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.
When asked about the transition, Jackie puts it this way: “we have been consulting for the last five to seven years. We ask each other questions and consult on our properties, and we’ve decided that it’s a better process for our clients if we just get both points of view from the get go.”
The increased flexibility afforded by this unique consulting relationship means that clients can take advantage of an innovative, collaborative approach to their home selling or buying experience. John and Jackie have over three decades of combined experience, and they’ve seen a myriad of stressful experiences a buyer or seller might face. Together, there’s no strange circumstance they haven’t faced and handled, meaning that they can solve virtually any problem that might arise from both a buyer and a seller’s perspective. As John explains it, “we approach the business from different angles. It’s helpful to have multiple perspectives, so that when we come to a decision, I’m very confident we’ve made the right decision.”
One thing both John and Jackie understand about the real estate business is the importance of relationships. Both generate most of their business from referrals and repeat clients, and cite the benefits of growing with clients over time as their lives change to be one of the most personally rewarding aspects of their businesses. Jackie describes the growth of her practice with her clients: “the people you start with become ‘move-up’ buyers as their families grow and they buy a larger home. Then later their children buy homes, and they become empty-nesters who downsize to a smaller home.”
Both also emphasize the importance, for young agents, of finding a niche. For agents just starting out, this can be tough, but John explains that finding what you like to do and focusing in that area is critical to success and satisfaction. “As a new agent, look around and talk to people who are successful and find out what they do. Find out what you like to do. I once worked with an agent who made 50 cold calls every day, and who loved that part of his practice. Others focus on referrals and only do a few deals every year. New agents have to decide what they want to do and what makes them happy.”
Staying disciplined helps. Building a real estate business is like building something from scratch, and both advocate for the importance of discipline and planning for new agents. John recommends that new agents take their first year to explore all aspects of real estate, before deciding on a niche practice, and Jackie cites the importance of keeping a schedule that allows new agents to balance the different parts of their practice, especially in the early years.
Both also agree that the training, mentorship, and support of Baird & Warner’s Lincoln Park office has been a key component to their success. Jackie, who has spent her entire 21-year real estate career with Baird & Warner, points to the support offered by noncompeting managing broker David Bailey, and “the training offered by Baird & Warner. They don’t just tell you ‘go be a Realtor,’ they want you to be successful and teach you how to be an agent.” John mentions Baird & Warner’s Chicagoland focus, explaining that other firms “don’t relate to what happens in Chicago. I love that Baird & Warner is a Chicago company – everything they do is geared toward Chicago real estate.”
When they’re not hard at work for their clients, John and Jackie both enjoy traveling and exploring to find new Chicagoland faves. For fans of Italian, John recommends Sal’s Trattoria at Wolfram and Southport. For a wine bar with great food, Jackie recommends Volo in Roscoe Village to locals and visitors alike.
Curious about how the training, support, and services at Baird & Warner – Lincoln Park can help take your business to the next level? Get in touch today to get the conversation started.