Baird & Warner Gold Coast
Homebuying and selling can be a confusing and often overwhelming experience, and broker Mary O’Connor aims to simplify the process. A former schoolteacher with two master’s degrees, O’Connor knows the importance of educating and connecting with clients. “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 said. “Brokers sometimes forget to take the time to educate clients.”
O’Connor is a top broker for Baird & Warner Gold Coast and has worked in the industry for 21 years. She works with developers of luxury properties as well as buyers and sellers in all price ranges. “I have always been primarily a listing agent and have started working with many buyers, which has produced many new friendships,” she said.
O’Connor played a key role in selling 55 E. Erie Street, a luxury residential skyscraper. She also served 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. “My years in education have helped me sell successfully. It’s all about organizing the information and presenting it in a way that makes sense to another person,” she said.
A member of both the National Association of Realtors and the Chicago Association of Realtors, O’Connor is greatly involved in the real estate community. Many of her family members are Realtors as well, and they continue to motivate and inspire her. “We talk all of the time about what’s happening 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 explained.
While real estate is a rewarding experience, it still comes with its challenges. “As a real estate broker, the success can be huge, however the disappointment can be just as significant,” O’Connor says. “Work as hard as you can and stay positive. Sales is all about attitude. As Arthur Ashe said, ‘To achieve greatness, start where you are, use what you have, do what you can.’”