Andrew Stoffer Broker/Realtor, Option Realty Group, Chicago

What was your most interesting job before going into real estate?
I was a sport management major in college, and I originally pursued a career in the sport industry. The most interesting job I had was working for the Chicago Bears. I had the opportunity to intern for the Chicago Bears Advertising and Events Department for a few years. As a die-hard Bears fan, I had a lot of fun on the job. I led the players onto the field as a Flag Runner on Sundays for a few years.

Where did you grow up?
I was born in Columbus, Ohio. However, I’d consider Naperville, Ill., the town I grew up in.

Growing up, what did you want to be?
Like most kids who play sports, I wanted to be a professional athlete when I grew up. As I got older and came to the realization that it was a pipe dream, I decided I wanted to pursue a career in the sports industry.

What do you do to relax when you’re stressed?
I picked up running as a hobby over the past few years. I’d say it’s become my favorite activity to do outside of work. I prefer to run outside along the lakefront. I’ll actually be participating in the Chicago Marathon this year.

If you could meet any well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why?
Kobe Bryant. I’ve been a huge Kobe fan for most of my life. I’m sure anybody that knows me could tell a few stories about my fandom. I always admired his work ethic and mentality. And as I got older, I began to appreciate who he was as a person and father off of the court.

What is Chicago’s best-kept secret?
My neighborhood. I’ve lived in University Village for roughly six years now. Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of helping many clients who share the same sentiment as me.

What do you love most about the industry?
The lifestyle and flexibility. I worked in the corporate world for many years before this. In real estate, no two days are the same, and no two deals are the same. By having a job that is filled with excitement, I am able to bring a better attitude into my days. And that allows me to bring my best self for my clients.

How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents?
I like to go off of the feedback that my past and current clients have given me. Most clients describe me as patient, calm, understanding, responsive, persistent, communicative and organized. I’d say my responsiveness, persistence and attention to detail are usually what give me the edge over other agents. I am also currently in the process of getting my managing broker license.

What is the most difficult aspect of your job?
The balancing act. I want to show up the best I can for all of my clients. There are always urgent items on the agenda. It is more of an art than a science in finding ways to accommodate all of your clients at once. I am also very lucky to have great colleagues and teammates to help me keep up with the balancing act.

What’s your best advice for generating new leads?
A large portion of my business comes through referrals. If you are a new agent, I recommend giving every client the best experience you possibly can. If you do, you’ll be surprised by the amount of repeat business and referrals you get down the road.

What has been your greatest accomplishment?
I think the best is yet to come. I’m blessed to be where I am at today, but I have plenty of long- and short-term goals that have yet to be achieved. Ultramarathon runner and retired Navy SEAL David Goggins calls it the “what’s next” list. I tend to look at it that way. Although I do think it is important to acknowledge the small victories in my day-to-day.

What are you binge-watching/reading/listening to lately?
I am a big fan of memoirs and books based on someone’s personal experience. I recently read “Endure” by Cameron Hanes. I do like watching shows and sports as well. I recently binge-watched “The Bear” on Hulu. Anything with Chicago in it interests me.

What’s your favorite meal in Chicago?
It’s Chicago — there are too many to list. The RL Restaurant near the Mag Mile never disappoints, though. I usually get the filet mignon.

Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Chicago?
Wrigley Field (if you consider that a building). Otherwise, I’d say the exterior of the Wrigley Building. My great-grandfather used to work in the Wrigley Building.

What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to you on the job?
I’ve seen some weird properties over the years. I saw one in the suburbs that had thick carpet in the bathrooms. You never know what you might walk into on a showing.

What’s one thing people are surprised to learn about you?
My family works in the industry. My mother was a Realtor for 20+ years, and my brother-in-law is currently in the industry with me.

What is your favorite vacation spot and why?
I like the West Coast a lot. California has a lot of beautiful areas for sightseeing and relaxing. I went to Lake Tahoe with my girlfriend last year. We’re going to Glacier National Park this fall.

In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry?
Keep an open mind. There is always more to learn.

Who are your favorite people to follow on social media?
Too many to list. David Goggins, Rich Roll, Cameron Hanes and Nick Bare are the first names that come to my mind.

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