What was your most interesting job before going into real estate?
Director of a not-for-profit high school student exchange program. As part of my role, I had the privilege of playing tour guide to a group of up to 60 students for the summer. So fun!
Where did you grow up?
I was raised on Chicago’s Northwest Side and moved to the western suburbs in 1995.
Growing up, what did you want to be?
Ha! My aspirations were not all that high as a child. I wanted to be a Solid Gold dancer. But my dad always told me, “Deb, you should go into real estate. You’d be really good at it.” So, here I am!
What do you do to relax when you’re stressed?
Walking in the prairie path near my home is therapy for me! I also enjoy my gratitude journal, prayer and meditation, and a glass of wine.
If you could meet any well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why?
Jay Shetty, Kobe Bryant, Zig Ziglar. They carry wisdom and are relatable. I would embrace a warm, fuzzy conversation from Jay, and shoot the breeze with Kobe about hustle and work ethic, and soak in the knowledge from Zig.
What is Chicago’s best-kept secret?
The Chicago Pedway system!
What do you love most about the industry?
Everyone has a story to tell, and that story begins at home. I love to guide those stories to the next chapter and beyond. Brings great joy.
How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents?
Authentic, wise, focused, passionate, caring, savvy, energetic, attentive, a listening ear, a watchful eye … all of those things!
What is the most difficult aspect of your job?
The most challenging part of this business for me is balance of self. We are always on, and being clear about how to spend time wisely for optimal mind, body and spirit is important. I have to be intentional about those things in order to avoid work fatigue and burnout.
What’s your best advice for generating new leads?
Organically. Most of my business is built on referrals, networking and open homes. Be embedded in your town, community, neighborhood, church, playgroups, etc. Paying for leads has never been my thing. I’m just me.
What has been your greatest accomplishment?
I started my career in 2014. Since then, beginning as Rookie of the Year for john greene Realtor, I continue to be an annual top performer with my brokerage, community and Northern MLS. In 2020, I received the award for Best Property Marketer. That made me happy.
What are you binge-watching/reading/listening to lately?
I am such an all-or-nothing person, so for me to begin Netflix TV series may not be a great choice for my career. I do love Sudoku! Listening pleasures range from audio motivational and devotional and real estate-related books to drowning myself in music.
What’s your favorite meal in Chicago?
Bob-O-Rino’s for subs, Byron’s for hotdogs and Roma’s for beef.
Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Chicago?
The Wrigley Building and Tribune Tower never get old. What I most love about the Trib building are the scattered stone and bricks set about from all over the world! So cool!
What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to you on the job?
Too many to tell! I once was greeted by a man in a tiny towel with his two large dogs lunging forward.
What’s one thing people are surprised to learn about you?
My story. It’s made me who I am today.
What is your favorite vacation spot and why?
My favorite spot keeps evolving! I am making it a priority to solo travel for two days at a time, and to new places.
In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry?
Practice confidence. Show up, daily. Find a mentor, then be one.
What’s your favorite real estate iPhone/Android app?
Homesnap. I use it daily.
Who are your favorite people to follow on social media?
Larry Kendall, Bob Burg, Dave Ramsey, Zig Ziglar.