While working as a Chicago Public Schools social worker, Karen Ranquist became involved with her family’s real estate development company and was drawn to the excitement of the industry.
After her first project, she moved full-time into real estate. Twenty years later, most of her business is either new construction, single-family homes, condominiums or architecturally focused properties.
“I bring a lot of ideas to the table and execute a stress-free real estate transaction,” says Ranquist, a broker and luxury specialist with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services KoenigRubloff Realty Group.
In the past few years, Ranquist has begun to focus more on the resale market. “My years in construction set me apart from many agents,” she says. “I can help guide my clients moving from a one-bedroom condo purchase to a large single-family home.”
Assisting clients for the second, third and even fourth time means everything to Ranquist. “I am humbled and honored to see almost all of my business is by referral,” she says, adding that the best compliment is when developers, buyers and sellers repeatedly request her services. “Being involved from the beginning to end is exciting to me.”
Ranquist says she uses her passion for architecture to help clients find properties that are “out-of-the-box, innovative or captivating.” A highlight of the last year was the thrill of locating a custom-built 1962 mid-century modern home for a couple looking for a unique, modern home “with soul.” Another proud moment was realizing her reach is global: She helped a couple from Australia sell the home they purchased here through her many years ago.
Ranquist recently took on a business partner and hired an assistant. Heavily involved in the Women’s Council of Realtors and the Chicago Association of Realtors, she has held prestigious positions in both organizations and has been named a top producer with CAR. She was one of Crain’s Custom Media’s 2018 Most Influential Residential Real Estate Brokers in Chicago. She also was named to the Berkshire Hathaway Hall of Fame in 2017, and has received the company’s platinum, gold and bronze awards in recent years. Ranquist supports PAWS, the American Brain Tumor Association and Jackson Chance Foundation with all her heart.