Real estate is a relationship business. And whether you’re just starting out on your real estate career or are a seasoned professional looking to grow a thriving business, the importance of your partnerships cannot be overstated. Your brokerage is more than just a name on a shingle, it’s a set of support systems, mentorship, training, and tools.
At Baird & Warner Lincoln Park, you’ll have access to Chicagoland’s most powerful tools, resources, and support, so that you can keep your attention where it belongs — on turning your business into everything you want it to be. Read on to learn more about the unexpected benefits of a real estate career at Baird & Warner Lincoln Park.
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As the daughter of an architect, real estate is practically in Marjorie Allabastro’s DNA. Visiting job sites with her father sparked a lifelong enthusiasm for the subject that is evident in her passion for her work. Marjorie started out in real estate development, then took a career detour into the corporate world, but nothing could hold her back from a return to real estate. She brings a sharp focus, clear love of the subject matter, and a tireless work ethic to every transaction, building an enviable loyalty among her clients, who return to seek her services again and again as they navigate home purchases over the years.
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There’s a lot that goes into the typical day of a Chicago real estate broker. Here at the Baird & Warner – Lincoln Park office, one of the things that we encourage all of our agents to focus on is making sure that they are putting their time to the highest and best use. For new and experienced brokers alike, this often comes down to understanding the difference between the activities that generate new business, and the activities that service the business you already have.
Too often, I see agents get caught up in servicing their business at the expense of generating new opportunities. While this may feel productive in the moment because you’re doing a lot of things, it often means that you’re not focusing on the activities that will actually allow you to grow your business, and make it more sustainable and lucrative for the long haul.
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Though she is still early in her real estate career, broker Kate O’Neill has already learned a lot of valuable lessons — and earned some impressive successes in less than one full year in the business.
For one thing, Kate has yet to have a buyer of hers pay above list price, “which is pretty big in the current market that we’re in,” she says. “I’m pretty proud of that!”
For another, Kate has quickly earned a glowing reputation around the Baird & Warner – Lincoln Park office for her social media savvy, particularly using Instagram as a channel to speak to her sphere, sow the seeds for long-term referral relationships, and reach her ideal millennial buyers.
“One thing with my social media that I always keep in the back of my mind is to treat it like my business card and my social proof,” Kate says. “That way, when people look me up, any potential new clients or friends of mine who know I just got started in this can see that I’m busy and that I’m actively working. That I’m constantly hosting open houses, or selling a property, or teaching them something that they didn’t know.”
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Consistently ranked as a Chicago Top Producer and one of the highest-performing agents at Baird & Warner year after year, Jim Abbott is no stranger to getting asked about the keys to his success. He has two simple pillars that he always shares, he says.
Number one: “Over-communicate and stay organized. Although we buy/sell homes daily, the average buyer/seller only does this every 3-5 years on average. The market and technology will be different than the last time they bought or sold and we need to walk them through that. Give updates, let them know the next steps are, and create a timeline to follow. Be their go to person that keeps in contact with their lender, attorney, inspectors, etc. They have so much to do, anything we can do to help them will be appreciated!”
And number two: “Any chance you get to exceed someone’s expectations, do it! Your job is to execute at 100% but people will remember the small stuff that is unexpected or above and beyond that. It can be as simple as stocking their refrigerator with some snacks and drinks for the day they move in or helping them coordinate painters/movers/etc.”
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Becky Sexson has earned numerous professional accolades since launching her real estate career five years ago — from being named Baird & Warner’s Rookie of the Year in her first year in business, to being named a Rising Star in Chicago Real Producers magazine, to being designated as a Top Producer in Chicago by the Chicago Association of REALTORS®.
But before transitioning from a career path in the not-for-profit space, “real estate was not really ever on my mind,” Becky says.
That all changed when she went through the process of buying a condo, which sparked her interest in the real estate. And, as she tells it, it was her now-husband who first made her believe that a career in real estate might be the perfect fit.
“He put a bug in my ear,” Becky explains. “He would say, ‘hey, I think you’d be great selling real estate. You’re really organized, a great networker, you’re really outgoing, you can build relationships and you’re good with numbers… Maybe it’s something that you might want to consider.’”
So Becky ended up getting her license and jumping into real estate, giving herself a year in which she would devote herself to building her business full-time, with the same level of dedication and planning she had used to structure and excel in her previous 9-to-5 jobs. It ended up being one of the best decisions she ever could have made, she says.
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Baird & Warner is synonymous with Chicagoland — but did you know that our brokerage also offers agents national and global reach?
Here at Baird & Warner, all of us take fierce pride in being a part of Chicagoland’s largest independent and locally-owned real estate company. We just celebrated our 166th birthday; that’s more than a century and a half of making real estate easier for buyers and sellers across Chicagoland.
From helping to lead the rebuilding after the Great Chicago Fire, to expanding the L, to fighting for Fair Housing, to strengthening our communities through our Good Will Works charitable arm, our story is the story of Chicago. Our long history has provided us with deep roots in our community, giving us the kind of local experience and expertise that no other brokerage can offer. We know these communities better than anyone else, and we’re always committed to finding new ways to adapt, innovate, and meet our clients’ changing needs.
That means we’re committed to the idea of making real estate easier for everyone — even if you’re buying or selling outside of Chicagoland. We like to say that our agents are local experts with a global reach, with the strategic partnerships and connections it takes to provide our clients with unmatched service whether they’re buying or selling across the state, the country, or the world.
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Baird & Warner offers very competitive commissions as well as impactful support, training, and business planning that empower our agents to develop more sustainable long-term businesses that will be able to grow, scale, and support their goals for many years to come.
And did you know that on top of all that, Baird & Warner can also help put more money back into your pocket each and every year? Here’s how we do it:
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After years in the not-for-profit space, Virgil Jones made the leap into residential real estate — and his growing business is a testament to the power of hard work, building relationships, and continuous learning and growth.
Before transitioning into real estate, Virgil spent 16 years leading educational not-for-profit organizations. In his previous position as CEO of LINK Unlimited Scholars, a scholarship and mentoring organization, Virgil had the opportunity to search for, develop, and build a new headquarters for the organization.
“This experience drew me into real estate,” Virgil explains. “And although I continued to lead LINK for several years after we built this new facility, it piqued my interest in real estate. I learned so much from this experience, and was fortunate to work with top leaders and professionals in the market.”
Seeking a change and knowing that he wanted to pursue an entrepreneurial path, Virgil moved into the real estate space — and interviewed with many different brokerages before finding the right fit.
“I looked at probably five or six different brokerages. I went from small to some of the big-name ones,” Virgil says. “I heard of Baird & Warner, and I knew that it was a very professionally run organization.”
And once he interviewed with the management team at Baird & Warner – Lincoln Park, he was “pretty much sold,” he remembers.
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Community isn’t just a buzzword for Baird & Warner broker Brendan Perlin. Brendan was born and bred in Chicagoland — and he’s putting his local connections and expertise to work for a breakout 2021.
Originally born in Glenview, Brendan moved into the city at 18 to study at DePaul University, and he’s called Lincoln Park home ever since.
“I always find myself bringing up what ‘used to be there,’’ Brendan says. “Being in the city since I can remember, and seeing everything change building by building and neighborhood by neighborhood, I constantly find myself remembering, reminiscing, and bringing up the history to other folks.”
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