Agent Spotlight: Michael Hall

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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. 

The change has been a fruitful one. Michael has found himself among Baird & Warner’s Top 1% of agents for 14 years running. Among his long list of accomplishments include being named one of the 100 Most Influential Real Estate Brokers in Illinois by Real Estate Executive Magazine, one of Crain’s Most Notable Real Estate Brokers in 2019, a Chicago Realtor Magazine Top Producer, and Chicago Association of Realtors’ Top Producer in Sales & Volume

Michael’s greatest satisfaction, though, comes from his work with his clients. When asked what is most rewarding about his work as a real estate broker, he responded, “it’s the interaction with all kinds of different people as they go through the process of finding their home. It’s such a big thing in life, and an honor to be a part of it. Home is where people celebrate, sleep, and grow their families. It’s rewarding to help people through that and feel as though I’m a part of it.”

Michael’s philosophy is to always go above and beyond for his clients, providing them with unparalleled service and unexpected results. This philosophy has paid off. Over his 28-year career, every one of Michael’s clients stated that his work for them and the price they got “exceeded their expectations,”  with each and every client saying that they would recommend him to their family and friends. 

When asked why he would recommend a career in real estate, Michael offers a three-part response: “first, I think that it has a tremendous amount of flexibility, there are very few opportunities that offer as much flexibility. I had a part-time job for the first 7 years of my practice, and I was able to keep that job even though at one point I was selling a property a week.”

“Second, this job offers exponential potential income. You can grow your business as much as you choose to grow it. Everybody in real estate finds a level that feels right to them in terms of the time and income trade-off. You can dedicate yourself to growing to the income you want. My income has grown 27 out of 28 years, there’s no corporate structure that could match that.”

“Finally, the people. It’s a people business. Those kinds of jobs are always the most fun. It’s rewarding to have your own local business, it’s both an investment in yourself and an investment in your community.”

When asked to share one personal or professional success story from among his illustrious career, Michael related a comic tale of matchmaking kismet: “I listed a property once that other Realtors had tried to sell for a while without success. The house was next to a doggy day care, so when the owners were out on their back deck, and they could see and hear all of the dogs running around all the time, doing their business. I listed it and I held a big open house that I heavily promoted. Sure enough, someone walked in, and they just said ‘I love dogs, this is our house.’ So I was able to find someone who truly just loved dogs and wanted to sit on the porch and watch them all day long. Really what we do in this business is we’re matchmakers.”

Michael’s key to real estate success is simple: “implementing one good idea after another.” When he first started in the business, he attended every seminar he could find and read every book he could get his hands on. “People always wonder what a successful Realtor’s secret is, how they’re selling so much. What I learned is there’s no one secret. It takes a lot of sweat and hard work, combined with implementing good ideas.” For example, “I got an idea at a seminar about targeting expired listings. I duplicated that program, and it became a huge component of my business. I just sought out one good idea that felt right after another, implemented them, and kept building as my business grew.”

He also reminds new agents to focus on “engaging with your clients and providing superior service  – be grateful for the clients and business that you have.”

When asked what initially drew him to Baird & Warner and the Lincoln Park office, Michael cites the opportunities offered. “When I came to Chicago, I wanted to be with a locally-owned company, as I’m a big proponent of buying local. When I interviewed there were only 3 significant local real estate companies, now only one of them is left.”

As for his choice of the Lincoln Park office, Michael responds: “Quite frankly, it was David Bailey. The management and support team in that office can’t be beat. David is the smartest person I’ve ever met. I wanted to double my business, and when I interviewed with David he was supportive of that goal and wanted to help me do it.”

He continues: “When I was young, I had a good [horseback] riding instructor who used to push me really hard, and tell me ‘Michael, you’ll never become the best you can be by being a big fish in a little pond.’ Lincoln Park is a vibrant, large office with a much larger support team than most brokerages have, and a designated managing broker who is committed to everyone’s success.”

Outside of work, Michael is an avid fiction reader who enjoys Chicagoland’s lively restaurant and shopping scenes. A classically trained pianist, he enjoys playing and listening to music, and as a trained equestrian, he loves to show and ride horses. To learn more about Michael, or get in touch for any of your real estate needs, you can connect with Michael on Facebook (@MichaelHallGroup), Twitter (@mjhgroup), and Instagram (@mjhgroupchicago). 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!

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