TOP REAL ESTATE AGENT IN WISCONSIN MARGARET CANFIELD
It’s oasis from the city; a space on the lake; a home that’s about an hour’s drive to Chicagoland or the Milwaukee area; a community that blends year-round living and outdoor recreation with seasonal, vacation living while maintaining a strong sense of community. This is what Margaret Canfield gets to promote every day for home buyers or sellers in Walworth County, Wisconsin, home to the world-renowned community of Lake Geneva and many more of the state’s top lakes.
A broker with Chicago-based @Properties, Margaret is the prime example of one of her buyer profiles. “I grew up in the Chicago area, but I’m fourth generation at Lake Geneva,” she says. Shortly before leaving a career in corporate sales with significant travel, she decided to move to Lake Geneva, which already felt like home. “I said, ‘I’m going to make this work; I can go back and forth to the city; I’ll figure it out.” In the early 2000s, she earned her license and entered real estate full time. Already part of the fabric of Lake Geneva, Margaret realized immediately that she could provide unique insight to her clients about Walworth County’s communities. “It’s a different place. You don’t have suburbs; you’re at a lake with nuances to understand, like boat slips, lake access, buoys and associations,” she says. “I’m known for having that information.” An added benefit is Margaret’s background in corporate sales and negotiation.
Perhaps most valuable is Margaret’s patience. Even after deciding to buy in the Lake Geneva area, most people need time. Some are considering Lake Geneva for a second home, a vacation home, or a smaller permanent home to replace their larger home in the Chicago or Milwaukee area. Others seek investment opportunities with a home they can live in down the road. Buyers not only retain these homes for longer than the average five-to-seven years, but they need longer to decide. “Not all agents are willing to spend up to a year-and-a-half with a buyer,” says Margaret. “I know they need time to determine their needs and set plans. I’m happy to help for as long as it takes.”
Buyers and sellers appreciate Margaret’s communication, both during their working relationship and afterwards. “I send information and local or national market updates monthly to my database, plus newsletters and postcards,” she says, adding that she heavily leverages a tremendous presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and YouTube. Her team includes her assistant, a social media professional and a public relations firm. Her team customizes unique posts for each platform. Margaret not only maintains relationships with people this way, but strategically markets her listings there.
Margaret’s listings encompass a wide price range, but each receives professional photography, a custom URL, professional electronic and print brochures, photo tours, social media boosts and Adwerx campaigns. Properties over $500 thousand receive additional services of photo integrated professional floor plans and possible aerial photography; properties over $1 million receive all that plus featuring on Luxury Portfolio Worldwide, WSJ; Crain’s and other publications. In addition, her website is an invaluable resource containing detailed information on the lake communities in Walworth County. She is also quite active locally. Among many nonprofits she supports with time and treasure, Margaret gives significantly to the Lake Geneva Chapter of Lyric Opera of Chicago and its community outreach efforts. “This spring we’re taking hundreds of seventh graders to Chicago by train for a day with the Opera,” she says. “Many are from agricultural areas and have never been to the city much less on a train.” Efforts like that involve immense fundraising effort, which Margaret embraces while supporting with many other local nonprofits including Open Arms Free Clinic, Aurora Foundation and Holiday Home Camp.
“I’ve never been one to sit behind a desk,” says Margaret, who loves real estate for the variety and the interesting people she meets. In her free time, she takes advantage of all Lake Geneva offers, especially open-water swimming, hiking and biking. As the perfect ambassador for the area, Margaret plans to continue offering top service, with a focus on cutting-edge technology and remaining intimately informed about the market and its properties. “People can get all they want online,” she says. “I provide the nuances they need when fulfilling a dream on the lake.”