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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As you get started in real estate, joining the right brokerage is one of the most important steps you will take on your journey. The support of your brokerage is one of the biggest contributing factors to getting your new real estate business off the ground quickly and successfully. But with so many choices out there, how will you find the brokerage that will be the right fit for you — and for where you want to take your career next?
I encourage new-to-the-business brokers to look at seven factors when researching real estate brokerages. From most important to least important, those criteria are:
Continue reading “How to Choose the Right Brokerage for Your Chicago Real Estate Career”
- Access to management and support
- Training and coaching
- Office culture
- Broker services
- Business opportunities
- Commission structure
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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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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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”
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.”
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Here at Baird & Warner – Lincoln Park, our brokers are some of the most productive in the city — and we know how important a strong support team is for keeping the flow of business moving.
Consistently praised by our brokers as some of the best in the business, our office-level support staff includes multiple full-time administrators who are available to assist with listing management, marketing production, closing logistics, and much more. And with a full-time management staff of three, brokers in the Lincoln Park office have unrivaled support, guidance, coaching and mentorship at every stage of their careers.
Let’s take a deeper look at how our office-level support helps our agents to make the most of new opportunities, focus on their business strategies, and gain a competitive edge in the market:
Operational Support: Freeing You Up to Focus On What Matters Most
Attentive, driven, and professional, our operational support staff provides our agents with the specialized support they need to run a full-time business. Having a dedicated support staff in our office frees up time for our brokers to focus on the lead-generating activities that are central to growing their businesses. Depending on your business plan and strategy, this might include cultivating leads online or in-person; preparing market research and putting it into practice; negotiating deals; attending listing and buyer presentations; learning and growing in ongoing training sessions or classes; or taking part in local networking events to grow your sphere.
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To join a real estate team, or to go solo? That is the question — and an important topic to consider for new brokers who are just getting started in the business.
Here in Chicago, real estate teams are quite common, both at my brokerage Baird & Warner, and at other real estate brokerages around the city.
As with so many decisions in the early days of your real estate career, the choices you make now can have a significant impact on your success down the line. But it’s important to remember that there is no one “right” or “wrong” way to move forward.
Ultimately, choosing whether or not you should become part of a real estate team is a personal decision, based on what matters most to you. There are pros and cons to both options — and lots of important questions for new-to-the business brokers to keep in mind.
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When you’re new to your career in real estate, finding the right brokerage is one of the most important factors in determining your future success.
With so many brokerages and local offices to choose from in Chicago, it’s important to do your homework and put in some time to find the place that will be the right fit for you — and the career you want to build.
When you join a brokerage, you’re choosing a professional “home base” — one where you can start building relationships, learning the ropes, and growing your business. With a decision this big, it can be hard to know just where to start your search. What factors should you look at in order to compare different real estate brokerages? What steps can you take to really find the one that will be the best match for your style and personal goals?
Everyone is different, and launching a real estate business is certainly not a “one size fits all” proposition. In my view, finding the right brokerage really comes down to evaluating three major components:
Continue reading “New to Real Estate? Here’s How to Find the Brokerage That Will Be the Right Fit”
- Training and coaching
- Access to management and support
- Office culture