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.
When making the decision to sell, Millie interviewed a few different companies to find a brokerage that would be the right fit.
“The reason I picked Baird & Warner to continue my career was that it was privately owned, I liked their market share, and they had the demographic area that I was working,” she explains. “Out of 120 agents, 40 came with me — so it was important that we found a new home.”
“Some agents, they kind of have multiple companies behind them,” she continues. “I found where I was happy and I didn’t see any reason to leave… I’m very happy at Baird & Warner.”
Throughout her career, Millie has earned numerous professional accolades and broken barriers, while continually broadening her reach and taking on new challenges. Millie served as President of the Chicago Association of REALTORS©, becoming the third female President in 118 years. Among other industry recognitions, she has been named “REALTOR© of the Year” three times and has been voted an industry MVP by her peers. Meanwhile, Millie has found opportunities in many areas above and beyond residential real estate.
“I’ve done land, I’ve done multi-units, I’ve done a gravel pit, I did a golf course…” she says. “I am always searching for something new. It’s not that I’m bored easily, but when I first got in the business and I did the condos and the townhomes, it’s like, ‘OK, what else is there?’”
This also led to her serving on different committees with the Chicago Association of REALTORS© before becoming President, including the ethics and grievance committees.
“From those two committees alone I learned so much about the proper way to do things, which I think is really important,” Millie says. “That was another dimension to my career and a different exposure that was very satisfying.”
In each new environment or transaction, Millie takes away lessons and experiences that she can carry forward to share with her clients.
“I’m at a point where it’s so satisfying to be able to help people and feel confident that my advice has strong merit and experience behind it,” she says. “I’m protecting and helping, and I love that part of it. That doesn’t come in the beginning because you don’t have the knowledge. But I’m at a point where, after so many years doing it, I feel really comfortable in my decisions, and I’m there to help and guide people. And that’s very satisfying.”
She also finds recognition from her peers “very gratifying,” she says — and finds a lot of satisfaction in working with other agents to bring deals together.
“I’ve been blessed with having the acknowledgement of my peers. And that’s important, because I think if your peers respect you… For me, that says a lot,” she says. “I think a lot of brokers have to realize we need one another. When we realize that, it’s a lot easier to get things done. We’re hired to really bring people together and make sure the deal gets done and everybody walks away content with what they’re doing.”
“Am I competitive? You better believe it!” she says later. “I want to do big numbers, and like doing big numbers. But I really like helping people.”
To new agents looking to cultivate their skills or move forward in the business in today’s market, Millie recommends surrounding yourself with and learning from “the smartest people you can find.” That includes Baird & Warner – Lincoln Park’s Managing Broker David Bailey, she notes.
“He’s the smartest Managing Broker I’ve ever met,” she says. “David and I do my business plan together. I bounce ideas off of him. We’ve reviewed my budget, and he gives me comments and input. He’s just smart. He knows all aspects of real estate — and this comes from someone who was the owner of a company for 15 years. I have the utmost respect for him. I think he’s very good at what he does, and I think Baird & Warner is lucky to have him.”
Outside of real estate, Millie and her husband are avid fans of live theater and music, which help her maintain balance, she says.
“Every year we have our symphony tickets, we have our opera tickets, and we have our Shakespeare tickets,” she explains. “That’s where we get the relaxation and the quiet time that we need.”
Millie loves walking through downtown Chicago and going ice skating in the winter. She is also an active supporter of Facing History and Ourselves, an education nonprofit that uses lessons of history to challenge teachers and their students to stand up to bigotry and hate.
For more of Millie’s unique perspective on Chicago real estate, you can connect with her on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, or on her official site, millierosenbloom.com. Ready to find the brokerage that will be right for your growing real estate business? Want to learn more about our Lincoln Park office? Let’s connect!