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James Barclay, Broker


Dream Town Realty


A self-described “realtor for the common man,” James Barclay, a broker with Dream Town Realty, guides his clients to the best end results. “My job is simple,” he says. “I help my clients make good decisions.”

Drawing on the skills he’s honed over three decades as a professional drummer, Barclay is profoundly attentive: staying present, listening carefully, and reacting swiftly and appropriately when assisting buyers, sellers and investors throughout Chicago. The inverse is also true, as the organizational skills and management techniques he’s learned as a broker and professional life coach inform his music career. But regardless of whether he’s on a stage, at an open house, or mentoring agents through Dream Town’s coaching and leadership program, he’s fully committed to his work.

“At this point, I don’t measure my success in terms of volume or commissions,” says Barclay. “It’s about the quality of life, and I have exactly the life I want.”

As the son and grandson of public school teachers, Barclay is a natural mentor, and his role as a professional coach for Dream Town employees is a source of fulfillment and satisfaction. “I work with agents throughout the year — both one-on-one and in groups — to help them get more out of their businesses and their lives,” he says. “For some, that may be putting together marketing plans, getting over their anxiety about asking for referrals or increasing their income. But for others, it’s just about increasing their quality of life.”

In 2018, Barclay closed $10 million in sales and attributes the feat in part to constantly monitoring the market. “If an activated home listing doesn’t sell in the first weekend, then you need to find out why — what are agents saying, and what good or bad comments did their buyers have?” explains Barclay. “If you need to make adjustments to the price or the home itself, that’s the only way you will know. It’s our job to compile that information and report back to our sellers.”

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