Neha Sheth Broker Associate, Luxury Living Chicago Realty

What was your most interesting job before going into real estate?
Prior to entering real estate, I worked in local television news as a producer and reporter.

Where did you grow up?
My family is from metro Detroit. More specifically, Farmington Hills, Michigan.

Growing up, what did you want to be?
As an undergraduate and graduate student, I studied law and public policy and aspired to become a policy correspondent for a major news organization.

What do you do to relax when you’re stressed?
A relaxing massage or happy hour cocktails with friends always works!

If you could meet any well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why?
Meeting Hasan Manaj, the comedian and political commentator, would be awesome. The depth and sincerity of his stand-up routines make it easy to relate to him. He’s also a great storyteller. How he combines comedy and politics with his own story of growing up in the United States as a first generation Indian is so impressive.

What is Chicago’s best-kept secret?
A little bit of a secret and definitely underrated — The Publishing House Bed and Breakfast in the West Loop. The boutique B&B has a swanky vintage vibe, but there’s still a sense of home. The 11 rooms are all elegant and well decorated, but also comfortable and cozy. Every morning they serve a delicious breakfast, and the staff is exceptionally kind and awesome.

What do you love most about the industry?
The people. The relationships and interactions are a huge part of the overall experience for me and a big reason why I got into real estate.

How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents?
Real estate is about creating unforgettable experiences that are deeply personal.

For me, understanding my clients’ lifestyle is very important. Whether a client decides to buy or sell, my support goes beyond the physical home itself.

My passion is helping my clients envision their future — from interior design, neighborhood expertise, local restaurants and shops, to schools. As much as I can, I try to paint the big picture for them and immerse myself fully in this part of the process well before my client decides to makes an offer on a home.

At the end of the day, it isn’t enough to be the realtor that clients approach when they are ready to buy or sell a property. The value lies in being a friend and a resource they can rely on, well before they decide to pull the trigger.

What is the most difficult aspect of your job?
Managing the client’s expectations. No matter what type of client we are dealing with, it is impossible to satisfy every expectation.

Though, I think that managing client expectations and putting them in writing at the beginning of a relationship can help prevent most misunderstandings.

With experience, I’ve found that the more communication and education I provide to my clients from the outset, the smoother the transaction will be.

What’s your best advice for generating new leads?
Social media can be utilized as a lead generator and relationship building platform — if you’re doing it right.

Personally, most of my success comes from showing up on social media every day and providing FREE and unique value to my followers. I went from chasing expensive Zillow leads — at the start of my career — to now having a majority of my clients seek me out directly via social media.

First, figure out who your ideal client is. Next, create unique, valuable content geared towards them. In addition, having a website that provides information about who you are as an agent, the clients you serve, and why you are an excellent choice is extremely important. In just one click, clients can find out more about you and decide whether to work with you.

What has been your greatest accomplishment?
I had one of my most successful years in business this year — expanding my network and sales business, being able to take care of clients and friends through the pandemic despite the obstacles, creating and launching my brand, all of which have been major accomplishments for me this year.

What are you binge-watching/reading/listening to lately?
Currently reading: “Indistractable” by Nir Eyal. The latest podcast I’m hooked on is “Big Kid Problems” by Sarah Merrill. Another podcast that every agent, whether new or experienced, should listen to is “Hustle Humbly”. Every episode features a best practice you can use right away to grow your real estate business.

What’s your favorite meal in Chicago?
Chef’s Special in Bucktown is a must! Love all their dishes, so I can’t choose a fave, but it’s easily the best Chinese food in Chicago. Oh, and their cocktails are amazing too!

Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Chicago?
Chicago and the Chicago River are full of beautiful buildings, but theMart (Merchandise Mart) is always on my mind. Such an icon, and it’s still going strong nearly a century later!

What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to you on the job?
When I was first getting started in real estate, I once had a rental listing where the owner, upon discovering prospective tenants were pregnant, refused to rent to them. I pointed out that this was against the law and went against fair housing. At that time, he was so freaked out that he went straight to my team lead. As “owner of the apartment”, he could not understand why he could not decide who lived there. In the end, the couple moved in, had a baby, and lived in the apartment for the next two years. As for me, I severed ties with that owner and am grateful for the kind clients I have today.

What’s one thing people are surprised to learn about you?
It usually surprises people to learn I had a completely different career in television journalism and lived in five different cities before I settled in Chicago.

What is your favorite vacation spot and why?
Tulum, Mexico! It’s my favorite beach town to travel to in Mexico. A majority of the island is part of a protected reserve so it’s just literally just you, the jungle and the beach as your neighbor. The cenotes surrounding Tulum are stunning as well!

In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry?
Use your strengths to define your personal brand identity!

What’s your favorite real estate iPhone/Android app?
I’m always on Houzz and Pinterest searching for home design ideas for clients. For content creation, I like Canva, InShot and Preview. Whenever I’m on the go with clients, I also like Homesnap and RPR-Mobile.

Who are your favorite people to follow on social media?
My favourite Instagram accounts include: @chicagobucketlist, @BigKidProblems, Kirsten Jordan from Million Dollar Listing on Bravo, Priyanka Chopra, Joanna Gaines and Barbara Corcoran, among others.

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