Entering the real estate business in 2009 and 2010, a historically difficult time to become a broker, made Kelly Schmidt Durbala even more determined to make a go of her new career.
Working in the Fox Valley, western suburban and North Aurora areas, the @properties broker assists first-time and move-up buyers, clients who are downsizing, builders, and investors. She also specializes in short sales and foreclosures. For the past five years, Schmidt Durbala has consistently ranked as the No. 1 listing and selling agent in Elburn, the town where she was born and raised. “My most important skill is listening to my clients’ needs,” she says. “It’s instrumental to my success.”
Originally an elementary school teacher, Schmidt Durbala earned a master’s degree in educational leadership and taught school for eight years before taking the next eight years off to be a stay-at-home mom to her three children. During that time, she privately tutored students and also had her first taste of the real estate industry, making selections for custom homes built by her brother. When she became a single mom in 2009, she chose a career in real estate, her absolute passion, over returning to the classroom.
Schmidt Durbala began her career at Baird & Warner, with Cathie Tardy, her managing broker, serving as an amazing mentor. “I worked very hard, and within 1 1/2 years, I was ranked in the top 1% of the company,” says Schmidt Durbala. “Soon after, I continued to advance and was ranked among the top 200 at Baird & Warner.” Throughout her time at the company, she amassed numerous achievements, including top 1% for sales and units and top 1% for title volume. Success followed her when she joined @properties in December 2018; a year later, she ranked as the top individual agent in the St. Charles office.
Now much older, her three children — Dominic, 20; Ben, 18; and Abbie, 17 — continue to be her biggest supporters.