Kayshonna Straughter-Bennett Realtor, Coldwell Banker, Hyde Park

What was your most interesting job before going into real estate?
My most interesting job was being a public safety watch commander. I’ve always been known to be happy bubbly person. Many cannot believe I have a criminal justice background since it’s such a serious position.

Where did you grow up?
I grew up on the South Side of Chicago, but I’m a Cubs fan. Haha!

Growing up, what did you want to be?
Growing up I always wanted to be an early childhood education teacher! Then I thought long and hard on [that] lol … WHEW! *wipes forehead*

What do you do to relax when you’re stressed?
When I am stressed, I tend to shop. Who doesn’t love to shop! That could be seen as an expensive habit but being I am a thrifter, it’s just helps me to relax and gets the creative juices flowing.

If you could meet any well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why?
I would love to meet the late, GREAT Princess Diana. As a royal, she stole many hearts with her grace and iconic style choices. She used fashion as an extension of her personality, as I do myself.

What is Chicago’s best-kept secret?
Come on now! Its no secret that Chicago has the best food, but if you’re ever looking for a light bite, Simply Soups and Salads should be your midday lunch delight!

What do you love most about the industry?
I LOVE people! Helping them through the entire process from finding a home or preparing to sell, all are emotional, from beginning to end. It excites me because usually real estate is a person’s greatest asset. And I believe in real estate as a great investment! I get to be a part of this! Love it!

How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents?
While I did not become a teacher I still have a passion to teach. Social media has been my go to for reaching people. With relatable, fun marketing I teach people that ownership is obtainable to anyone!

What is the most difficult aspect of your job?
I can’t help everyone, though I would love to, it’s just not possible. I sometimes feel bad but I have to realize I’m not a superhero.

What’s your best advice for generating new leads?
Use social media! As a new agent, I decided to focus on creating a community and within a year I grew over 30,000 followers between two platforms which helped generate leads.

What has been your greatest accomplishment?
My greatest accomplishment so far was being able to help 12 first-time buyers get to the closing table during my first year. It was an amazing learning experience each time.

What are you binge-watching/reading/listening to lately?
I am currently being forced (lol) to binge any and everything superhero. Since I am a wife and boymom, it’s a man cave here.

What’s your favorite meal in Chicago?
My favorite meal from Chicago would be pizza — Giordano’s can take all of my money!

Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Chicago?
There are so many buildings that can be referenced but I love the Aqua Tower. The tower bridges the gap between sculpture and skyscraper and its distinctive, undulating appearance is beautiful.

What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to you on the job?
My clients and I were out on showing tours and we saw a small lost Yorkie. Being that I am such an animal lover, I thought I’d try to rescue him. WELP, let’s just say … I will never do that again. He barked and chased me back into the house. Mind you, the dog was no more than five to 10 pounds, LOL.

What’s one thing people are surprised to learn about you?
Many are surprised when I tell them I don’t like to get my hair or nails done. Being that I have to create content I aways have to do this. It just takes up to much time I need.

What is your favorite vacation spot and why?
My favorite vacation, mhmm … would be anywhere with a beach! Miami has always been a go-to for me and my husband when we just need a peace of mind.

In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry?
It’s important to network and build relationships!

What’s your favorite real estate iPhone/Android app?
My favorite real estate app would be Homesnap. I recently started using the app and it’s a time saver, I use it daily now!

Who are your favorite people to follow on social media?
Quiana Watson for mentorship and The Broke Agent for laughs.

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