Chicago Home Partner – Our Move to @properties

by Amanda on January 28, 2011

It is with mixed emotions that I write this post.  After 9 years of learning, working and growing with Prudential Real Estate, I have chosen to move Chicago Home Partner to @properties, effective immediately.  Where it was with a heavy heart that I packed up my office last night, I know that I have made a decision not only for the strength of my team, but more importantly for the benefit of my clients. I planned to call, helping me carry and move my things.

My Start in Real Estate:

When I chose to start my real estate career, it was 2002 and Chicago real estate was on an upswing.  Real estate classes filled up faster than they could hold them, and companies advertised “Unlimited Income While Setting Your Own Schedule” in the local papers.  Having come from a long lineage of real estate professionals, I sought out guidance and interviewed the players.  After a long and exhaustive search, I decided to move forward with Prudential Preferred Properties and start my journey.

My decision was not made off of commission splits or leads… in fact, it was just the opposite.  Prudential offered some of the lowest splits to their new agents, but touted a training program that was second to none.  The “Journey to Mastery”, or JTM program as it was called, was an intensive program where new agents were put through “boot camp”.  It was there that we learned from Jason Guck everything about the market, growing a business and how to succeed through hard work and education.  Amazingly enough, even in today’s tough market, many that stood beside me in that program are still helping to create a stronger, better real estate industry in the Chicago.

Over the years my needs and the offerings of the company changed with the market.  Prudential lead the way on many technological levels both on agent tools and listing marketing.  They were the first company to brand their listings with unique URL’s, created custom CD Brochures and leveraged Yahoo! Real Estate’s Online Seller’s Advantage program.  They instituted the Quality Service Certification company-wide and focused on not only marketing, but selling, the client’s homes at the highest price in the lowest amount of days.  I knew without a doubt that I was involved with the company that gave me the best tools to help my clients accomplish their goals… and that was always a priority.

At the same time, a small and local company was beginning to gain traction as well.  @properties began in 2000 as the partnership between two top producing agents focusing on new areas and even newer construction.  Mike Golden and Thad Wong brought @properties to existence with just themselves and an assistant, but slowly started recruiting agents through the support and innovation they provided for them.  Little did they know that their brainchild would eventually grow into Chicago’s leading company.

Why Change is a Good Thing:

2010 will go down as a year of challenges for many, both personally and professionally.   We, at Chicago Home Partner, faced these along with our clients.  We learned to dig in our heels.  We worked harder, slept fewer hours, invested more money.  We learned to get real…  And somehow, when the dust settled, we were not only able to say that we had our best year ever, but that we made a difference in our clients’ lives.  For those of you that put your trust in us, we only hope you understand our gratitude.

But as the year came to a close, we began to realize that Chicago Home Partner was growing and evolving.   And with that, our ties with Prudential were getting stretched as CHP was heading in a different direction.   It became very clear that we needed to transition as a business in order to adapt to this changing real estate climate.  We needed more tools, more systems and better education to be able to service our clients.  It was then that we decided that the time had come to realign ourselves with a company that would help us achieve that goal.  Basically, we knew that we needed to find a company that was willing to roll up its sleeves right beside us, invest more dollars despite tighter budgets and be ready to fight the good fight day after day with us.  After a long search, and much deliberation, we agreed that @properties was truly differentiating themselves in a market where many brokerages were simply focusing on survival.  And based on the fact that CHP is definitely not just about surviving… we know that we had found “our partner” for this next chapter.

In a year, when many local companies began shutting down offices and pulling back on services to their agents, @properties actually OPENED two, new offices on the North Shore of Chicago.  Their mentality was to be able to service their clientele regardless of city or suburb.  In only a year, their Evanston and Winnetka offices have become the #3 company in closed transactions on the North Shore.  At the same time, they invested in an amazing consumer website ( and numerous infrastructure advancements geared towards agent support.  In other words, @properties approached the sluggish market in a similar manner to CHP – fought tougher, worked harder, spent more… come out on top for the sake of the clients.

What does this mean to me the client?

Long story short (too late!), @properties is equipped to provide us with the tools and support to do our job even better.  Imagine that… the ability to combine First Fidelity Reserve commitment to excellence, honesty and professionalism and @properties’ dedication to investing in technology, marketing and education.  The sky truly is the limit.

Most importantly, we are excited to be surrounded by an energetic and exciting environment that is adapting to, rather than reacting to a changing real estate market.  If you have questions about our decision, the company or how this relationship can help you – please don’t hesitate to contact us.

We are now, as always, dedicated to serving as your Trusted Real Estate Advisors.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Jodi Schallman January 28, 2011 at 9:11 am

Hi Amanda, Your writing style and communication ability always attracts me. @properties is LUCKY to add your talent to their roster and once again you will be in the same company as your man. In my opinion, you set the standard for professionalism in an industry that often falls short. I wish you much continued success and will pass along new clients whenever asked…”Do you know a good agent?”

You go girl……

Jodi Schallman

Steve White January 28, 2011 at 10:14 am


Congratulations on your move, and thanks for keeping me posted. Still looking forward to working with you one day.


Colleen Harper January 28, 2011 at 10:36 am

Congratulations and Welcome!

Derek Overbey January 28, 2011 at 11:14 am

This is awesome Amanda. So happy for your move as I know it will make you rock even more than you did before. Best of luck and say hi to that husband of yours.


Sarina January 28, 2011 at 11:55 am

…just as long as you didnt forget your cape. my best as always.

Steve Podolsky January 28, 2011 at 4:15 pm


As a client of yours all the way back to the beginning in 2002, we are well aware of your talents and efforts on behalf of your clients. Iris and I wish you the very best in your new venture.


Amanda January 28, 2011 at 10:50 pm

Thanks Steve… your continued support in me over the years has always been a pillar of strength!

Amanda January 28, 2011 at 10:50 pm

Never leave home with it!

Amanda January 28, 2011 at 10:51 pm

Thanks Derek… and will do!

Amanda January 28, 2011 at 10:51 pm

Thanks Colleen… appreciate it!

Amanda January 28, 2011 at 10:51 pm

As am I Steve!

Amanda January 28, 2011 at 10:52 pm

Jodi – your support is nothing less than AWESOME!

Sharon Swanton January 29, 2011 at 7:02 pm

You were always one of the brightest and best (right from the beginning). I want to thank you for acknowledging JTM as the program that helped launch you. As you know I was running that program when you were in it and you were a star from the get go. I am so glad that you are still doing well. I am doing a coaching group and have a former JTM’er from Chicago in the group. It is amazing that these relationships continue to last. I am happy to refer clients to you anytime anyone in my network needs a Chicago realtor and you have always done a superior job. Best of luck with your new company!


Sara Bonert January 31, 2011 at 7:31 am

Fun to read your story. Congratulations and I wish you MUCH success with your move to a VERY impressive company. More impoortantly, I know your clients will be very well served by the amazing systems @properties has in place to ensure a quality real estate transaction, in addition to the years of experience you bring to the table. All the best!

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