Realty Executives International is excited to announce that three Realtors from the Realty Executives Elite brokerage – Chris Budz, Jim Chipain and Maribel Salgado-Little – have recently been certified as an Accredited Commercial Practitioner (ACP) by the Mainstreet Organization of REALTORS®. The ACP certification is currently held by less than 100 brokers in the State of Illinois.
As a former financial advisor, Chad Arend brings a unique skill set and background to the real estate market. He takes pride in his ability to work with data and contracts, and he enjoys the analytical and technological side of the job.
“I love being out in the field with buyers and talking marketing with sellers, but I also really enjoy putting together various systems to work with on an everyday basis so our team can be productive,” he explains.
Fourteen years ago, Bill Cole decided to joined his wife Susan Cole in the real estate industry. He left behind a successful career as a corporate controller for a multi-national construction company.
“For me, it was a complete career change,” says Cole. “Like many of us who choose real estate, I wanted to be my own boss and to pursue the entrepreneurial spirit I always had. Our joint decision meant me giving up a good job with a company car, insurance and retirement benefits at the same time our two children were in their sophomore and junior years in college.”
Laura Harbison saw the value of working within a real estate team before the idea became trendy.
“The brokerage that I was with prior to Realty Executives discouraged team structures, and Realty Executives was supportive of my ‘out of the box’ dreams and goals for my business,” she says.
Harbison hasn’t looked back since joining Realty Executives in 1997 and launching her winning team, which has taken home the Realty Executives Top Gun Award since 1999. The Top Gun Award recognizes the peak achievements of the top-performing team lead in the Realty Executives network, and Harbison is the epitome of that.
Deneen Ruffolo walked away with the coveted Most Valuable Executive Award at the Realty Executives Great Lakes Region awards banquet last month. Voted on by over 250 Executives across the region (which includes Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan), the peer award honors outstanding staff members who are held in high esteem by their coworkers.
“I try to treat people the way I want to be treated, and be as supportive as I can,” says Ruffolo. “It only takes a moment to help someone, put a smile on their face, or just make them feel like they belong to a great office.”
Caitlin Sudduth sold almost $2 million worth of real estate during her first year as an agent. At the time she was just 18 years old, going to college and also holding down a job at a bank.
“Making my first sale was incredibly hard. It took about five or six months. I worked open houses every weekend and followed up with every buyer,” reveals Sudduth, an Executive at Realty Executives Sudduth Realty in Augusta, KS.
“Eventually, I found a buyer for a small home with no central heating and air! It was a tough sell and very stressful putting it together, but I finally got it to closing and made my first paycheck, at which point I was hooked!”