Baird & Warner
Style icon Coco Chanel once said, “Fashion is architecture,” a keen observation that inspired Jill Clark to leave a powerhouse career in the beauty industry — before that she worked in fashion — to start anew in real estate.
“Real estate is becoming more like fashion,” says Clark, a broker with Baird & Warner. “I took my daughter to Paris in October. Although the famous Arc de Triomphe and Le Louvre were magnificent pieces of architecture, what I really admired was the not-so-famous pieces — the ordinary bridge adorned in gold leaf etchings that must have taken months to accomplish, and the building along the Seine River, which sparkles at night during the City of Lights.”
Clark pays particular attention to the visual elements of her listings. “This is the first impression,” Clark says. She uses professional photography, movies, drone shots, detailed signs and high-end brochures to highlight “the items that add value.” Depending on the property, she supplies wine bottles with custom labels, cupcakes with “Sold” signs and Godiva chocolates featuring a recreation of the home.
Clark spends additional money marketing on social media, including Facebook ads, Twitter and Instagram, and works with a syndication team, which places her listings on top websites. She also has a network of individual referral buyers whom she finds special properties for.
The effort has paid off: Clark is ranked among the top 1 percent of Realtors of the Chicago Association of Realtors, and is a recipient of Baird and Warner’s Chairman’s and 5 Star awards for 2017. “Negotiation is my specialty,” she says. “Many times, I am able to get my clients more than they expected. Patience pays off. Selling quickly is not necessarily good. Getting the most monies for my sellers is my focus.”
Clark markets properties for luxury sellers and buyers in Naperville, Hinsdale, Oakbrook, and Plainfield primarily, but will branch out where her referrals need her. A Certified Luxury Marketing Guild Member with Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist, Staging and E-pro designations, she recently balanced her portfolio with mid-range priced homes and luxury townhomes to adapt to today’s market.
Successfully balancing that with the luxury part of her business has been her biggest accomplishment this past year. “I continue to reinvent my business, always challenging myself to be better, be ahead of the game and do things differently,” she says. “My Jill Clark Homes business theme is, ‘In order to be irreplaceable, one must always be different.’”