Ami Bumia, Gwen Farinella, Nick Farnsworth and Erin Ward
Related Realty’s South Loop Luxury by Related team understands and appreciates like no one else what this iconic neighborhood offers. From Museum Campus to Grant Park to Soldier Field, it is an eclectic blend of history, culture and properties that attract buyers who seek both the dynamism of city living and the comfort that a sense of community affords. Brokers Ami Bumia, Gwen Farinella, Nick Farnsworth and Erin Ward are South Loop experts and collaboratively lead their firm’s sale of its newest collection of condominiums for discriminating buyers who desire luxury living at its best.
Bumia’s previous corporate marketing experience helped prepare her for her real estate career as did her former mentor who successfully balanced oversight of a new development and residential resales. “She taught me that there isn’t just one way to do a job,” says the Chicago Association of Realtors top producer. For Bumia, continuing education and a refinement of her skills are the keys to success. Moreover, establishing a strong relationship with clients is paramount to ensure their satisfaction. “It’s important to understand what their motivation is because it allows me to present them the best options available for their unique needs,” she explains. “I believe that it creates trust when clients feel that they’re truly understood and that makes for a much smoother transaction.” This is why she prides herself on managing expectations from the outset of the client-broker partnership and, as she puts it, “doing what I say I’m going to do.”
After 12 years in senior management at a Los Angeles-based women’s apparel manufacturer, native Chicagoan Farinella identified connections between merchandising, selling, planning and analyzing department store trends and what it would take to be successful in real estate. While she has a deep base of clients in the luxury market, she also works with many first-time buyers, largely due to her extensive knowledge of the city. In fact, client education is at the center of her approach. “I come from a place of knowledge,” she says, “and my primary objective is to guide my clients through the purchase and sale processes so that they achieve the results they want. When my clients are excited about their purchase or sale, then I know I’ve done my job.” She especially appreciates that in real estate “every day is a new day and every deal is a new deal” because this industry top producer finds change both exciting and motivational.
Farnsworth says that his experience at a Chicago-based title company “helped tremendously” when he opted to become a Realtor because years of industry affiliation taught him what it meant to be a top agent. He learned the importance of distinguishing himself in the industry by carefully listening to what his clients not only need, but also want, the combination of which allows him to empathize with them and earn their confidence. “Most people find buying and selling a home to be a daunting process, so I strive to eliminate the stress by taking as much off of their plate as I can,” says the broker who ranks among the city’s top 1% of Realtors. He adds that he treats all clients the same regardless of budget. His goal is to make everyone feel comfortable. And like Farinella, he also appreciates the changes of the industry. “I love that there are endless opportunities because every day offers a new challenge.”
Born and bred in Chicago’s Beverly community, Ward remembers riding her bicycle through its various neighborhoods and admiring their architecture. Although she pursued a corporate career after college, she later decided to enroll in a real estate course to find the professional fulfillment she was missing. She handed in her notice after two weeks in the class and, she laughs, “I never looked back!” She has since honed her talents in the new construction luxury residential sales market as a leading member of the team that have sold developments like the landmark rehab at the old South Water Produce Markets. “My clients know that I’m not just a transactional agent,” the top producer and multiple award winner makes clear. “Just because a transaction is over doesn’t mean that our relationship is over. I always keep in touch with past clients so that they know that I care about them and not just their real estate needs.”
Each member of the South Loop Luxury by Related team draws inspiration from family, friends, colleagues and, of course, clients. Together they have quickly put Related Realty’s name on the map as a leading luxury provider in this area of The Windy City even as each solidifies an already outstanding reputation in the business, but this is because, as Ward explains, “When you love what you do, then you’re bound to excel at it!”