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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2020 was an unusual year, to say the least. In the real estate industry, this past year really reinforced the importance of being able to adapt and pivot to new challenges, in order to keep business moving forward.
As we wind down the year, now is the time to look ahead — and start setting down goals and plans for 2021 and beyond.
Whether you’re an experienced agent doing some yearly business planning, or you’re considering whether or not now is a good time to start pursuing a Chicago real estate career, it’s important to know what’s going on in the market, and what we might expect to happen throughout 2021.
Like any marketplace, Chicago’s housing market is driven by two primary forces — supply and demand. Let’s take a look at where we expect those factors to be as we head into 2021:
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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.
Continue reading “Lincoln Park Agent Spotlight: Millie Rosenbloom”
One of the best things about a career in real estate is that no two days are exactly alike. With that being said, the most successful real estate brokers have a very intentional approach to each and every day — and put a structure in place that allows them to make the most of each day, while still allowing for flexibility.
A “Typical” Day In Chicago Real Estate
An active real estate broker is a true entrepreneur — which means wearing many different hats. On any given day, brokers at Baird & Warner – Lincoln Park might spend time on any number of activities. Generally, the most important pieces of a broker’s day center around two core areas:
Continue reading “What Goes Into a Day in the Life of a Chicago Real Estate Broker?”
- Generating and facilitating new relationships
- Servicing existing business opportunities
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.”
Continue reading “Lincoln Park Agent Spotlight: John Lyons”
The amount of things I’ve learned in just a few weeks is incredible. This week, I attended another module at Baird & Warner’s Career Institute downtown. Today we went over sales contracts and negotiations with a few of the top agents and managers from different B&W offices. My favorite part of their presentation was being able to hear about the experiences they’ve collected throughout the years. Afterwards, we split into groups where we acted out different scenarios that would challenge us as buying and/or listing agents. This type of role playing is extremely beneficial in this business and having talked through various scenarios will help me handle these conversations professionally.
Last Thursday, our branch manager David, hosted the weekly sales meeting. He talked about current housing trends in both Lincoln Park and other neighborhoods in Chicago. Rather than just present us with market stats and trends, David interprets the information and talks about the best ways to assist our clients considering the current market conditions. He also talked about a few of our upcoming office events including ProHOWbition, an annual charity fundraiser event we’re hosting to raise money for Housing Opportunities for Women.
This week has been flying by as I have been busy working with my first set of clients. It’s funny to look back on how nervous I was the first time I met them. It didn’t take long before I was very comfortable working with them. One of the things I admire most about our office is the diversity of brokers who work here. Some have been in the business for only a yea (or less) r and can relate to me as a new agent, while others have been around for many years and can teach me everything there is to know. It’s a very comforting feeling to have the cooperation and camaraderie of an office culture like this and to know I can reach out to just about anyone if I get stuck!
I have been working with a buyer and we recently came across a property they like. We are at the beginning stages of my first transaction! It is very exciting but also hectic to be learning all of the initial communications, contract information and procedures that are needed to create a smooth transition into negotiations. Although I am new, I do feel that I have the necessary skills to negotiate with experienced listing brokers and reach the best price for my client due. I have always been able to present directly and confidently which helps in all aspects of negotiations.
One thing I needed guidance with was filling out my first contract, but the direction I was given from my managing brokers here at the Lincoln Park office was all I needed to feel more confident.
My client was very satisfied with the outcome of our negotiations and is now ready to start the inspection and attorney review period. Each day I am looking for anything I can do to make this transaction as flawless as possible. Unfortunately, there is a lot of sitting and waiting for all parties to respond and get on the same page through the day-to-day progression. As long as I am on top of everything, my client will hopefully see that I am a hard worker and feel comfortable as I guide them through this pivotal moment in their life. The only other trouble that I’ve found to be present during this process is that it is very hard for me to focus on anything else. I know I should be continuing to work towards other opportunities, but can’t seem to pull myself away from the original transaction. I hope to have good news for next week’s New Broker Diary as this deal should move quite hastily.
This week I worked my first open house and I think it went very well! Only a few people came through to look at the property, but I gained some valuable experience just being there and talking to people (potential clients) about real estate. At first, I was a little nervous about how I would talk to people, however I quickly realized that if I asked the right questions, the guests would do most of the talking and the conversations would go much more smoothly.
It is important to be prepared and understand the local market when hosting an open house. It was great to be able to go through all of the materials I needed with Diana prior to the open and arrive well prepared. Yet another example of how the management at Baird & Warner Lincoln Park is available to help with new agent questions no matter how big or small. We created brochures, went over the sign in process and my presentation for the potential clients that I would meet. Just moments before the open house started when I had laid out all of my brochures and business cards, I felt that I was ready to present myself as a real estate professional and handle anything that came my way.
The only thing I would do differently in the future is that I would get there a bit earlier so that I can explore the house and really find key points to accent for people. I feel that this would help me put a personal touch on the showing and maybe help my guests notice something that they wouldn’t normally think to look for. You never know if one small detail is going to be a deciding factor in their decision or not. Other than that, I felt very well prepared and I look forward to following up with the potential clients I met!
This week I had a meeting with my Sales Support Manager Diana so we could go over some marketing materials and coordinate an announcement about my new career that would go out to everyone in my sphere of influence. What’s great about Baird & Warner is the fact that they let me take the reigns and personalize my own marketing strategy. This allows me to put my own personal touch on things as opposed to sending out a generic form letter. Of course, if I ever need help with anything, Diana and David are there to give me advice and suggestions on how to make my initial efforts at a marketing campaign successful. We are constantly pondering creative strategies that will attract clients to my business brand. These ongoing conversations I’ve had with Diana & David are incredibly useful as I work to grow my business as a realtor.
This week I also attended our weekly new broker training session where a small group of us share experiences and challenges we’ve had as we get our businesses up and running. Sometimes these trainings run like a round-table discussion group where we talk through issues, questions and concerns we face. Other times we delve deep into a pre-selected topic that will help us grow our businesses and run through various scenarios. While these meetings are not mandatory, they are very helpful and I go to as many as I possibly can. I know the knowledge and experience I gain from these trainings will prove useful when I’m finally doing some deals of my own!
When I first started this journey, I thought I had a pretty good idea of how things would pan out:
I’ll absorb as much information as possible during the educational phase. By the time I complete the instructional courses and exams, I will know exactly what company I will want to join. Then, they will guide me seamlessly into my career.” While this may sound like the ultimate scenario, it’s not where most people find themselves after the completion of their real estate pre-licensing course. Even with the dozens of letters and phone calls from recruiters, I wasn’t feeling satisfied that I knew what office I would join and I wasn’t getting any closer to my decision. Where was I going to hang my license?
In the beginning, I knew a few things: I didn’t want to join a giant company where I would be considered as a number rather than a person. I wanted a company that would understand my personality and the way that I do my work. I wanted an office with a great culture and a company with a stellar reputation. A few more weeks of searching went by with no success until I received an email from David Bailey, the Managing Broker at Baird & Warner-Lincoln Park. I knew the Baird & Warner name well as I had seen their signs throughout the city and suburbs. Though it didn’t seem like the intimate, tight-knit company I initially wanted, I didn’t have much to lose, so I gave it a go.
Immediately upon sitting down with David, I knew I found what I was looking for. He didn’t try to sell me on anything; he simply gave me facts about the wonderful company I am now proud to be a part of. He was kind and direct, and he gave me time to consider my decision. He arranged a meeting with Diana, the assistant managing broker, so I could learn more about company culture, tools and resources. My discussion with Diana far surpassed my expectations, and I knew that she, like David, was one of the most knowledgeable yet down-to-earth people I had ever met when it comes to real estate. It did not take long for me to realize how lucky I would be to have these easy-going, professional, and helpful individuals guide me through this process. It became clear that Baird & Warner, though a fairly large and successful company, was in fact the close knit community I was looking for all along.
Needless to say, Diana and David made my decision of Baird & Warner in Lincoln Park an easy one. Since then, I have been reminded every day that I made the right choice by the amazing office I get to work in, the passionate people I get to work with, and the tremendous knowledge I have gained through the interactive and fulfilling training sessions provided by the company. I am looking forward to learning more under the guidance of David and Diana and the rest of the remarkable Baird & Warner team!