Debra Dobbs never anticipated that she would end up as a top broker with @properties with a client base dating back to 1988! Rarely does attending a gelato class in Italy and opening the first Gelateria in Chicago lead to a career in real estate. After 34 years, she couldn’t be happier with the way things turned out. “I look at the person I am today, with a loving family and a fabulous daughter, and am beyond grateful and proud to enjoy a career that I love with a life that is beyond my dreams,” she says.
Dobbs began her career in 1984 as a developer for some of Chicago’s earliest loft conversions. Since then, she has accumulated numerous clients, as well as a deep familiarity with Chicago’s neighborhoods. Dobbs also has continued to pursue her early interest in renovation and home improvements. In 2015, she closed on a 12,000-square-foot space of Water Tower, and worked with the investor and design-build firm to create five condos within the legendary building. They’ve already closed on three of the units, “setting the bar for the highest price per foot in Water Tower.”
Dobbs enjoys the variety that comes from negotiating and settling transactions in all of the major markets, as well as the opportunity to work with some of the familiar faces that she has encountered over the years. “My renter clients, after multiple transactions, become my high-price-point clients,” she explains. “These clients refer their adult children for their first rental apartment in the city, then the cycle begins again.”
Throughout her career, Dobbs has consistently ranked in the top 1 percent of Realtors in Chicago and has received the Chicago Association of Realtors Platinum Award, as well as being rated as the top agent at the East Lincoln Park @properties office. She attributes her success to her patience and ability to hone in on what her clients want. “One client described me as the ‘house whisperer,’ saying I had an uncanny ability to isolate the unspoken needs and preferences of my many clients,” she says.
For all her real estate success, Dobbs still enjoys making gelato and serving it to her friends at Sunday suppers.