Agent Spotlight: Sarah Jaffe

Sarah Jaffe Agent Spotlight

There’s one piece of wisdom that Sarah Jaffe reflects on often — a quote from the writer Gail Sheehy:

“If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.”

Sarah certainly is the living embodiment of growth and change. After all, she made the decision to dive headfirst into a new real estate career — in the middle of a pandemic. 

“Real estate was probably never on my radar until May of 2020,” Sarah says. “I already know I made the right decision. There’s not a day where I look back.”

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How to Choose the Right Brokerage for Your Chicago Real Estate Career

How to Choose the Right Real Estate Brokerage

As you get started in real estate, joining the right brokerage is one of the most important steps you will take on your journey. The support of your brokerage is one of the biggest contributing factors to getting your new real estate business off the ground quickly and successfully. But with so many choices out there, how will you find the brokerage that will be the right fit for you — and for where you want to take your career next?

I encourage new-to-the-business brokers to look at seven factors when researching real estate brokerages. From most important to least important, those criteria are: 

  1. Access to management and support
  2. Training and coaching
  3. Office culture
  4. Technology
  5. Broker services
  6. Business opportunities
  7. Commission structure
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The Top 5 Things for New Brokers to Focus on When Starting a Real Estate Career

The Top 5 Things for New Brokers to Focus on When Starting a Real Estate Career

There are as many ways to build a real estate business as there are brokers — but in my experience, people achieve the greatest success when they invest time into executing a well-thought-out business plan that emphasizes their expertise and talents. 

Here at the Baird & Warner Lincoln Park office, one of the first things we do with all new agents is sit-down with them  to strategize how they want to build their business.  In our office, our management team spends as much time as necessary with new brokers to help make sure their business plans and goals are ambitious yet achievable. Our management team also schedules regular check-ins throughout the year to help new agents closely monitor their progress toward their goals. 

What goes into a real estate business plan? Simply put, this is the outline for what your business is going to look like, including your goals for the next year — perhaps even on a quarterly basis. 

As a new-to-the-business broker, there are going to be five main things to consider when putting your plan together: 

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Lincoln Park Agent Spotlight: Millie Rosenbloom

Millie Rosenbloom Agent Spotlight

Millie Rosenbloom has had a long and celebrated career in Chicago real estate — and her unique perspective on the industry started at a young age. 

Growing up, Millie says, her mom and dad used to buy properties to fix up and sell. She moved a lot during grade school, while gaining a lifelong understanding and appreciation for architecture, building homes, and the many kinds of work involved in real estate along the way. 

Once she decided to start down this career path, Millie initially had something of a turbulent beginning.

“When I first started, I interviewed with Habitat. And they did not hire me because I didn’t have any experience. So I found a small little firm and went to work there, and six months later they closed their doors, unfortunately,” she says. “So I wound up going back to Habitat.”

This time, Millie interviewed and got hired. She then spent 15 years working her way up the ladder, eventually becoming part owner of the company. Over this span, she grew the brokerage division from 15 agents to 120, before selling it to Baird & Warner in December of 2007. 

“And I’ve been here ever since!” Millie says.

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Lincoln Park Agent Spotlight: John Lyons

John Lyons, Baurd & Warner Lincoln Park

John Lyons is known as one of Chicago’s most trusted real estate agents. As a broker, he is passionate about always continuing to learn and find new ways to improve his business and provide a better experience for his clients. And for John, the support he gets from Baird & Warner Lincoln Park helps him to do all that and more.  

John got started in real estate after losing a corporate sales job, which forced him to think differently about his career options.

“That failure made me realize what I didn’t like, and pushed me towards entrepreneurship,” John says. “I was just burnt out and tired, and I realized I didn’t want to work for anybody anymore, particularly a middle manager.” 

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This Real Estate Life ep 12: Becoming a local expert and mastering the data with John Irwin

It’s time for another episode of the BWLP podcast, “This Real Estate Life”!


This week’s guest, John Irwin, tells us why becoming a local expert and mastering the data can help you succeed through any challenge the real estate market faces. John shares how he built his career focused on high-end homes within a local market, and how he has leveraged his exceptional understanding of the data and market to create trust and ensure confidence in his clients that he is, without a doubt, THE best broker for the job. Listen in to learn how John got his start, why the data matters, and for a few of his predictions of what is to come for Chicago real estate! Spoiler Alert: It may include boats.

Listen below!

This Real Estate Life ep 11: How to cultivate a service-oriented business with Marc Dumas

This week, we spoke with Marc Dumas to learn how to cultivate a service-oriented real estate business. Marc is an active member of several communities and organizations, both locally and nationally. Supporting others is not just his mission, it’s his way of life, as he truly lives to give! Marc has shown other Realtors that you can build a successful business through involvement with various communities that you are passionate about. While the business success is never his goal, it’s a natural byproduct of his dedication to his organizations and the meaningful relationships he builds while pursuing his passions. Leading with his heart always, Marc is an inspiration!

This Real Estate Life ep 10: How To Be A Leader in Your Business – Lessons from David Bailey

This week was a very special one, as we had the privilege of interviewing our very own Designated Managing Broker, David Bailey. With over 15 years of real estate experience, and a lifetime of influence and learning as the son of a Broker Owner on the east coast, David has served as a resource, ally, advisor, and compassionate leader for his team of 170+ realtors and staff at his Lincoln Park office. In our conversation, David shared his real estate background, as well as his perspective on what it takes to be successful in real estate and how he approaches his position to best support his agents with their businesses. Many of our agents claim David > Google…want to find out why? Take a listen to the interview and give him a call to learn more about how he and the Baird & Warner Lincoln Park office can help you launch your real estate career, and/or take your business to the next level where you desire and deserve to be!

This Real Estate Life ep. 6: how to achieve success through a healthy lifestyle with Janet Keogh

This week, we spoke with Janet Keogh to learn how to achieve success through a healthy lifestyle and mindset. Through creating boundaries for her business, and prioritizing her personal health and mindset, Janet has become extremely successful and fulfilled. Year after year, she continues to be praised for her high level of customer service, which she claims couldn’t be achieved if she didn’t also make time for her own health and wellness. If you’ve struggled to find work life balance, especially during quarantine, then this episode is a must. Namaste.

So check out Janet’s interview on Spotify We really appreciate all of you listening each week and would love it if you give us a great review and subscribe! We are working on distributing to Apple Podcasts as well, so more reviews, good ratings, and listens will help us get picked up!

This Real Estate Life ep. 5: Managing a Successful Team with Scott Curcio

This week, we spoke with Scott Curcio to learn how to manage a successful and growing real estate team. Scott helps us understand what is truly necessary to make a team successful: it is about a group of agents having a shared vision and commitment to serve a community of clients, and create meaningful Iives for themselves and families while doing so. This clear vision has guided Scott and his team to numerous awards as they continue to reach new levels of success, together. When all members believe in the vision, the sky’s the limit! So check out Scott’s interview on Spotify We really appreciate all of you listening each week and would love it if you give us a great review and subscribe! We are working on distributing to Apple Podcasts as well, so more reviews, good ratings, and listens will help us get picked up!


Coming Up Next on “This Real Estate Life”:

– Healthy Life, Healthy Real Estate Business

– Social Media Marketing Mastery 

Thank you and enjoy!!!

Negeen and Jon