Matt Elakatt Broker, Keller Williams Success Realty – Barrington, IL

What was your most interesting job before going into real estate?
Being a CPA and auditing financial statements for publicly traded companies. I was able to see which companies were profitable and which lost money, pending lawsuits, etc.

Where did you grow up?
I was born in Chicago, and my family lived in Irving Park. We later moved to Skokie and eventually settled down in Glenview. Once I got married, my wife and I lived in Logan Square for five years before having a baby and moving to Skokie.

Growing up, what did you want to be?
Growing up, I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I was always fascinated with the possibility of growing a business.

What do you do to relax when you’re stressed?
In my free time, I enjoy woodworking. I have a small shop in my basement and built our family’s dining room table and a matching bench.

If you could meet any well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why?
I would meet Elon Musk. In my opinion, he’s the greatest visionary of our time. All of his current endeavors will impact humanity in one way or another (SpaceX, SolarCity, The Boring Company, Tesla, Neuralink).

What is Chicago’s best-kept secret?
Staropolska in Avondale. A fantastic Polish dining experience that is easily missed when driving down Milwaukee.

What do you love most about the industry?
Connecting with clients from all walks of life. My past-client list varies greatly, from profession, income levels and all backgrounds. Being a Realtor allows me to interact with people I may not interact with under other circumstances.

In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry?
Get comfortable with rejection and don’t take it personally.

How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents?
I’m a CPA, which allows me to help clients analyze investment properties so they don’t get burned on the back end. Additionally, I’m a real estate investor myself and understand the ins and outs of investing in real estate. Plus, if you read my 35-plus online reviews, most mention how I always provide my clients my honest opinion, even if that means talking them out of making an offer.

Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Chicago?
Probably Tribune Tower on Michigan Avenue. Its Gothic look makes me feel like I’m in Gotham City and there’s a chance Batman will make an appearance. 🙂

What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to you on the job?
I was working with a client who is an investor, and we viewed a multi-unit. The list agent met us at the property and knocked on the first unit’s door. As soon as the door opened, a cloud of marijuana smoke came out of the unit and the list agent addressed the gentleman as “Cheeseburger” and asked for permission to view the unit. Unfortunately, Cheeseburger said his unit was a mess and a showing at that time wasn’t possible.

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