The Grafft Group


Brett Deppeler, Realtor
Thomas Cox, Realtor
Matthew Harris, Realtor
Teressa McMurray, Realtor
John Michael Grafft, Top-Producing Realtor

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff

Not only does John Michael Grafft hold the distinction of being ranked among the top 1 percent of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Realtors worldwide, but the National Association of Realtors also declared him a “30 under 30” agent for 2016. In addition, the Chicago Association of Realtors perennially lists him among its top producers.

“I only have one tattoo, and it reads ‘kaizen’,” Grafft explains, noting the word means the Japanese business philosophy of continuous improvement. “I look at the tattoo anytime something does not go as planned, and I resolve to learn from the experience to constantly build my best practices.” He and his team have increased business each year by more than 50 percent.

Grafft grew up in a family that worked in construction and property investments, so his earliest exposure to the industry was helping analyze properties and manage job sites. It was when searching for an apartment before his sophomore year at DePaul University that he realized how difficult a process it can be. That led him to found Renters Refuge, the city’s first student-focused and student-owned brokerage, which he eventually sold to Prudential Rubloff. That transition spurred the beginning of Grafft’s career selling new construction and luxury homes, his area of expertise.

One of those agents is Thomas Cox, who entered the profession a year ago and specializes in downtown rentals and the western suburbs. “I’ve always had a passion for sales, so real estate is the perfect fit for me,” he says. Cox treats clients like family, because he understands the anxiety that often comes with finding the right property to meet their needs and wants. As the youngest Berkshire Hathaway agent in Hinsdale, he draws inspiration from knowing his career is what he makes it, because the profession encourages entrepreneurial creativity.

Team member Brett Deppeler’s lifelong interest in architecture, coupled with his childhood experience assisting his uncles in the construction industry, prompted him to begin helping people buy and sell homes. “I believe in building relationships by providing outstanding service, and that’s what I always try to deliver, whether my clients are listing a home for sale, looking for one to purchase, or hoping to develop one to go to market,” he says. Like Grafft, Deppeler takes a hands-on approach that requires a careful eye to note any construction issues, design features, and location attributes that will help inform his clients’ decision.

Missouri native Matthew Harris specializes in helping renters in multi-unit properties. “I excel in this niche market because I enjoy working with this population, and appreciate that not everyone is ready to purchase a home,” he says. “Serving renters allows me to establish great bonds with landlords, too, and those bonds create connections to other opportunities in the long-term.” Harris appreciates the importance of building and sustaining relationships, because he only knew two people when he first relocated to Chicago. “I survived,” he laughs, “and I’m an example to anyone who wants to get into this industry that you can make it if you have a great attitude and relentless drive.”

Colleague Teressa McMurray agrees that truly connecting with people like colleagues and clients allows her to deliver unparalleled service. “Our team always reminds ourselves why we do what we do, and that means ongoing improvement is always a top priority,” says McMurray, who was a 2013 Chicago Association of Realtors Rookie of the Year nominee, and whom the organization recently honored for sales production. Watching her mother – a real estate attorney who helped clients close their sales and purchases before transitioning to become a broker herself – inspired McMurray to follow in her footsteps. “I could tell how happy she was helping people buy and sell homes, and I share that same enthusiasm,” she says.

Thanks to AtWater Apartments for letting us use their beautiful location for our photo shoots.

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