Young Ones to Watch: Sarah Leonard

5 questions for one of Chicago’s rising stars

In the past year, Sarah Leonard’s RE/MAX team has closed on more than 415 homes in the Chicagoland area, making hers one of the highest-ranking realty teams in Illinois. Despite those enviable numbers, Leonard is not focused solely on speed. In fact, her team takes a deliberately personal approach to client relations, working to establish rapport through transparency and communication.

That approach has earned Leonard and her team a host of industry awards, acknowledgments and high rankings from outlets including The Wall Street Journal, Chicago Agent Magazine, Top Agent Magazine, Chicago Magazine, the Daily Herald.

We asked Leonard five questions to learn more about how the young realtor has taken the Chicago real estate scene by storm.

What drew you to the real estate business?

My first office job was at a RE/MAX when I was 15 years old — I got started young — At that time my mom managed the board of realtors, and I was constantly around the business. Ever since that first job, I knew that this was what I was supposed to be doing.

How did you get to where you are now in the industry?

Dedication, specifically to learning what our clients need and expect. Then tailoring my services accordingly.

How do you market yourself to stand out from the competition?

By being everywhere. That’s the biggest thing. We’re online, on paper, in every local community, working with local business, being involved in local charities, and most importantly staying in front of our wonderful loyal clients.

Have you reached any excited landmarks recently?

I'm at a point in my career where I have surrounded myself with a wonderful group of people. My team was just named one of the top 1000 companies by The Wall Street Journal. This allows me to network and work with other top-producing agents to constantly improve and better our business.

What advice do you have for newcomers in the industry?

Use all the resources that are available to you. Join online forums both in your local market and across the country. Don't be afraid to ask questions, and don't be afraid to try new things. I'll invest my time and money to try anything once. You have to be willing to invest in yourself and in your business. My motto has always been “never say no.”