Thursday, December 14, 2006

Herculean Effort on a Spartan Diet

I was speaking with one of my veteran agents this morning when the subject of our "early days" in the business came up. I mentioned that when I first started out almost ten years ago I would often go to a restaurant and just have a cup of coffee while my grade school son (at the time!) ate his breakfast. I was on a mission (my new real estate career) but I was at the same time on a budget as money had not yet started coming in on a regular basis.

I haven't forgotten those days of making a "Herculean effort on a Spartan budget." I observe many newly licensed agents, both in my office and in the marketplace, and occasionally I even catch a glimpse of that same quality in one of them. And as a Managing Broker I'm always looking for individuals in Chicago who are farsighted enough to realize that the real rewards often come later than sooner.

In those early days I made a decision to be a Listing Agent and was 'Rookie Of The Year" in my office with 18 listings my first 12 months. There were others agents who started at the same time with more money in their bank account, a nicer car and a bigger sphere of influence. I was never concerned about them other than in casual passing. I tried to remain focused on my early goals. I knocked on doors, learned by trial and error and drank a lot of coffee---I was on a budget and I was making an effort!

image by askwhy

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Is Your Office A 'Smoke-Filled' Room?

Is your office a smoke filled room? No, its not what you might be imagining. I'm talking about good smoke...not the kind that sticks on your clothes and your hair but the kind that sticks to your mind and your attitude. I'm talking about the ideas and techniques you acquire just from being in the same room full of Real Estate experts--that kind of smoke.

Many new agents don't even realize the dynamics of just being associated with a group of top producing and energetic Realtors. Their techniques and styles rub off and if the 'rookie' is estute he or she will stay close enough take some of the essence for themself. Too many new licensees begin this career with certain expectations only to find out pretty quickly that the 'river to success' is a challenging one, to be sure. It only makes sense to observe (and stay close) as more experienced professionals navigate the channels and address the perils of a competitive real estate market.

Osmosis is a very powerful force in the universe and a key component to learning this business. If you are new or are considering a career in Chicago Real Estate sales then you need to think about the environment that will surround you. You not only need to 'stick your toe' into the water to test the temperature, you need to 'take a deep breath' and smell the air. If the 'smoke is of the 'good' variety, then I advise you to follow not only your heart but your nose!

smoke image by

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Can Your Broker Sell?

I post on this site from time to time when I happen across something worth passing on to the new or 'soon to be new' agent. Yesterday I was having a conversation with another Realtor from another brokerage when she mentioned how when she first started in the business "it was sink or swim...but mostly sink!" She genuinely felt that it was pure luck that she even made it through her first six months. Her managing broker, she said half jokingly knew less than she did.

"At least I sold Avon when I was younger," she said. "I'm not sure he ever sold anything."

Its been my experience that 'those who can't sell manage, those who can't manage sell, and those who can't manage or sell fail.' It sounds a little corny perhaps but I believe its right on the money. Most managing brokers I've met either sell very little or if they ever did produce much, it was a long, long time ago. And it's becoming pretty typical that the business model of a real estate office these days is more focused toward 'body count' than 'vertical' growth of its exisitng agent force. Anyone with a little bit of captial (and even less sales experience) can actually buy a franchise and be up and running in a month or two. Good luck placing your eggs in that basket!

When I joined Joe Pinto in the year 2000 I did so for two basic reasons. First, he was genuinely interested with helping his agents succeed in the Chicago market and secondly, he was one of the top producers in the city--(and still is). Even though its my goal to negotiate 1 million to 2 million a month every month in real estate sales (not a rookie, to be sure!) I still consult with and defer to my broker on a daily basis. Why? Because my broker can sell. And a primary reason that I've had any success at all in this competetive arena (10,000+ Chicagoland licensees) is that my broker wanted me to succeed.

I've mentioned before in a previous post that 'national company branding' has very little to do with success in a localized market such as the Northside of Chicago. It's my observation that the 'boutique' brokerages are much better positioned to address the needs of both the client and the budding real estate professional. So let me ask you...'Boutique' or 'Big Box'? Where do you see yourself?

contributed by Geno Petro

Monday, November 20, 2006

Third Quarter Metro Home Prices Improve!

Its just what I've been saying all along---what is happening in other regions of the country is not necessarily applicable to an urban market like Chicago! News released today out of Washington
reports the turning of this media fueled tide. Chicago is a city that has consistently held its own, even during the past 12 months of national price corrrections.

Realtor Income vs Corporate Sales Exec

Here's an interesting study I came across in The highest paid executive listed in this table makes the equivilant income of a ten million dollar a year annual producing Realtor in Chicago. (We have more than a few of these in our office.)

In fact, many of our second year agents' incomes are equal to those who have attained the position of 'Marketing Director' according to the article. The opportunity to excel in real estate sales in the city of Chicago continues to present itself, especially as the upper rungs of the corporate ladder get crowded and even a little 'slippery' (depending on who immediately surrounds you on the way up and down!) Question is, will you recognize it when it appears.....?

image by ricommunity

Words From A Top Producer

My name is Geno Petro. I began my real estate selling career with Joe Pinto in the year 2000. Each year since joining his organization my production volume of closed real estate transactions has increased by a double digit percentage over the previous year. The technology and lead generation program in my opinion, is second to none in the city of Chicago. Check us out... provides all the support necessary to become a top producing Realtor.

I am perhaps the least computer savy person you'll ever meet but if you click on my blog, Chicago's Home Weblog you'll see how the support system of Chicago Home Estates can help position you in this technically competitive marketplace. You will be provided with a blogging template and assistance from other top producing Realtors to help you get started. Its one of the many tools provided to help you establish a presence as you begin this rewarding career.

The company philosophy and Open House marketing strategy is another unique characteristic of our organization. We are a 'boutique independent' brokerage. We believe that in this Chicago market it is an advantage to be unencumbered by 'Corporate Policies' and 'National Marketing Programs' that have really, little or no effect on the local level. Chicago is clearly a city of neighborhoods and it takes a neighborhood brokerage to provide expert guidance in the buying and selling of a home, not an 'International' division of home ofiice people. Anyway, this is how I see it and it works for me.

Take a tour of our website and see what I'm talking about. Contact Joe Pinto directly or simply drop him an e-mail. The office is gearing up for 2007 so give it some thought and give us a call. The new year is fast approaching, as they say. And we all know, there's no better time than now to make a change!

contributed by Geno Petro

What Agents Say Who Have COMMITED To What We Offer

The following testamonials are but two examples of agents who were going nowhere with their previous companies. Both have been with us now for over three years and are recognized each year by the Chicago Association Of Realtors as 'Outstanding Achievers.'

"The team environment is very much alive at Chicago Home Estates. There are real support systems in place such as a dedicated marketing effort, as well as, an ongoing training and true mentoring from Joe Pinto and other top producers to ensure an agent success. It is in stark contrast to most brokerages where you are truly on your own and paying out money left and right just to be there. I'm well into my second year and very busy. I wouldn't think of hanging my license anywhere else and consider myself quite fortunate to be a part of this team " Jeff Bergstrom Formerly of Keller Williams

"I assumed making the switch to selling Real Estate would be easy. I knew the market and had over twenty years of sales experience. But when I went to work in an office with over 100 agents, I felt alone. My broker wouldn't even call me back. At Chicago Home Estates, we work as a team, I get instant feedback, valuable guidance and all the tools I need to succeed. " Ryan Wallenfang Formerly of Remax

Monday, July 03, 2006

About a career with Chicago Home Estates...

We Are Chicago Home Estates

What we offer you

  • "Situational Realtime Training"
  • Immediate Open House Responsibility
  • Weekly Team Meetings
  • 2006 Internet Marketing System
  • Open Shared Work Environment
  • 2:1 Computer/Agent Ratio
  • Aggressive In-House Marketing Support
  • New Construction Developer Training

  • Are you ready to COMMIT?

  • Are You Internet Savvy?
  • Are You Committed To a Daily Schedule?
  • Are You Currently At the Top Of Your Field And Still not Satisfied?
  • Are You Open to Mentoring?
  • Are You Goal Oriented?
  • Are You A Goal Achiever?
  • Are You Ready to Earn $75,000 A Year In Income?