Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Saluting: @properties' Joe Zimmerman

Eighth in a series of profiles saluting Condo Superstars, agents who ranked in the Top 10 for selling the most Chicago condos in 2007.

He Started, at 15, By Selling His Parents' House

Name: Joe Zimmerman. Brokerage: @properties. Age: 31. Years as Agent: 7. Transaction Rank: 9 (135 sides). Dollar Rank: 14 ($42 million). Resale Volume: $8 million. Condos (as % of business): 97. Source of Statistics: Midwest Real Estate Data (MRED), Chicago condos closed in 2007.

Ranking No. 9 on our Top 10 list of Condo Superstars is @properties' Joe Zimmerman. On the Multiple Listing Service in 2007, he ranked 9th in condo transactions, with 135, and 14th in dollar volume, with $42 million.

Like several other Top 10 agents, Joe generated most of his business ($28 million, or 67%) as listing agent for new-construction projects. He generated $8 million as buyer's agent for new construction, $4 million as listing agent for resale properties and $2 million as buyer's agent for resale.

In 2007, 77% of his sales (101 of his 135 transactions) were at Vision on State, a 254-unit condo at 1255 S. State in the South Loop. He served as exclusive marketing agent for the developer, Renaissant.

How did he land that important deal? According to Joe, the developer came to @properties and asked for the agent with the most experience selling developer projects. Because of Joe's success in representing 2 E. Erie and City Club in 2005, he was the one recommended.

Seven of his transactions last year were generated at 1718 N. Ashland, a six-unit condo conversion in West Town. He personally generated all his 2007 sales, Joe says, and almost all of them are reflected in the MLS numbers.

In 2005, after he generated $93 million in sales, primarily from 2 E. Erie and City Club, Joe was named to the National Association of Realtors' "Top 30 Under 30" and Chicago's "Top 40 Under 40" lists. In 2006, with no major projects delivering, his sales dropped to a "mere" $25 million.

In 2008, Joe has shifted his focus from large developers to small ones and is working solely with referrals. His secrets to keeping clients happy include being on time, giving feedback, sending gifts, following up with calls, personal notes and client appreciation items, such as stamps when postage goes up. "It's also important to maintain good relationships with other agents and to know your product," he says.

Joe prides himself most on the service, knowledge and enthusiasm for city life that he brings to every client relationship. The Chicago-area native got his first taste for the business at age 15. His parents were selling their family home and it was Joe who ended up showing the house and landing the sale.

"My family experience taught me that buying and selling real estate is not just a business transaction. It can be an emotional experience, and it's certainly one of the biggest financial investments most of us will make in our lifetime," he says. "That's why I commit to my clients for the long-term, and often serve as a resource long after the closing."

As do many agents, Joe provides ongoing counsel and recommendations to clients on everything from mortgage brokers and lawyers to contractors and tradesmen.

He works out of the Lincoln Park office at 1586 N. Clybourn and currently has 28 listings, three of them at 2 E. Erie. He has two agents on his team, Rachel Miner and Danielle Bataglia.

A former resident of the River North area, Joe moved recently to a home in Bucktown, where he lives with his wife, Sarah, and their newborn son, Joseph Thomas.

Joe, a White Sox fan, has experience in the single-family, condo and townhome throughout Chicagoland. "I feel fortunate to be helping my clients buy in the greatest city in the world," Joe says.

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