabrielle Bernstein! Gabby is a spiritual leader for whom I have grown a great appreciation throughout my adult life. Whether it’s her books, podcasts, speeches, classes or meditations, she always grounds me back to my best self.

What is Chicago’s best-kept secret?
Sitting at the chef’s table overlooking the kitchen at Nico Osteria in the Gold Coast with a glass of wine and the Brussels sprout bruschetta!

What do you love most about the industry?
Home is such a personal thing, place, and feeling — I love being a part of it all with my clients!

How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents?
I am not in the industry for a quick sale, I’m in this for the long haul! My goal is to be an advisor for life and watch my clients transition as their life grows.

What is the most difficult aspect of your job?
Work-life balance can be challenging. This is a 24/7 business, and you have to show up and bring your A-game!

What’s your best advice for generating new leads?
Give your all to every transaction. Even the smallest deals can transpire into your biggest!

What has been your greatest accomplishment?
In 2019, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Learning to persevere, lean on my faith and not let this disease hold me back is something I am proud of everyday.

What are you binge-watching/reading/listening to lately?
“Live Your Life” by Amanda Kloots!

What’s your favorite meal in Chicago?
The chicken noodle salad at The Noodle in Wilmette — greatest of all time!

Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Chicago?
The Waldorf Astoria hands down!

What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to you on the job?
My husband reached out to me inquiring about a listing I had years before we formally met. Still not sure if he was actually interested in the unit or a poor first attempt at a date — haha!

What’s one thing people are surprised to learn about you?
I can play the piano!

What is your favorite vacation spot and why?
We recently got back from our honeymoon in Nantucket. I love being near the ocean, walking the cobblestone streets surrounded by the iconic cedar shingles and hydrangeas. The island truly feels like an escape from reality!

In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

What’s your favorite real estate iPhone/Android app?
ParkChicago parking app! Can’t live without it!

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