Robert Sharoff is an architectural writer for The New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and Chicago Magazine. With photographer William Zbaren, he has produced books highlighting the architecture of Detroit and St. Louis. He is a former senior editor with REALTOR® Magazine.
Rookie Diary: Ada Acevedo Takes on 'The Drive'
In the fifth month of the series, the rookies up their work pace during the busy selling season.
June 1, 2004
Ada Acevedo, 27
Baird & Warner
I got my first listing on Lake Shore Drive! This is very exciting in the Chicago market. The Drive, which follows the shoreline of Lake Michigan, is where many condos of various sizes and price ranges overlook gorgeous views of the Chicago skyline and the lake. You can really appreciate the architecture, history, and exquisite sites of this town.
My listing is in a 24-story high-rise building. It’s a very nice condo: a studio, 620 square feet. It’s on the 17th floor and faces southwest, so there’s no view of the lake. But it has a great unobstructed view of downtown.
The owner is a referral, a single guy who now lives in New Jersey. He wants a quick sale, so we priced it at $142,900. There currently aren’t many units for sale in the building: one studio, and three two-bedrooms. The competition is limited, so I hope that will be beneficial for the sale.
I’ve already advertised it in the Chicago Tribune, and I’m getting ready to do a mailing of 2,200 flyers to other salespeople. I plan to do advertisements in the local alternative papers, as well. But I really don’t think we’re going to have a problem.
Meanwhile, I think I’ve sold the studio in Lakeview I listed last month. That happened almost before I had time to think about it. A salesperson called one morning several weeks ago wanting to bring her client around that afternoon.
The client took one look at it and decided to make an offer. We’re still negotiating, but I think we’ll get close to the list price, which is $150,000.
Overall, this has been the busiest month I’ve had since I got into real estate. I’m working with a half dozen buyers and am showing properties left and right. It can be stressful at times having a busy schedule and managing time. However, having productive days usually result in many rewards.
The buyers are a mixed bag. There’s a couple in the suburbs; a medical resident in the West Loop area; a recent college graduate who’s relocating from Michigan; a guy who’s main criterion seems to be finding a place before the start of football season; and several others. Just keeping it all straight is exhausting.
This weekend, for instance, the college graduate is coming to town with her parents to look at places on the North Side. I've been working with them for a few weeks. The first step, of course, was advising them what I thought were the best neighborhoods based on what they want to spend and proximity to her job. Then, I arranged for them to receive regular e-mails on listings that fit those specifications. I’ve arranged to spend a day showing them around the city and a number of properties that caught their interest.
Another positive development: Remember how I was worried about coming up with two out-of-state referrals per year in order to fulfill my requirements for staying on the Baird & Warner Relocation Team? I just got my first one. A family in my network is moving from downtown Minneapolis to a townhouse in the suburbs of Minneapolis. It’s something I couldn’t have predicted. But real estate is like that. You have to keep your eyes open all the time.
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