The Lincoln Square | Albany Park Neighborhood of Chicago
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Lincoln Square Street Coordinates: 4400 N to 4800 N
2000 W to 2600 W
Trendy Lincoln Square is located between Damen and Rockwell Avenues (westward), & Montrose and Lawrence Avenues (south > north). The neighborhood is a mixture of housing architecture (single family houses, condo conversions, new construction, 1920s era apartment rental buildings) with a vibrant dining and cultural scene. The Old Town School of Music and the historic Davis Theater are two neighborhood attractions. It is also home to The Book Cellar Cafe, one of the coolest bookstores on the North Side.There are also some affordable rental options compared to other North Side Chicago neighborhoods if your timing is right. Transportation nearby: trains (Brown Line), buses (CTA) and an average flow of taxi cabs, livery, and Uber options.
My Thoughts on the 'Sunday Open House'
I'm big advocate of the Sunday Open House.' Yes, even still. Thousands of people visit my real estate company website on a monthly basis and there's never a week that goes by when a potential client doesn't register as a new user here at GenoPetro.House. Even so, the open house is still the listing agent's bread and butter (if no longer his meat and potatoes) here in Chicago.
To use a sports metaphor, Sunday is game day. Its the one day of the week (although many of our associates host Saturday opens as well) where we are almost guaranteed to have face to face contact with the public. Needless to say, we strive to be our most polished and shiniest selves on these days. Even after 16 years in the business, I still get up early to prepare for this three to four hour afternoon commitment: E-mails to people I've been in contact with that week reminding them where I'll be that day; double check brochure and sign-in card counts as well as my supply of business cards; go over all comparable properties and other open houses in the immediate area--(mine as well as other brokerages); make sure the agents covering my other open houses (can only be one place at a time, you know) have what they need for the day; and finally, putting out my signs in strategic places at least an hour prior to the scheduled start time.
I played organized team sports from grade school all through my college years. Growing up it seemed like I was always at an afternoon practice of one sport or another while my less commited friends were off rollicking in more pleasurable activities. And later on as a Theatre major, if it wasn't practice it was rehearsal. Many days it was both. So when I prepared to join the world of the gainfully employed I was certain of one thing--I wanted a job with weekends off. I was willing to put in 50 or 60 hours a week, just not on Saturday or Sunday. I did not become a Realtor earlier in my life for this reason alone. I knew I'd be great at it but I also knew that weekends meant 'lost forever' hours of open houses and clients in the car--no golfing, no tailgating, no pool parties.
Once into my forties though, my thinking changed along with some other newly established priorities. I made the decision that I wanted to sell real estate more than I wanted two days a week off. Today, in my late-fifties, I work almost everyday, often times for months in a row before a break. But when I do break I travel as often as possible.
Its a wonderful gig to be sure, this life as a Realtor. Throughout my real estate career, I've met and the majority of my clients through open houses (although these days, that percentage has started to tip toward the internet side of my marketing plan). Contrary to the findings of most studies on the subject, I still often times sell the actual property I'm hosting--too many to even mention in this writing.
And while I'm deeply immersed in the internet during the week and lost without my iPhone/iPad at anytime, its those hours I spend at the weekly open house that a) keep me connected to the business at a grass roots level--and b) keep the owners of my listings satisfied that I'm doing all I can to represent their properties. And more than a few times a year its on this final day of the week, when the rest of the free world is resting or rollicking, that the house gets sold and the real estate deal gets done.
Geno Petro | CHICAGO REALTOR®