What was your most interesting job before going into real estate?
I was a union carpenter foreman in Chicago from 2001 to 2009 and then owned my own remodeling company from 2009 to 2017. I’ve enjoyed building the landscape that I now get to sell.
Where did you grow up?
Sunnyside, Queens, in New York City. I moved to Illinois 21 years ago after meeting my wife at a trade show in Rosemont.
Growing up, what did you want to be?
I wanted to own multiple bars and restaurants. I fell in love with serving others and worked in restaurants through my high school years.
What do you do to relax when you’re stressed?
I take Fridays off and use that time to reconnect with my wife while exploring wineries and restaurants.
If you could meet any well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why?
I would want to spend some time with Frank Lloyd Wright. Through my years in construction and real estate, I am drawn to his designs and love his midcentury modern architecture. He was truly a modern Renaissance man who excelled in writing, design and architecture, and I would love to know what inspired him.
How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents?
I am just me. You will either like me or hate me, but I have to be true to who I am and my own unique style. If you expect a Realtor in a suit … you have the wrong guy regardless of price point. I believe in being true to who you are and others will see that I am genuine.
What is the most difficult aspect of your job?
Constantly filling the lead funnel. It can be a full-time job.
What’s your best advice for generating new leads?
I live by relationships and pride myself on working exclusively with referrals (organic, not paid for). I do this by never eating alone. I attend networking events multiple times a month in different areas and then follow up by taking potential referral partners to coffee or lunch. If I don’t have someone to go to lunch with then I eat at home. Every meal is an opportunity to build a friendship that will feed your lead funnel.
What has been your greatest accomplishment?
Between my two associations (Rockford Area Realtors and Heartland Realtor Organization), I have closed 86 transactions in just 58 months as a Realtor.
Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Chicago?
I would have to say the Aon Center. It was designed by the same architect that did the Twin Towers in New York, and it always reminds my of where I grew up whenever I see it.