February 22, 2011
It’s something we do in Chicago. A lot. We vote. Today’s your chance to elect mayor #46 and a number of aldermen (I think Ed Quartullo in the 38th Ward is a great choice). Not that I’m telling anyone who to vote for.
Although I’m partial to Rahm, but I think it’s all those “separated at birth” jokes people have been telling me lately.
And we’re both good dancers.
February 17, 2011
I received this interesting email from my friends at LinkedIn recently. 138 job changes. WOW, that’s a lot. It represents a good 25% of my LinkedIn sphere. That means a couple of good things. There ARE jobs out there. It also means that talented people, who may have been out of a job for any number of reasons, have found a new corporate home.
Did they also need to find a new “residential home?”
Statistics show that many of them needed to. Some received relocation benefits, some didn’t. So I’d like to reach out to my LinkedIn friends and ask them – Of the 138 of you who found new jobs, did it require a move? If so, how was the experience? HOW did you find your realtor? I welcome both good and bad comments, Chicago related or not, “professionally managed” or otherwise. I didn’t get a new job, but I moved back to the city (hurrah!!!). I picked my agent (obviously I know many) because I felt she had the best grasp of my needs and a track record for service – Thank you Anne Ewasko! For my household goods move I contracted RMR Move Services, who used Ace Worldwide to move me. Again, based on personal experience and proven service track record. The folks at Key Mortgage walked me through a complicated mortgage situation and provided a great rate and indulged every phone call and question I threw at them.
So please leave a comment, we’d like to see how service levels are around the country!
February 4, 2011
Writer Phil Butler, Realty Biz News (whom this author does NOT know), recently published a fantastic article entitled “Chicago Realtor Competition No Contest” in which he analyzes and critiques all the major players in Chicagoland. Having worked at two of them and knowing the players at almost every other, I read his article with great interest. What does an objective voice have to say about the best of the best in Chicago real estate?
No one was spared accolades (when deserved) or criticism (when merited). Butler correctly focuses on the use of digital tools as a main element of a brokerage’s success and competitive advantage. To quote him “Digital engagement is, after all, often a good indicator of brand and public engagement.” How true!
Here are some of his comments on (as he puts it) “The Chicago Five:”
Baird & Warner – “Clearly the most respected, most visible, and after a bit of scrutiny…most digitally aware of Chicago’s real estate companies.” Butler backs up his comments with objective background – website awards, facebook fans, social media presence.
Rising Realty – While they rank second in google, Butler kindly notes “even the agents look as if they just walked in off the street.”
Koenig & Strey – A perennial player in Chicago, Butler notes that “Sadly, something seems to have stopped or reversed this company’s forward momentum.” While I’m loathe to compliment the competition (just joking), having implemented a digital media strategy with Mark Pullinger before we both left Rubloff, I must say that I think they are in good hands in the marketing department!
Prudential Rubloff – Given that I worked many years for Howard Weinstein and was very involved in many of their initiatives pre-Prudential, I’ll refrain from commenting. But I will quote Paul – “Arthur Rubloff, the founder of this company, would be proud on the one hand, and maybe a bit disappointed on the other.”
@ Properties – “Probably would have done nicely during the dot com era…How this agency got in the top 10 google results in a mystic.”
I reached out to Paul after the article, and he says he calls them like he sees them. I like that honesty! Read his article and please post some comments, I’m sure this will wake up the industry!
February 2, 2011
Ah, a snow day! As I drink my cappuccino while the kids play angelically and we look out over the frozen tundra formerly known as Chicago, I have a few thoughts for transferees, then homeowners, to survive the Chicago blizzard of ’11:
*Postpone your househunting trip this weekend
*Don’t be afraid to wear those big Russian fur hats
*Consider the joys of condo living
*Research the towns that have alleys instead of driveways
But seriously, homeowners should take these precautions:
*Have your heating system checking in the fall, not the winter!
*Wrap exposed basement pipes
*Locate the water shut off valve, in case pipes burst
*Don’t shovel if you have a bad ticker (the last blizzard in ’99 was the cause of 40 fatal shoveling related hard attacks). Reat a great article on the here.
*Keep plenty of blankets; candles and flashlights (um, with batteries) on hand
*After the worst is over, clear snow from doors/windows/roof/window wells to avoid leaking
Beyond that – Put on the aforementioned big Russian fur hat, plus longjohns, grab the kids, find a hill, and enjoy!