Like Apple’s iPhone, Our 10th Anniversary Is A Really Big Deal
Okay, maybe not quite as big, but for us it’s an important milestone we are proud to have achieved. Ten years ago, Best Chicago Properties opened its doors in the heart of the then “up-and-coming” West Loop neighborhood.
The mission was simple: create an innovative independent brokerage dedicated to delivering the best integrity, knowledge and service in Chicago’s urban-core residential real estate market. And to provide clients with an exciting, enjoyable and rewarding real estate experiences. Now, as Best Chicago Properties celebrates ten years, we’re really celebrating a decade of successfully delivering on our mission.
Our Milestone Moments
The first iPhone is introduced and Jeff Payne opens an independent residential real estate brokerage called Best Chicago Properties. Of course he also buys an iPhone. Our office location is in a modern loft retail space at 847 W. Monroe Street in the West Loop.
It’s surrounded by vacant lots, old warehouses with water towers and even a giant smokestack where urban legend has it the government used to burn old money. The area has no foot traffic and feels abandoned. But, given its close proximity to the Loop, the neighborhood seems to have a bright future.
Americans elect Barack Obama President and Tony Campise elects to join Best Chicago Properties. The real estate market promptly crashes. Not Obama’s fault, nor is it Tony’s. The Case-Shiller Index hits a record low. And by November the S&P 500 was down 45 percent from its 2007 high. The nation is on edge.
We introduce our innovative and interactive Chicago Neighborhood Guide. It shows accurate Chicago neighborhoods on a map. People can click a neighborhood, read about it and see the latest homes for sale. Later we introduce a similar resource called the Chicago Zip Code Guide.
In New York, a heroic pilot safely lands an airliner on the Hudson River. Meanwhile in Chicago, our own “Sully” Chuck Gullett decides to safely land at Best Chicago Properties. In both cases, we all feel so lucky.
We like art and artsy types. So to support Chicago emerging artists, we invite several of our favorites to participate free of charge in a “pop-up” art event. (well before they were a thing) The event was curated by Chicago artist and our social media manager Emily Rutledge. A few glasses of Champagne and voila, paintings are sold! Everyone has a good time so we decide to make the events a regular occurrence.
The Chicago Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup. And our own winner, Chuck Gullett is named Managing Broker and a Principal of Best Chicago Properties. Our sister company Best Atlanta Properties opens. Everyone wins.
Our website is one of the first Chicago real estate sites to use “responsive web design” enabling clients to quickly find real estate listings on their phones and tablets in addition to their computers. Clients can use the new “search near me” feature on their phone to see the latest listings right next-door to where they happen to be. Speaking of next-door…
Mary Bartelme Park opens next to our West Loop office. The park replaces an old infirmary and smoke stack and features a gate which emits a fine mist of vaporized water perfect for cooling off on a hot day. It also features plenty of green space, a kids playground even a dog park. Plus, terracotta architectural elements from the old infirmary are incorporated into the park seating.
The first female winner of Bravo’s Top Chef, Stephanie Izard, opens her restaurant Girl & the Goat on Randolph Street. The West Loop is now among America’s hottest foodie destinations.
The neighborhood is starting to really take shape and we like it more every day.
Prince William and Kate Middleton have a royal wedding at London’s Westminster Abbey and we have our own royal celebration when we become the first real estate firm in Chicago to be featured on Google Interior View. Now when you find our office on Google Streetview you can go inside and take a tour. The tour is quite long because our office is huge.
And, our Ask A Chicago Real Estate Expert blog series is launched. We answer Chicago real estate lifestyle questions like “What are the best neighborhoods for dogs in Chicago?” The most asked question: When the h*!! will the real estate market recover? Our answer, buy low now and wait ’til next year for the recovery to begin…
Right on cue, the real estate market hits bottom and begins to recover. And Best Chicago Properties is well positioned to ride the wave of recovery. Speaking of rides, the CTA opens the Morgan Street “L” station. Yet another catalyst for accelerating growth in the West Loop. Tech companies and restaurants keep opening in the neighborhood.
Best Chicago Properties brokers hire threesixtychicago and we become one of the first brokerages in Chicago to use Matterport 3D technology. Our listings show a 3D walkthrough as well as 2D schematic floor plan and 3D model dollhouse view. From anywhere in the world on any device, users can explore our client’s listings. It would be three long years before the big Chicago brokerages buy billboard ads trumpeting their use of this same technology. A humble reminder that we are the real innovators in Chicago real estate.
Foreshadowing the huge importance of reality TV to 26% of Americans, Chuck Gullett appears on HGTV’s House Hunters. (He wisely decides not to apply for The Apprentice.)
The Supremes vote to make gay marriage a constitutional right and leading Chicago real estate broker Mark Lale gives his vote of confidence to Best Chicago Properties and joins the team. Apparently this somehow breaks the curse and…
The Cubs win the World Series! And Best Chicago Properties wins big when Alex Cross join the team.
McDonald’s announces they will move their world headquarters to the West Loop. We are all happy to finally have a good place to eat in the neighborhood.
Reality TV takes over Washington. Some like it, some don’t. But everyone likes Sally McDonald and we really like that she joined Best Chicago Properties!
Those are some of the highlights of our first ten years. We know, it’s not as exciting as the iPhone’s first ten years but to us it is.
What’s The Big Deal?
As Best Chicago Properties celebrates ten years, we celebrate an important moment. It’s important because it’s symbolic of our success. When thinking of how best describe how we did it, we settled on two words; tenacious and innovative.
To survive and thrive in the Chicago real estate market from 2008 to 2011 after the bubble burst we had to be tenacious. That was a tough time and competitors large and small closed their offices, quit the business and looked for greener pastures. It wasn’t easy but we’re glad we decided to stick with it.
Year-after-year we applied the latest and most innovative technology to our business. This leveled the playing field between an independent brokerage like us and the huge franchise and corporate brokerages. Technology that when combined with the skills and local knowledge of our brokers, has made buying and selling Chicago real estate more exciting, enjoyable and rewarding for our clients.
We’re fortunate to have some of the best Chicago real estate brokers on our team. And of course a huge part of our success is attributable to our brokers. They all absolutely love what they do. This is evidenced by the many reviews their clients have written. We’re thankful that over the years some of Chicago’s best real estate professionals found us, liked our vision and decided to join our team.
True To Ourselves, Our Vision, Our Brokers And Our Clients
We are proud to be a successful independent Chicago neighborhood real estate brokerage. When others were closing down or selling out, we found a way to remain open, independent, profitable, true to ourselves, true to our original vision and true to our brokers and clients.
Our First Decade Has Been A Wonderful Journey
And we are so grateful to our clients and team members. We plan to continue the journey with our tenacious and innovative approach. Of course, nobody can predict the future but be assured that, like Apple, we will continue to seek to be the best in all we do.
Thanks for reading and for your support of Best Chicago Properties. As always, whether you’re buying, selling or renting, we can help you with your real estate needs. Use the form to contact us or call us at 312-563-5300 … you can use your iPhone.