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Meet Kim Howard of Howard Homes Chicago

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kim Howard.

Kim, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I always knew I had an entrepreneur-spirit – I love being on the go and didn’t want a desk job, I am motivated by the concept that “the harder I work the more it will pay off”, and I’ve always liked meeting new people and being social.

My now-husband Joe encouraged me, along with my family and friends to actually make the leap into real estate – and as fate would have it, I’ve never been happier or felt more fulfilled, so it was a good leap!

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I am not sure anything worth having in life is “smooth”, and that’s part of the joy in the fulfillment of knowing I’ve worked hard: that the energy and time spent is worth it in the end.

While I am not afraid to ask for anything usually, since the worst possible scenario is that someone would say “no”…it’s still also hard in any sales job, including real estate to be told “no, you’re not the right person for this”, or “you don’t have enough experience”, or “sorry, I like you but don’t trust you yet as a real estate agent”.

It takes a thick skin, determination and also time to build a business and fortunately I knew that going in! In real estate, knowledge and experience go a long way – I’m not just out showing houses all day, as many people would think.

A lot of my time is spent understanding the market and constantly training and learning to be better, managing client relationships and business relationships, and of course, networking to find new business and managing the back-end of the business too.

But all of it’s OK because “smooth” is boring!

Please tell us about Howard Homes Chicago Team – Keller Williams Chicago Lincoln Park.
My husband Joe and I have a real estate team, Howard Homes Chicago. We specialize in the north side of the city, but also the North Shore and select suburbs (my husband Joe grew up in the suburbs so knows those areas well).

We are fortunate in that we both bring different skills to the table and approach things in business differently, so having that in a partnership really balances things out and I think makes us operate stronger. I’m the Type-A, and he’s very analytical and laid-back. Joe focuses mainly on buyers, while I am transitioning to focusing on sellers – we both are interchangeable and understand all areas of the business, but also want to master what we both excel at to serve our clients best.

We are proud of our ability to communicate and walk our clients through one of the biggest transactions of their lives while making sure they are educated on the process and fiercely negotiating on their behalf. We do like to keep it fun along the way too when we can!

We also love being able to work together every day, attend events together and it’s nice having someone who “gets” the work, dedication and energy it takes to be in real estate. I am fortunate to have been elected to the Women’s Council of Realtors Chicago board and also serve in a leadership position in my Keller Williams office.

Joe is also a member of local real estate groups and is heavily involved with an animal shelter where he volunteers a lot of his time too. We believe our business should be a priority in our lives and a focus, but we also want to live a life of purpose and know that serving others and our communities can have a huge and lasting impact that we want to be proud of.

We feel what makes us shine is our streamlined communication process, knowledge and also the value we bring to the table operating as a well-oiled machine every step of the way!

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
I have lots, but one that stands out is the general but vivid memory of my mom and dad’s partnership. Both of them worked so hard and I really admire and appreciate everything they did for us. One main thing worth mentioning is that my mom was a well-recognized leader at a huge corporation and worked her way up from the bottom to be a leader people admired and respected.

She is where I get all my business acumen from, I come from a family of strong, fearless women leaders and am very grateful for that.

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