Like many real estate brokers, Michael Hall’s path to success took some twists and turns along the way. Michael didn’t start out wanting to be in real estate, in fact, he pursued an academic road, teaching at the University level and pursuing a PhD when he decided to start a business while still teaching. In an early indicator of Michael’s entrepreneurial spirit and future success, his business took off, opening multiple locations and causing Michael to rethink his pursuit of academia.
A conversation with his grandfather, a real estate investor, helped him to make the decision to pivot to a career in the real estate business. Michael’s grandfather pointed out his sales skills and entrepreneurial inclinations, and identified the industry as one where Michael might find success and satisfaction.
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With more than 11,000 real estate agents serving the Chicagoland area, choosing just one agent to represent your interests when you’re buying or selling a home can feel like a daunting task. Luckily, when you work with superstar Baird & Warner Lincoln Park agents John Irwin and Jackie Lafferty, you don’t have to choose just one agent. John and Jackie are independent brokers who maintain a consulting relationship — when you hire one, you’ll receive the accumulated knowledge, experience, and wisdom of both.
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Courtney Welsch, a real estate star who ranks consistently in the top 3% of all Chicagoland brokers, has known the real estate business from a young age. As the daughter of a Chicagoland top broker, Courtney’s seen the business from all angles, and knows more than anyone what it takes to generate consistent success for her clients.
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As any licensed real estate professional knows all too well, no two days in the real estate business are ever quite the same. However, even though this business requires — and rewards — a certain amount of flexibility and adaptability, the most successful brokers are the ones who make sure their schedules include time for the most important parts of their business every single day.
While there is no “typical day,” just about every broker’s day will include lead generation and follow ups, business servicing, and training and learning opportunities. All of those pieces work together to form a structure. I think the biggest mistake that people make is that they don’t give themselves a structure to follow. Those who do set a structure and approach each day with intent are going to see a more consistent level of growth, and a faster path to success.
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When broker associate Mike Greco started looking for a new opportunity after a first career in retail management, he knew he was really looking for not just a new occupation, but a new life — one where he could be more in control of his time and lifestyle.
“I wanted to have flexibility and I wanted to feel rewarded for the time and effort I put in,” Mike explains. “And I wanted a job where every day was a new challenge and I got to spend a lot of time with people — where it was a mix of being out in the field, and only having to be behind a computer for a couple of hours a day.”
That search for a more flexible, rewarding, and active career quickly led him to real estate — and to Baird & Warner – Lincoln Park.
Though he interviewed at a few different brokerages, it was meeting the staff at Baird & Warner – Lincoln Park that helped him ultimately decide that this office would be the right fit — especially as he started out in his real estate career.
“I really liked the culture that Baird & Warner has,” Mike explains. “You really get the feeling of support, not only from David, Negeen, and Diana, but also from the other brokers. It’s a very welcoming community. And that’s the type of person that I am. I like winning as a team!”
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At Baird & Warner, we’re known for our unparalleled training opportunities that make it easier for new brokers to accelerate their success. But did you know that we also offer a wide variety of tools and resources designed to help experienced brokers increase their efficiency and generate more business — including the ability to assemble the team that you need, whenever you need it?
Agents at Baird & Warner don’t just have a few tools lying around to pick up and experiment with from time to time; they have entire workshops and a workforce of support staff that serve as the engine for their real estate businesses. This behind-the-scenes machinery is all designed to increase efficiency and drive production so that agents can focus on what’s most important – building their businesses.
For experienced real estate brokers, being able to have a team on-demand is an incredibly valuable service. Experienced agents are busy enough as it is; having to go through the process of staffing up a support team can be an enormous amount to take on. You have to figure out the job descriptions; post and manage listings on job boards; screen and interview candidates; go through onboarding; figure out payroll and scheduling. This can all become tedious and time-intensive, especially when you’re also trying to stay focused on generating new leads and servicing your existing clients.
And on the flip side of the coin, if you ever hit a stretch when you’re not so busy, you might find yourself paying for professional services that you don’t actually need at that time.
At Baird & Warner – Lincoln Park, our agents have the ability to build a team on-demand — getting the qualified assistance they need, when they need it, without having to jump through hoops. It’s all about giving busy agents time back to focus on the activities that matter most.
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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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