Karen Schwartz and Laura McGreal
Chicago New Properties
Partners and friends Laura McGreal and Karen Schwartz literally know houses from the ground up, an education gained when selling property for one of the largest developers in Chicago. “We not only learned how to sell a residence, but also about the intricacies of bringing new construction to market, like securing the necessary financing, acquiring the right land, building ideal living space and promoting purchase availability,” says McGreal. After a decade of selling for the same developer, the pair knew it was time to launch their own brokerage, Chicago New Properties. Although only in business a few months, the results to date have been phenomenal: 33 transactions with a sales and list volume totaling nearly $13 million. “Taking the leap into entrepreneurship was exciting,” explains Schwartz, “and I couldn’t be more proud of this achievement!”
McGreal, who holds a degree in finance, entered real estate after college when she began as a sales consultant for a new home developer. She earned her managing broker’s license during this time as she deepened her understanding of real estate development. Similarly, Schwartz pursued her profession after she completed a communications degree and she complemented her on-the-job real estate training with a Master of Business Administration, which helped strengthen her marketing and networking abilities.
Their focus at Chicago New Properties is primarily move-up buyers, that is, couples and growing families transitioning from the city to the suburbs and looking for a new construction home. As Schwartz explains, “We sell these clients’ city property for them as we help them purchase and transition into a suburban home community that’s typically a new development.” In addition, while their clients are often unfamiliar with the benefits that the Chicagoland suburbs offer, she and McGreal match them to the communities that best meet their personal lifestyle and needs. They know that purchasing new construction in the suburbs can be very different from purchasing a new home in the city, so their team guides buyers through what can many times be a first-time experience. “It’s exciting to walk into a new construction home model and see how you can build your home and customize every aspect of it, from selecting your lot to handpicking your finishes!” says McGreal. She adds that their typical client is a savvy purchaser who knows that builders’ sales agents represent the developer, so collaborating with Chicago New Properties affords them their own new home construction expert who will work in their best interest.
Between the two of them, these partners have amassed numerous awards and honors, including the Homebuilder Association’s Diamond, Gold and Silver awards. They take pride in creating a one-of-a-kind experience for their clients, who McGreal says “will always come first as we making buying a new home as simple and stress-free as possible!” Schwartz echoes this sentiment. “We want our clients to feel like they’re our No. 1 priority and to know that they can trust us to deliver impeccable service.” Both find inspiration in their family and one another, particularly as this new joint endeavor is just getting started. As they agree, “Our passion is helping our clients find a place to call home by providing the ultimate real estate experience.”