The BRG team expands: Please welcome Susan Panozzo!

The BRG team is expanding, and it is the best news ever! A huge part of the BRG brand is a desire to push the envelope when it comes to client service. One aspect of continually realizing that goal is to not only expand our skills, but also the team itself. As our dreams get bigger, so does the team!

Susan Panozzo joining the team is a huge step forward in offering the best to our clients. Susan joins with tons of real estate experience, particularly in the luxury rental market since she managed one of the biggest portfolios of luxury rentals in the city. Aside from that, she is generally amazing. An incredibly hard worker, Susan managed a multi-million dollar fashion brand while still in college, and went on to climb the corporate ladder in record time before making the switch to real estate. Her “get it done” mentality is what initially drew me to her, but it’s her work ethic and personality that really made us all fall in love!

To celebrate Susan’s entry to the team, we put together a fun Q&A since she’s such an interesting and knowledgeable lady. Welcome to the team, Susan! We are SO lucky to have you (and so are you, clients)! Find more information about Susan’s background here.

You are quite the overachiever, having run a multi-million dollar clothing brand while still in college! Where do you find your drive to succeed? 
I am innately a very hard worker, and happiest when busy! I was working part-time while going to college and slowly worked my way up. I was somehow able to balance both and by the time I graduated college, I worked my way up to store manager. 

Can you share a little bit about what it took to run a huge brand at such a young age? 
Being adaptable in high stress situations definitely helped me work my way up the corporate ladder at such a young age. I managed a staff of 80+ employees, so I was constantly learning how to work with different personalities and communication styles. I find myself leaning on these skills all the time in real estate because no two clients are the same. 

What parallels do you see between fashion and real estate? 
Retail management and real estate actually have a lot of parallels. They are both customer service-focused industries where the main goal is to make your customer’s experience the best it can be. And as an added bonus, I was already used to being busy with work on nights and weekends!

What fueled your desire to make the switch from fashion to real estate? 
After eight years in retail management, I found myself continually thinking about real estate, but I wasn’t sure how to get started. As a first step, I started with rentals and immediately fell in love with the industry! I got my license just a couple months later--it just felt natural!

What is your favorite part of working in real estate? 
Making buyers and sellers happy is the absolute best feeling. I also love when a referral comes from a past client because it means they trust me. There is truly no better compliment! 

What is your favorite part of working at BRG?
The dynamic between the team members is incredibly unique, and not something that every team can achieve. We constantly put our heads together to help each other succeed and come up with new ways to make our clients happy. We all have different skill sets and specialties that are a huge bonus to our clients. 

What is a typical day like for you? 
No two days in real estate are the same, and my entire day can change in the blink of an eye. Ideally though, I try to get a workout in the early morning. Next I devote an hour or two to answering emails and calls. From there, the biggest chunk of my day is devoted to taking clients out to see homes, monitor an inspection, or attend a closing. By the end of the day, hopefully I end up meeting friends or clients for dinner at a new spot! 

What are you most excited about in the coming year? 
Much success with the BRG team!

LIGHTNING ROUND!

You are super adventurous! What has been your favorite vacation/adventure so far? 
Vietnam has been my favorite adventure so far. I was lucky enough to travel throughout the country with two of my best friends. We did everything from ride motorbikes through the crowded streets of Ho Chi Minh City to taking a relaxing 2 day cruise through Ha Long Bay. The food, culture, and people were amazing. Italy is by far my favorite vacation spot. I have family there and recently was able to meet them! It was a great experience. 

Favorite Chicago neighborhood
My hood--West Loop! It is so much more than just “Restaurant Row” now, and has become a very livable neighborhood. I love trying new restaurants, and West Loop is the mecca for that. I’m also a huge Chicago Sports fan, so being close to the United Center is also a plus. 

Favorite neighborhood for shopping:
West Town--there are some great boutiques on Chicago Avenue.

Favorite fashion brand
It’s hard to choose, but Free People, Anthropologie, Zara, and Vici are my brand go-tos. I also try to shop locally at boutiques as much as possible. 

Favorite restaurant
La Scarola in River West. There’s something so homey and comforting about the vibe, and the food is always phenomenal.