Chicago Relocation

Baird & Warner – National Top Workplace

January 31, 2013

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Chicago Real Estate
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John D’Ambrogio

More good news – Baird & Warner has been nationally named the 43rd best place to work.  The award, given by Workplace Dynamics, was calculated based on feedback from Baird & Warner employees.  Workplace Dynamics is a national company that assesses the fundamentals of a company such as workplace values, execution, leadership and culture.  This past November Baird & Warner was named the 3rd best place to work in Chicagoland by the Chicago Tribune.

“To receive both these top workplace honors is an incredible achievement –one that I couldn’t be more proud of,” said Stephen W. Baird, president and CEO of Baird & Warner.  “It is immensely rewarding to receive such a response from our broker associates and employees, especially given the rough times that the real estate industry has seen over the past few years.  This vote of confidence makes me even more optimistic for 2013.”

Once again, congratulations to the Baird & Warner team!



A Realtor’s Guide to Memory Management

January 30, 2013

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John D’Ambrogio

The following are some comments from Baird & Warner‘s Elizabeth McGrath.

With all the facts, details, and updates in real estate it may sometimes feel like you’re memory just can’t keep up.  However, memory improvement is possible.  Joshua Foer, the 2006 United States Memory Champion, has great advice on how to perfect the “art of memory” particularly in the real estate industry.  Below are three tips Foer offered to Realtor Magazine.

Just Be

The first step towards spotless memory is to be present and alert.  Surprising new studies find that multitasking actually may do more harm more than good.  The Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS) says “processing multiple incoming streams of information is considered a challenge human cognition.”  Doing too much at once won’t allow your brain to properly process and aggregate the information thus hindering your memory.

“Aaaaaannnnndddd ACTION!”

Second, Foer says moving images (mini-movies) are the easiest way to remember bland facts.  Transforming information into short movie like scenes will cause the scene to pop into the front of your brain connecting the facts and the play.

Example: Matt, a new client, would like a two bedroom condo so he can use the second bedroom as a home office.  Close your eyes and imagine Matt sitting behind his desk making a phone call.  This dynamic scene contains all the information you need and it sticks out in your brain.

Yoga Elephants

Finally, meeting new people can prove to be a pitfall for name recollection.  To fix this, Foer suggest imaging something, funny, bizarre, grotesque, or just plain out of the ordinary happening to or around your new acquaintance.  If you were meeting me – Elizabeth – picturing an elephant practicing yoga behind me would be memorable and it would create an association between Elizabeth and Elephant.  The more unique the image, the easier it will be to remember the name.

I have started to use these tips and I have to say they do work.  Ironically my problem has been remembering to use the tips in the first place, but I feel that with practice it will become second nature.  At the very least Foer’s ideas make everyday life much more vibrant and fun and that’s always something I always appreciate.




The House That Jordan Built (Well, Is Selling)

January 23, 2013

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John D’Ambrogio

Here are some comments from Baird & Warner’s own Tom Gill.

On February 29th 2012, as I’m sure you’ve heard by now, Michael Jordan listed his Highland Park home for sale through Baird & Warner realty. ABC news reports that this home can be yours. The heir to his home. For $29 million. Despite pleading to my parents, this home cannot be mine, and for whatever strange reason no bank is willing to give a 30 million dollar loan to a junior in college. This piece of Chicago can only be very few peoples actually. It would take a large celebrity to match a price like this or a random Michael Jordan fan, with extremely deep pockets.

Don’t be fooled. The home isn’t solely worth that much because it belonged to the King of Chicago sports or because maybe he scribbled a signature somewhere inside the house. It comes complete with an indoor basketball facility (obviously), 32,683 square feet, 3 garages capable of holding 15 total cars, combined with tennis courts, a pool, a pond and a putting green.

As much as I wish I could own this house, it’s only slightly out of my price range. But if you have the financial position to live in one of the most famous most luxurious houses in the Chicago land area, I highly suggest you do, and invite me over for a visit. Who knows, MJ might even throw in an autographed picture to go with it.



Pam O’Connor, President/CEO of LeadingRE

January 17, 2013

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John D’Ambrogio

Pam O’Connor, President/CEO of LeadingRE, was interviewed by KCM Blog about her views on the future of the real estate industry such as the ever evolving impact of social media and the internet, continuing education and the active role real estate professionals need to take for success in 2013.  Click here to read the interview and gather some of these valuable insights for yourself.



Some comments from Baird & Warner‘s Elizabeth McGrath






Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Eric Bryn

January 16, 2013

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John D’Ambrogio

Here are some comments from Baird & Warner’s own Tom Gill.

Everyone’s favorite VP of digital innovation, Baird & Warner’s very own Eric Bryn has been selected to join a panel with 5 others to talk about how to make buying a home “as easy as buying a latte” at Real Estate Connect in New York City from January 16th – 18th at the Grand Hyatt Hotel.

Bryn and the other panelists will discuss their experiences and insights as to how to achieve what some are calling the “Latte Vision.” This vision is based off one of the most successful coffee companies of all time, Starbucks. It involves a fast, easy, and efficient relationship between the barista and the consumer. The panel will focus on how Real Estate can be made this easy.

Bryn credits his biggest success at Baird & Warner to what he is calling, “Web+social+mobile+integrated.” This CRM system began with a small group of agents as a prototype to work on and test the program, and it will eventually be accessible to all of B&W’s 1,500 agents. This CRM program will include several Google applications, making the process smoother and easier. It will help clients and agents get immediate, and relevant results.  Bottom line, it all revolves around exceptional customer service.

Bryn joined Baird & Warner in October 2010, which was chosen by the Chicago Tribune this year as third best place to work in the Chicago area. After working for eight years for Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, he moved to Baird & Warner where he now focuses on data systems that can deliver a better experience.

You can find more information about Eric Bryn and his thoughts on web and social media integration in customer relationship management here in an article from Inman News written by Andrea Brambila or on his personal blog here.




Fact: Complete Relocation Services Make your Transition Easier

January 9, 2013

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Moving Companies
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John D’Ambrogio

The following is an article from Bobby Russell, Content Manager of American Auto Move.

The process of relocation can no doubt be stressful, but when a relocation service does its job correctly, the negative impacts on you and your family can be significantly mitigated. We’ve found that complete relocation, including the transfer of your family’s most cherished and familiar goods, can go a long way to making the adjustment to your new surroundings smoother and more pleasant.

Any relocation firm worth its salt will do everything possible to ensure the comfort of your move, no matter the duration of your stay. And for relocation within the US (and in certain cases, even international relocation,) the transfer of your vehicle to a new home can make a positive difference in how you and your family adjust.

We recommend that you keep a checklist of what services you most value from relocation companies. Here’s a sample of what your list might look like:

  • Completeness – Does your relocation firm provide a full service, including housing accommodations, schooling arrangements, and anything else you might consider necessary to make your new house a home? Consolidating all of these services through one agent will makes the transition from one city to another almost seamless.
  • Accuracy – If you’re paying for your own relocation, it is necessary to have an accurate quote. Do not rely on quotes that you receive over the phone only! The only way for a relocation or moving quote to be accurate is to have a mover manually exactly what you plan on taking with you.
  • Transportation – If you’re relocating to a city like Chicago, you may not necessary need to ship your car. But if you’re moving to a more rural area, it’s important that you receive adequate transport. Again, keeping as many of your familiar possessions as possible makes a big difference.

The process of moving can undoubtedly take a toll on you and your family if it is not handled in a professional, thorough manner. This makes it all the more important you choose from the best relocation companies available to you. If you do make the right choice, we guarantee you that it will make a big difference. Demanding that agents live up to your expectations help to keep relocation services competitive.




Steve Baird Talks with Crain’s Chicago Business

January 2, 2013

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John D’Ambrogio

Steve Baird, President and CEO of Baird & Warner was interviewed by Crain’s Chicago Businesses sharing his thoughts on the 2012 residential real estate market and where he believes 2013 could go.

Baird credits the surprisingly consistent 2012 to the return of home buyers.  “I don’t know exactly what happened but it was almost like flipping a switch January 1, and the market has been strong,” said Baird.  With record sales throughout Chicago, declining vacant lots, the best October home sales Illinois has seen in six years, and other notable updates, the market was strong.  When asked what surprised him the most about 2012, Baird said it was that solid month-to-month consistency.  “I keep waiting for it to drop off again, but it’s stayed solid every month,” said Baird.

The second thing that surprised Baird was the lack of increase in average sale price.  Across the nation other markets have seen dramatic rises in average sale prices while Chicago still is still down about 1%.  But Baird believes that there isn’t much to worry about because he sees the high rising markets in areas that crashed the hardest.  Rather Midwestern sensibility is to be credited for the slower, but more stable market seen in Chicago.  Stable, but eventually rising in Baird’s opinion.  “I think next year we will see that (average sales price) actually increase,” said Baird.

Finally, he isn’t worried about foreclosures dragging down the market, rather (in most areas) he sees foreclosures and short sales as just more inventory to work with.


Some comments from Baird & Warner’s Elizabeth McGrath