Trevonia Rufus Realtor, Dream Spots Leasing & Sales, South Shore

What was your most interesting job before going into real estate?
I only worked two jobs before getting into real estate. I guess the most interesting between the two was my second job. I worked for an assisted living company as a certified direct support professional. As a DSP, I was responsible for assisting people with physical and intellectual disabilities with their day-to-day living. I did this for two years before making my transition to the real estate industry.

Where did you grow up?
I grew up everywhere! My parents moved a lot. However, most of my upbringing was spent in the south suburbs.

Growing up, what did you want to be?
I wanted to be an actress (also currently pursuing). Later on, I began leaning toward event planning and marketing/public relations.

What do you do to relax when you’re stressed?
For me, a nap calms and gives me the strength to tackle any trials I am faced with.

If you could meet any well-known figure, who would it be and why?
I would be honored to meet Steve Harvey. I grew up watching him on television with my parents, so naturally, I’m a fan. However, to watch how he has evolved as an entrepreneur, mogul and all-around businessman is inspiring. He is always willingly sharing so much wisdom, so to be able to have a conversation with him would be life-changing.

What is Chicago’s best-kept secret?
Jazz music. Chicago has a lot of amazing jazz bars and restaurants. I truly believe that if our city was a genre of music it would be jazz.

What do you love most about the industry?
I honestly enjoy all of the industry networking events. Getting to meet people who have been in the industry for many years and learning from them is amazing.

How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents?
I aim to create an experience for my clients. I never want them to feel as though they’re just another transaction. I let them know from the beginning that the process is a journey and I’m with them every step of the way.

What is the most difficult aspect of your job?
Time management! When it comes to business, I handle everything myself. From social media, consultations, client onboardings, marketing, branding, showings, etc. You name it, I do it! So it can be a bit overwhelming especially when you throw in balancing being a wife and a mother to a three-year-old!

What’s your best advice for generating new leads?
Continuously putting yourself out there. Currently, I generate leads primarily through social media. However, I’ve gotten leads from leaving business cards at local businesses as well.

What has been your greatest accomplishment?
My greatest accomplishment has been pushing forward and never quitting when things got hard. It may not seem like this huge accomplishment, but it is. Giving up is so easy, but to keep going and fighting for what you believe in while everything around you is saying, ‘Quit,’ is a tremendous accomplishment.

What are you binge-watching/reading/listening to lately?
I’ve recently began reading “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie.

What’s your favorite meal in Chicago?
Pizza! One of my favorite places is Lou Malnati’s on State.

Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Chicago?
The Smurfit-Stone Building. I have been in love with this building since I was a child. I believe this building is one of the most unique buildings there is, not only in Chicago, but the world. It stands out, it’s one of a kind and absolutely eye catching.

What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to you on the job?
Showing up to show a property at the same time as another agent and their client. I had to politely race to the door to be able to show before the other party.

What’s one thing people are surprised to learn about you?
When I’m not consumed by real estate, I’m working on an acting project. I’ve recently gotten back into acting so when someone sees something I’ve been working on, they’re always in awe with excitement.

What is your favorite vacation spot and why?
Anywhere where there’s a lot of great food around.

In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry?
Save money for taxes!

What’s your favorite real estate iPhone/Android app?
It’s a tie between Homesnap and ShowingTime.

Who are your favorite people to follow on social media?
I enjoy following other Realtors in the industry, especially in other cities. I enjoy seeing what’s going in all the different markets. Also, any pages with motivational and inspirational content.

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