TOP REAL ESTATE AGENT IN ILLINOIS SARAH LEONARD
Sarah Leonard stepped into her dream career at age 15, without realizing it. Sarah, now headed towards finishing her second decade in the industry, she first built a successful, independent business and now has formed her cherished team within Re/Max Suburban of Chicagoland. “When I was 15, I answered phones and scheduled appointments for local Re/Max agents; it was one of my first jobs!” Right away, she says, Sarah saw that real estate was nothing like the widely held misconceptions. “People assume that agents have all kinds of freedom and make their own calendar,” she says. Having learned and gained so much from the experienced agents at a very young age, Sarah joined some teams before working independently.
By 2013, Sarah independently closed 208 deals; the MLS awarded her for most closed transactions and she ranked as the #1 Re/Max agent in Illinois. “That was a great accomplishment, but when I reflected on it, I realized I hadn’t taken time to do anything for myself aside from work.” Missing family, vacationing, and sleep, she began forming the Sarah Leonard Team. Beginning with hiring her sister to run office administration, she later added two, licensed buyers’ specialists. “When our agents get busy, we carefully select someone new who is a good fit for the team. That way, each of us has life balance.” Currently comprised of eight agents, three of Sarah’s agents focus on listings and five on buyers. She also employs three transaction coordinators, two listing coordinators and a night/weekend staff member.
“We like making every transaction no-stress for the client; having this kind of team allows us to do that,” adds Sarah. “Every transaction has moving pieces. We’re proactive with our clients so that nothing is missed; everything goes off without a hitch.” Covering Northwest and Western Suburban Chicagoland, Sarah’s team also offers their combined, deep understanding of the market and its amenities, as well as the benefits and schools in each local community. “We get to know our clients, educating them on the communities and what might be a good fit for them.”
The fact that clients keep coming back for new purchases or sales speaks to the excellent service they receive from the Sarah Leonard Team. “During the transaction, we’re in touch daily, sometimes even hourly!” Everyone always knows where things stand, with no surprises on timeline and what to expect in days and weeks to come. For sellers, this means taking the time upfront to help prepare the home before strategic pricing and photography, plus online and print marketing. “We use every kind of technology we can to get broader exposure for listings,” says Sarah. “We’re always trying new kinds of ads or targeted social media promotions.” This all happens in addition to targeted print mailings and outreach to the brokerage community, broker tours and community open houses.
“We truly have the best job on Earth!” adds Sarah. “We see our clients on a regular basis and hold monthly or bimonthly events throughout the year to catch up with people and learn what’s going on with them.” Additionally, team members volunteer at least twice a month at a local food pantry in the Chicagoland suburbs. They also support local pet welfare facilities and coordinate food and clothing drives, working closely with the fire stations and schools to increase participation. “It feels so good to do this in our community.” Sarah also enjoys time with her big Mastiff puppy and with her cherished nieces and nephews. “It’s great to have time with family now and to travel!” she says. With a team made up of people who are big believers in life balance and in the shared belief that there is plenty of business to go around, Sarah also nurtures positive relationships with other brokers. She plans to continue experimenting, growing and moving forward.
“Our clients truly are our friends,” says Sarah. “It’s exciting to see that my team likes what they do, to watch the work ethic and vision we have come to life while creating positive experiences for people.”