Volunteer Spotlight: Kimberly Offord, Professional Development Work Group Vice Chair | Chicago Association of REALTORS®

Get to know our members who share their expertise to help shape the future of our association and industry!

We chatted with our 2020-2021 Professional Development Work Group Vice Chair Kimberly Offord, Fathom Realty, to find out more about her career path, why she volunteers and more.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU WORKED IN THE INDUSTRY?

14 years.

WHY WERE YOU INTERESTED IN GETTING INTO REAL ESTATE?

I entered the real estate field because of a mentor/friend in the industry. I first saw it as a great way to make good money and be an entrepreneur. However, after my first year, I realized it was so much more than that. I began to see it as a way to make a difference in the lives of those who had been left out of the homeownership conversation. Working with clients who never imagined they could own a home gave me such a great feeling to know I made that dream come true.

WHAT’S YOUR BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT IN YOUR CAREER TO DATE?

Longevity is my biggest personal achievement. So many take the licensing exam and then leave the industry after the first and second year. I was able to survive the crash in 2007-2009. I was able to pivot before that was a buzzword. My biggest professional achievement was opening the first Fathom Realty office in the city of Chicago and every new homeowner I have helped.

WHAT HAS HELPED YOU MOST TO GET WHERE YOU ARE TODAY?

My background in marketing and communications has probably been the biggest help. Through that education and two degrees, I understood the importance of branding yourself and database marketing before it was called a contact management system. So for me, adjusting my business to technology was a no brainer.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR CAREER?

I enjoy helping people, especially seniors. My senior clients want to know that they can trust the person charged with selling their prized and hard-earned possession. They are also the group that is preyed on the most by opportunists. I love feeling like I’m their favorite and trusted granddaughter who has their best interests at heart.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE OTHERS WHO ARE LOOKING TO TAKE THEIR CAREER TO THE NEXT LEVEL?

Become a student of the industry. Take every opportunity to learn as much as you can about all areas of real estate. It doesn’t mean that you have to do everything, but it just means that you left no possibility undiscovered. Then, find a niche and stick to it. All the top producers in this industry have one thing that they do well. They work at that one thing daily and see outstanding results.

WHAT DOES VOLUNTEERING MEAN TO YOU?

Shirley Chisholm said it best: “Service is the rent we pay for the privilege of living on this earth.”

WHAT HAS BEEN MOST VALUABLE TO YOU/YOUR BUSINESS SINCE YOU GOT INVOLVED IN OUR INDUSTRY?

Creating relationships with professionals in this industry has been essential. Knowing and working closely with attorneys, contractors, inspectors, insurance professionals and other REALTORS® has made me even more valuable to the clients I serve.

IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH US ABOUT YOUR REALTOR® JOURNEY?

There is and will always be enough business for each of us to enjoy. Be the best that YOU can be to your clients. Work for the referral and not the commission. Be ethical in all that you do and don’t take any short cuts. Remember, no deal will ever be like the last. Learn and then learn some more. Lastly, take time to set goals in your personal life. You are no good to anyone (including yourself!) burnt out. There are endless possibilities, so try to explore every one of them!

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