Transitioning to real estate was easy for Steve Johnson. As an estate manager for influential and high-profile families, he had been in charge of the upkeep and day-to-day management of family estates, automobiles, private jets and land resources. “Clients have often recognized that the service I offer prioritizes their needs and wants while offering value to their home buying and selling experience,” he says. His “service heart” and ability to negotiate and follow through on what is discussed while offering realistic expectations always makes a lasting impression on clients.
Now a real estate professional with Jameson Sotheby’s International Realty, Johnson has been doing about 90 percent of his transactions in the Gold Coast and River North areas. A member of the Chicago Association of Realtors and the Domestic Estate Management Association, he holds a degree in hospitality from Purdue University and certification from Starkey International, a program that prepares professionals to serve high-net-worth individuals.
Johnson uses high-resolution pictures and Matterport video walk-throughs of properties on his personal website, on social media platforms and in advertisements. Still, he knows that old-school mailings, daily phone calls, and word-of-mouth contacts at social events never go out of style.
In the past year, Johnson sold a unit in an early 1980s building in the Gold Coast, at 1100 N. Lake Shore Drive. “This unit was in original condition, but it was on the 39th floor of 40, with breathtaking, unobstructed views of the lake and the city,” he says. He showed the unit to a high-end contractor, who saw the potential in it, stripped it down to the studs, and rebuilt it with all high-end finishes, appliances and technology that modern buyers seek. “Nine months later, we are now listing the property for $1.3 million,” he says. “It is worth that and more.”
Lately, Johnson has been spending his free time remodeling and flipping personal investment properties, focusing his work on the same Gold Coast neighborhood he serves as an agent. Without a doubt, his proudest moment this year was the birth of his son, S.J. “My life has forever changed for the better now that I am a dad,” he says.