Baird & Warner
As a former school teacher, Mary O’Connor knows that student achievement is directly linked to an educator’s ability to make even the most difficult concepts easy to understand. Even though her first brush with real estate – the purchase of her first condo more than 20 years ago – was an overwhelming experience due to her agent’s lack of communication, O’Connor was able to use that confusion to fuel her entry into a real estate career. “I knew I could be really successful in real estate because, just like with students, you make a connection with clients and find the best way to communicate information that you want them to retain,” she says. “Brokers sometimes forget to take the time to educate clients.”
Though career changes can be daunting, O’Connor has leveraged her two graduate degrees in education as she helps teach people the ins and outs of real estate. At Baird & Warner, she partners with a diverse group of buyers and sellers, but treats every client to the same high standard of service, regardless of their budget or criteria. “My clients deserve to have me working for them all of the time,” she says. “I always tell them that I may not be working every hour of the day, but I’m nevertheless working every day.”
A long line of accomplished Realtors in O’Connor’s family have inspired her and supported her success. “We talk all of the time about what’s going on in real estate, and we even attend national and international real estate conferences together so that we can be at the top of our business,” she says. O’Connor’s success at maintaining that superior position is evidenced in the key role she played in selling 55 E. Erie Street, a luxury residential skyscraper. Her most recent project was as director of sales at the The Residences at 900, located in the 900 N. Michigan Avenue building. The JMB development was a unique and rewarding project from the planning stages through its completion in 2014. O’Connor now focuses her time on residential sales, and is a full-time broker with Baird & Warner in the brokerage’s Gold Coast office.
“I feel most inspired about my career when clients refer their friends and family to me,” O’Connor says. “I absolutely love what I do,” she adds, mentioning that like the values she once worked to instill in her students, “I’m not afraid of hard work and what it means to always be learning.”
Thanks to MILA for letting us use their beautiful location for our photo shoots.