After spending 10 years in a 9-to-5 environment at Sears Tower, Patricia Diane McGowan took a risky career path and never looked back. “I longed for the flexibility I thought a real estate career would bring,” she remembers. “I didn’t realize it would be flexible within a 15- to 16-hour day.” After working with a couple of other local firms, where McGowan ranked at the top of the charts, in 2004 she joined Baird & Warner, which has been home ever since.
Since 1988, McGowan has assisted clients, including developers, in Oak Park, River Forest and the surrounding western suburbs. Ninety percent of her business comes from repeat and referral clients, a testament to her reputation. “When I started, there was zero technology,” she says. “No cell phones, computer, internet or social media. It took good old-fashioned hard work. No real shortcuts.”
A member of the Oak Park Area Association of Realtors, McGowan broke organizational records in 2007 by closing more than $38 million in transactions — and then outdid herself the following year with upward of $42 million in deals. Her track record is nothing short of awe-inspiring: She ranked as the No. 1 agent at her office for closed volume from 2004 to 2014, and the No. 1 agent within the association for seven of those 10 years.
Easy to work with, McGowan treats clients the same way she would want to be treated. That motto was put to the test recently while selling neighboring condos at the same time. “You never want your clients to feel less favored,” she says. “So, I was nervous about selling one before the other.” Working hard to make sure that did not happen, she created a multiple-offer situation and sold both at the same time. “Consistency is the key to success and longevity in the real estate business,” she notes. “My work ethic has stood the test of time.”
When she is not closing deals, McGowan enjoys yoga, gardening, cooking and traveling.