Alex Wolking launched his real estate career twice—first in the Quad Cities area along the Iowa-Illinois border, where he grew up, and again in Chicago, where he moved in 2016, knowing few people. When the pandemic hit, Wolking, 29, pivoted toward new business strategies. They included setting up an auction for one luxury home and creating a “stimulus package” of buyer incentives for another. He also initiated a reverse offer from his sellers to a buyer prospect who had looked at a listing several times but hadn’t made a move. All of those tactics worked. He also brought on a stylist to amp up his wardrobe. “I’ve never been one to give up,” he says. “I’ve always found a way through.” A big theater supporter, he weighed a show biz career before entering real estate. Wolking still performs by leading architectural tours, creating must-see marketing videos, and speaking at industry events.