Sam Jenkins (Founder/Broker), James Sheehan (Broker), Valerie Sancrainte (Broker)
A regular Chicago Association of Realtors Top Producer, the Sam Jenkins Group has facilitated transactions in all areas, including million-dollar land deals, multi-unit conversions and new construction single-family homes. “We’re calm and we see the big picture, so that allows us to be proactive rather than reactive, and clients appreciate that,” says founder Sam Jenkins. The team, which also includes brokers James Sheehan and Valerie Sancrainte, brings a combined 25-plus years in real estate to the table — along with expertise in finance, design and client service. They’re currently working on a number of properties, such as new construction condominiums in the Lake View and Lincoln Park areas. The Chicago Association of Realtors has recognized the team for top production every year from 2011 to 2017.
Before entering the real estate industry, Jenkins was a personal trainer in the Chicago and London markets. Sheehan, originally from Dublin, Ireland, worked for the Chicago Board of Trade for 10 years.
Sancrainte began her real estate career in 2011 after working for several years in visual merchandising on Michigan Avenue. Jenkins draws from his personal training background often in real estate, “There are a lot of similarities between the professions, as both are primarily about helping people who have specific aspirations,” he says. “How you interact with clients, and manage relationships and transactions, is critical to your success because this is ultimately a people business.” He credits Sean Conlon and his previous brokerage with teaching him how the industry works, and helping him weather the market’s ups and downs.
Sancrainte’s interest in real estate began at an early age, watching industry experts operate on home improvement television; this pastime prompted her to begin analyzing local, national and global markets. From this she has gained an appreciation and desire to help buyers find their perfect home. Today, she continues to grow as a broker through the Chicago Association of Realtors meetings and events.
Sheehan learned the importance of managing relationships in Dublin, where his parents operated a bar. “I know how to connect with people and talk with them, and that’s critical in this profession,” he says. After earning his degree in economics from University College of Dublin, he moved to the U.S. and worked in finance before entering real estate.
Each member of the Sam Jenkins Group is involved in charitable organizations that allow them to give back to the community. Jenkins is an auxiliary past board member of Stimulus Social Club, which raises money for several Chicago-area charities. Sheehan volunteers with Chicago Animal Care and Control, which ensures the humane care of animals through sheltering, pet placement and education. Sheehan is also the current President of the Ireland Network in Chicago, an organization that connects newly arrived Irish immigrants with the wider Chicago business community through business events and social gatherings. Sancrainte is an active volunteer with Chicago Cares, and also works with the Glass Slipper Project, a nonprofit organization that provides free prom wear to Chicago-area high school juniors and seniors.