The Benefits and Opportunities of a Chicago Real Estate Career

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Considering launching a new career in real estate? Whether you’re starting with real estate as a first career or transitioning from another field, you should know that you’re entering an industry that is fast-paced and ever-evolving. 

Real estate is a field that can empower you to build up your community, and make a real difference in the lives of countless people. It can be rewarding, exciting, and dynamic — while offering high-earning potential and lots of opportunities to continue learning and growing. 

Debating whether or not to pursue a career in Chicago real estate? On the fence about exploring this field, or getting started with pre-licensing training? One great place to start finding answers may be to think about your why. Why commit to this career — and why now?

Take Ownership of Your Career  

Our Assistant Managing Broker Negeen Masghati once had a team lead who talked in some depth about “stability.” The reality, he would say, is that even when you’re employed by a large company, there is no guarantee of stability. The organization could contract or lose business. The company could be bought out. There might be layoffs at some point in the future. 

Being a real estate broker is a career that requires you to commit to opening your own business, and all that entails. This can be intimidating — but it can also be empowering.

Being a real estate broker is a path that allows you to take ownership of your career, and take control of your future success. In real estate, you are placing a bet on yourself — and that gives you more control over what your career looks like. 

One of the most common traits that successful real estate brokers share is that they are self-starters. They are able to develop a plan and hold themselves accountable, and are excited at the prospect of investing the time and commitment it takes to succeed. When you set the bar high, collaborate with your Managing Brokers on a plan to reach your goals, and then implement the activities on a regular basis that will help you get there, you may be amazed at just how quickly our leadership, tools, and resources can help you become profitable and productive.

Flexibility and Freedom 

For many people, our ongoing pandemic has provided the opportunity to think about where they are, and where they’d like to go. In many cases, this moment has placed a renewed importance on having flexibility and freedom in their personal and professional lives.

The most successful brokers stay focused on the activities that drive success. At the same time, they find a way to balance their career with the priorities in their life, including family, friends, and personal growth.

Unlike some jobs where you punch in and punch out on someone else’s clock, real estate is a career path that gives you more flexibility and freedom to build your schedule and design the hours that will work for your lifestyle. 

Many brokers will tell you one of the best things about their job is that no two days are exactly alike. Having said this, our most successful brokers schedule out their days as much as possible while still making room to prepare for last-minute showings, appointments, and changes. At Baird & Warner Lincoln Park, we make working from anywhere easier by ensuring that our brokers have access to the technology, resources, and office-level support staff they need to stay agile. Our office is bright, modern, and comfortable, with state-of-the-art workspaces and conference rooms — all to assure that our brokers have a “home base” for whatever comes up, from daily office tasks to client meetings. 

High Potential for Income 

Real estate is an industry with essentially unlimited earning potential. Being a broker puts you in a position to take control, and set your own financial milestones and goals. Generally, the amount you take home in income is a direct reflection of the time, energy and effort you put into your career on a daily basis. 

Residential real estate is a field with a higher ceiling than many other industries. It all comes down to figuring out where you want to go, and putting an actionable plan in place to reach your goals. For instance, if you want to double your income in a calendar year, there are plans and strategies we can explore to help you do just that. And we do it every year with our brokers.

I got my start in the corporate sales world, and I saw the alternative situation firsthand. For example, in one year I vastly exceeded my sales goals, but got more or less a “pat on the back” — without any meaningful change in my income or position. 

As Negeen has put it, one of her favorite things about real estate is that it has “the potential to make it whatever you want it to be.” You can adapt the tools, skills, and resources to suit your goals and career needs, “whether you want to be the number one agent in Illinois, or sell ten homes a year.” 

Navigating Challenging Times 

What’s the old saying about living in interesting times? Well, we’ve certainly faced some significant challenges and interesting developments over the past 10 years, from the financial crisis back in 2009 to the unprecedented pandemic that we are facing right now. 

As a real estate broker, you are truly the leader of your own business. And, in challenging times, this puts you in a better position to pivot quickly and adapt to new developments. 

I’ve found that people who are engaged and active in their business are the ones who are best able to figure out where the next opportunities will be. As a result, they pivot faster and more seamlessly than the next person, and are better able to leverage challenges into opportunities. 

Meanwhile, real estate is a unique industry — one that, historically speaking, tends to hold stable or even grow during economic downturns. In real estate, the need and demand will always be there. Whatever happens, people will always need places to live. In fact, in this unusual moment, people care about the concept of home more than ever. 

Helping People 

Negeen has said that working as a real estate broker means being a problem solver, helping people, and making connections. I couldn’t agree more!

In real estate, you are given the keys to a powerful vehicle — and you can use it to positively impact the lives of the people around you. In good times and in bad, real estate brokers have an important responsibility. We help people reach their goals and make big changes — from the growing family that needs a larger space, to the folks who want to move closer to home or find somewhere to build their future with lower monthly payments. 

At the same time, we know the importance of community. Our office enthusiastically supports not-for-profit causes in Chicago — including hosting our annual ProHOWbition event to benefit Housing Opportunities for Women (HOW) and building homes with Habitat for Humanity. We also incorporate additional fundraising and volunteer outings throughout the year as part of Baird & Warner’s company-wide Good Will Works program.

At Baird & Warner, we know our mission is bigger than shelter — it’s about strengthening communities as a whole, so the people who live there can lead healthy, safe, and prosperous lives. 

Getting Started In Real Estate

We’ve talked about the why. What about the why now

Real estate is an opportunity that empowers you to build a lifestyle and career that you control. In my view, one of the best things about real estate is that it empowered me to pursue a career in the way I wanted to pursue it, and build something truly special.

As we’ve discussed, this is an unprecedented moment, and an exciting time to embrace change, make the jump, and help move this industry forward. 

In recent months, Negeen and I have both gotten the opportunity to see just how much new-to-the-business brokers are rising to meet this moment — building new opportunities by going outside the box, thinking creatively, and leveraging innovative tools to their advantage.

I chose real estate for a variety of reasons. Today, as Designated Managing Broker of Baird & Warner’s Lincoln Park office, I take pride in helping to create and maintain an office culture that I can be proud of. We provide industry leading training, coaching, and mentoring for brokers at every stage of their careers.  We invest more time and money into the success of every one of our brokers than our competitors. And we take the time to develop individual business plans and goals with each and every individual who joins our office.

Have any more questions? I’m always here and happy to discuss life in real estate, and what sets us apart at Baird & Warner – Lincoln Park. Whether you are considering a career change or looking for a new partner in your existing business, I truly look forward to connecting!

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