Agent Spotlight: Marjorie Allabastro

Baird & Warner Agent Spotlight Marjorie Allabastro

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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Business Generating Vs. Business Servicing: How Are You Spending Your Time?

Business Generating Vs. Business Servicing: How Are You Spending Your Time?

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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Agent Spotlight: Kate O’Neill

Kate O'Neill Agent Spotlight

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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Agent Spotlight: Mike Greco

Mike Greco Agent Spotlight

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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Agent Spotlight: Virgil Jones

Virgil Jones Baird & Warner Lincoln Park Agent Spotlight

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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The Importance of Building a Relationship Business

The Importance of Building a Relationship-Based Real Estate Business

If you’ve been following the news lately, you know that there are some pretty substantial changes in the competitive structure of the real estate business going on right now. On a market-wide level, for instance, the real estate services site Zillow has recently been active in making acquisitions of smaller companies; by and large, Wall Street is having a bigger impact on what brokers do on a daily basis here in Chicago and around the country. 

As experienced brokers know, the real estate landscape is ever-changing. But the more things shift and evolve, the more convinced I am of the incredible importance of building a relationship-based business that is not reliant on leads from third party companies. 

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Agent Spotlight: Brendan Perlin

Agent Spotlight: Brendan Perlin

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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5 Pitfalls to Avoid When Getting Started In Real Estate

Pitfalls to Avoid When Starting a Real Estate Career

Residential real estate is a career field that is exciting, dynamic, and incredibly rewarding — with nearly unlimited earning potential and endless opportunities for learning and growth.

It is also a career path that exemplifies the old adage, “you get out of it what you put into it.” Many of the decisions you make early in your career can have an enormous impact on your future — either setting you up to create the sustainable, lucrative, and flexible business you’ve dreamed about, or limiting your capacity to grow and earn over time. 

Want to put yourself in the best position possible for success? Let’s explore five pitfalls or missteps to avoid when getting started in real estate: 

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Agent Spotlight: Sarah Jaffe

Sarah Jaffe Agent Spotlight

There’s one piece of wisdom that Sarah Jaffe reflects on often — a quote from the writer Gail Sheehy:

“If we don’t change, we don’t grow. If we don’t grow, we aren’t really living.”

Sarah certainly is the living embodiment of growth and change. After all, she made the decision to dive headfirst into a new real estate career — in the middle of a pandemic. 

“Real estate was probably never on my radar until May of 2020,” Sarah says. “I already know I made the right decision. There’s not a day where I look back.”

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The Top 5 Things for New Brokers to Focus on When Starting a Real Estate Career

The Top 5 Things for New Brokers to Focus on When Starting a Real Estate Career

There are as many ways to build a real estate business as there are brokers — but in my experience, people achieve the greatest success when they invest time into executing a well-thought-out business plan that emphasizes their expertise and talents. 

Here at the Baird & Warner Lincoln Park office, one of the first things we do with all new agents is sit-down with them  to strategize how they want to build their business.  In our office, our management team spends as much time as necessary with new brokers to help make sure their business plans and goals are ambitious yet achievable. Our management team also schedules regular check-ins throughout the year to help new agents closely monitor their progress toward their goals. 

What goes into a real estate business plan? Simply put, this is the outline for what your business is going to look like, including your goals for the next year — perhaps even on a quarterly basis. 

As a new-to-the-business broker, there are going to be five main things to consider when putting your plan together: 

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