Athletes Are the Best Clients



I have been fortunate enough to represent many athletes in my real estate career.  Contrary to what the sports pages might say, they have been some of my friendliest and best clients across the board!

My first story is an example of how realtors are sometimes among the first to know the scoop about athletes.  Long before he became a Cub Derrek Lee came to one of my listings looking for his first big condo in Chicago.  Of course I kept it confidential as asked, but he was humble and his family was so charming.  He could not have been nicer.

Going back a few years, I worked with another guy who was a real gentleman to me, but to the rest of Cubdom he was never able to escape their wrath!  I'm talking about Todd Hundley, the big-contract guy who got hurt and never quite lived up to his potential in Chicago.

But to me he was always very gracious.  He was nice enough to offer exclusive box seats and a wondrous visit to the clubhouse to my friend and my friend's 9 year old son, a budding young Little Leaguer.  What young ballplayer would not have shrieked for joy at such an invite? 

Well, my friend's son had been raised from birth to be a true White Sox fan, and Cubbies hatred had already taken its hold on him!  You guessed it, sure enough, one of the most difficult messages I ever had to deliver was to go back and tell Todd Hundley that a nine year old said "No Way!" to his kind and generous offer!

Bobby Rahal was a monster on the racetrack but looking at his professor-like glasses and button down shirt you would never have guessed it.  He regaled me and the other broker with stories of the early days of Danica Patrick's career and also his own days as a hard-charging Indy 500 champion. 

What about Chicago-bred basketball player Antoine Walker?  Of course there was the tragic, well-publicized break-in at his home, but more quietly a different kind of problem struck the home on the coldest day of winter several years ago, when Antoine was with another team and away from home for the entire season.  A neighbor was walking by the rear garage of the home and noticed water gushing out from under the garage door from a terribly busted, frozen water pipe inside.  A swimming pool's worth of water had filled the garden level! 

I had sold the home to Antoine and was no longer representing the home whatsoever, but thankfully the neighbor knew me, and not knowing what else to do they gave me a call.  Did I mention it was 5 in the morning?  Anyway I quickly got on the phone with the police and also called one of his relatives who took over and managed from there on out.  All in a day's work I guess!

Finally, we can't leave this topic without a Black Hawks mention.  Yes, good old Number 81, Marian Hossa, came to one of my listings for a showing.  Of course at the time I was not nearly as familiar with the Hawks as I have become in the last few weeks!  He mentioned he was from Slovakia, and when I mentioned I have relatives from that area and tried to speak a little Croatian with him he was really tickled by it, or at least kindly pretended to be!

Maybe that courteous act and the good Karma it produced was just enough to propel him and the Hawks all the way to the Stanley Cup!

So, if you want to know if Lebron is coming to town, just Ask A Realtor!!





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  • It's good to know that when buying homes athletes are just like the rest of us!

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