Stephen “Steve” J. Engel, Vice President and Designated Managing Broker

Baird & Warner

Real estate is not a first career for many people. Such was the case for Stephen “Steve” Engel. When he suddenly got laid off from his job, he made the decision to pursue his real estate license, and he began working in Bolingbrook in March 1988. “I was an auto mechanic, managing the back half of a car dealership, but I wanted to do something less taxing on my body,” he recalls. “I really enjoyed the process of buying our first home, so decided to give real estate a try.”

Engel was hired nine years ago to create a branch office for Baird & Warner in Plainfield. “We opened in 2014 and continue to grow every year and have had to build an addition for more office space,” he says. “To be recruited to a new company to open a branch location from scratch after 21 years in real estate is definitely at the top of my list of professional accomplishments.” In his current position, vice president and designated managing broker with Baird & Warner, Engel leads an office of almost 80 brokers, from all experience levels. The office is located in Plainfield, but the brokers serve many other communities including Bolingbrook, Romeoville, Joliet, Crest Hill, Shorewood, Minooka, Channahon, Yorkville and Oswego.

Early in his career, Engel saw a need in the communities he served. That need turned into a way to pay things forward.  He coined himself “The Blue Jean Broker,” and with every property he sold, he donated blue jeans to children in need.  This is one of many ways Engel has served his community. His office continues philanthropies with organizations like Morning Star Mission, Northern Illinois Food Bank and Habitat for Humanity.

A member of the Three River Association of Realtors and Mainstreet Organization of Realtors, agents describe Engel as someone who is easy to work with in many situations. “I believe the brokers are the true source of everything that makes a branch successful,” he says. “Yes, I am the designated managing broker, but it is a true team effort, and we all rise together.”

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