YPN Virtual May Breakfast: Chicago 30 Under 30 Panel

On May 27, 2020, we hosted our monthly YPN breakfast virtually through Zoom. While our get-togethers at Manny’s Deli are on hold, we couldn’t wait to devour advice from local top-producing real estate professionals. You can stay up-to-date on the next YPN virtual events by following the YPN Facebook page!



coming soon


Surround yourself with experts.

In the first few years of real estate, new brokers always struggle to manage inexperience, how that affects their knowledge of the transaction process as well as how potential clients perceive them. So, how did these Top Producers take on their rookie challenges? Lauren Mitrick Wood was transparent about her newness. She was up-front about the support she had at her back, and through recognizing her inexperience, she did the best thing possible: she surrounded herself with experts. After joining the Women’s Council of REALTORS (WCR), she volunteered for leadership roles and formed connections with mentor figures. “Getting involved was key to gaining credibility,” Lauren said. “I remember working hours upon hours and nothing was going anywhere, but my parents [also in the business] told me to keep on doing what I was doing and things will come. They were right.” She remembered catching a ride down to Springfield for a legislative event for WCR with Mabel Guzman, a CAR Past President, and listening to her on the phone. “I heard her on the phone and the way she could just spout off stats. I was so in awe of her knowledge and confidence,” Lauren said. “Get in the room with these kinds of people and soak that up!” Moses Hall built his real estate business on the heels of running a successful event space on the South Side. He shadowed his managing broker for the first few years where he built confidence. “I spent time in the library reading real estate books,” he said. He wanted to be knowledgeable and confident that he knew what he was talking about. Taking those extra steps to watch and learn from an established professional and conducting extra research on the side paid off. When he closed his first deal nine months after earning his license, he credited it to the effort he put into knowing the transaction process from A to Z.

Communicate more than ever with your sphere.

Even in a world of COVID-19, lead generation and client outreach have not drastically altered for any of the panelists. “Nothing has changed,” Greg Pekarsky said. “I call people every day still. I have no get-rich-quick scheme. You always stay in touch with people and never let that fall off. Just pick up the phone!” If he and his team work with thirty to forty buyers and ten to fifteen listings at a time, then they can anticipate getting a deal or two every week based on the number of people they’re working with. For them, the formula is clear; the more people they talk to, the more business they generate. Moses took the initiative and reached out to his sphere of property owners. He asks about the status of their relationships with their tenants and he simply asks if they need help! “Just reaching out has gotten me listings,” he said. “I’ve been using LinkedIn and social and making phone calls. I look up public records of who owns what, and I go from there.” What’s his value add? He helps people who don’t understand the process of commercial real estate. People are looking for someone to help them, and he’s filling that void. Lauren agreed. “Just be yourself. Don’t brand yourself. I post a lot on social media, and lately, I’ve been injecting a lot of passion into our messaging. We’re communicating more than ever with clients. Just connect with people.”

What’s the critical ingredient to success? Stay resilient.

Greg strongly empathizes with the emotional battering being in real estate can bring on. “I learned early on you have to be a mental champion and don’t get too high or too low. Keep moving forward. Stay resilient with your positive attitude.” He attributes much of his early success to this resiliency and the ability to shrug off his insecurities and vulnerabilities. Moses emphasized this sentiment. “Do not give up! Don’t count your commission dollars until the end of the transaction, learn to enjoy the process, do something every day, and be resilient.” As easy as this advice is to give now, the panelists recognized it isn’t as easy as it sounds. “It was a serious struggle in the beginning, but I told myself ‘You’ve never given up before.’ So, I kept pushing through,” Greg said. Then, he had an epiphany and realized his business was all in the context of relationships; he began staying in touch with everyone and kept communicating with past renters. That was his game-changer. “I spend a ton of money on online leads, but that’s only 10 to 15 percent of my business. Every day you need to do money-making activities like phone calls and follow-ups. If you do this, then that day was a win no matter what.” As far as working on their energy, positivity levels and mental wellness, each panelist has measured methods to recharge their minds and their bodies. “How can you give if you’re depleted?” Moses asked. “I learned commercial real estate is more of a Monday through Friday industry. I use those weekends for myself so I can still be successful in my business.” Lauren doesn’t set an alarm. She naturally wakes up around 7:00 or 8:00 AM and goes through a loose yet consistent daily routine. “Movement is medicine, so I will work out or take my dog on a walk. Then I work in my business or on my business [like prospecting]. Then I take time for myself, following my latest mentor Amy Jo Martin and her Ready Set Pause mantra.” Lauren recommends A Year of Positive Thinking, which shares thirty-second positive messages to help enlighten you and carry you through dark moments. There is a world of resources at your fingertips! “I’ve always felt uncomfortable not working,” Greg admitted. “Remember to celebrate your wins and take a deep breath. Look around and thank the people who have helped you get where you’re at. In real estate, we always want more, but remember to appreciate your current situation.”


You have a community behind you.

Thank you to our sponsors for all of your support!

Neighborhood Loans
Coldwell Banker
Cross Country Mortgage
Mainstreet Real Estate Group
Movement Mortgage Ryan Cotter
Mages & Price