Heather Ditlevsen Broker, Compass, Lincoln Park

What was your most interesting job before going into real estate?
I was a nanny for years! I absolutely loved it. It was a chance to nurture my motherly instincts and love for kids but still be able to go home and get a good night’s sleep!

Where did you grow up?
Carol Stream, Illinois.

Growing up, what did you want to be?
Oh, man — a loaded question. I wanted to be a lot. Teacher, astronaut, wedding planner. But I went to college to pursue a career in medicine, and now I sell homes and couldn’t be happier!

What do you do to relax when you’re stressed?
Sit on my couch with Netflix on in the background and online shop.

If you could meet any well-known figure, who would it be?
Vince Vaughn. Obsessed and always will be. And he’s from here, so even better.

What is Chicago’s best-kept secret?
Well, I don’t think it’s a secret anymore, but the speakeasy at The Green Door is one of the coolest spots to me. So fun and intimate.

What do you love most about the industry?
The chance to be myself. I have a big personality, which isn’t welcomed in all fields, so I love that I can bring all of me into my business and give my clients the best version of me possible. I want the experience to be fun for them — as it should!

How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents?
I have zero filter. I will tell you if a house is gross and not even worth a visit or if it sits on a train track and will shake your bedroom every morning or whatever the case. I do not hold back or sugarcoat things. People need to be told the truth, not just what is convenient.

What is the most difficult aspect of your job?
Being able to manage multiple personalities and keeping clients’ expectations realistic. Any agent can come in and tell you what you want to hear, but it’s going to backfire. It’s a true talent to be able to be honest.

What’s your best advice for generating new leads?
Join a great team that helps you, do as many open houses as possible and talk to every stranger. Ya never know.

What has been your greatest accomplishment?
Doing close to $10 million in my first year. Pretty exciting.

What are you binge-watching/reading/listening to lately?
I wish I had patience to read more. I binge my “Housewives” and any new drama Netflix wants to offer me that month.

What’s your favorite meal in Chicago?
Hmmm … this is tough. Does Portillo’s count? I’m a boring eater. I could eat the same three things for the rest of my life.

Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Chicago?
Besides the Sears Tower (yes, I call it that), I think the Field House in Humboldt Park is a hidden gem most people don’t know about, and also the lobby in The Rookery Building is absolute goals.

What’s one thing people are surprised to learn about you?
My age. I act like I’m 75 sometimes. Love a good Friday night in, hanging on the couch and in bed by 10.

What is your favorite vacation spot and why?
What’s a vacation? Kidding. I haven’t traveled in quite some time and not nearly enough. Definitely on my 2022 goals list. I did go to Ghana in college, and that was an experience of a lifetime.

In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry?
Stay positive and open-minded. The business will come.

What’s your favorite real estate iPhone/Android app?
I love Homesnap! I think it’s so underrated. Go download it!

Who are your favorite people to follow on social media?
Any interior design account. A slight addiction I have.

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