Kate Gaffey of Real Estate with Kate at Fulton Grace developed an early “real estate obsession” back in college at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. After a few years of teaching art in two schools on the Southwest Side of Chicago — and the heartbreak of having her art program cut at both — Gaffey says she knew it was time to take the step toward her goal all along: getting licensed and jumping headfirst into the Chicago real estate market.
“Looking back to college,” Gaffey jokingly says, “I was essentially a pro bono leasing agent. I just loved finding the coolest spots and telling everyone I knew about them.” She even took on the daunting task of helping sublease apartments during summer breaks for her friends, as well as herself. “I loved the challenge of going up against hundreds of other subleases and became pretty fascinated by the supply and demand of housing,” she remembers. She’s turned this passion into a successful career, growing her business a staggering 400% year-over-year through personal referrals and Instagram.
“I’ve come to learn (and love) that this job is a near-equal pairing of art and science,” Gaffey explains. “I use a tried and trusted process, but it’s strategically layered with margins for creative thinking and problem-solving throughout.” Indeed, Gaffey’s clients consistently remark on her patient and strategic approach, her humor and easygoing attitude, and how she has a way of making them feel like they’re her only client. “My goal,” she declares, “is to equip my clients with the tools and confidence they need to make the best decision possible and to walk out of the experience with not only a new house, but with a new friend.”
With COVID behind her, a wedding to plan and a drive that won’t quit, Gaffey sees her referral-based business positioned for exciting growth in the years to come. “I love this city and I absolutely love this job,” she insists, “and I’m not going anywhere.”