Young Ones to Watch: Lauren Mitrick Wood

Lauren Mitrick Wood making a name for herself after following in her parent’s footsteps

Lauren Mitrick Wood is a third-generation realtor with roots in Chicago. She grew up watching her parents sell properties and units around the Windy City. Now she is making a name for herself specializing in residential sales with first-time-buyers, sellers, investors and renters around Chicago. She was recently featured in Forbes “30 under 30,” issue featuring young professionals making a splash in their respective industries. She recently spoke with ESTATENVY about the real estate world in Chicago.

What drew you to real estate?

My parents were both realtors. I worked for them on the weekends, starting in college, leasing residential units in downtown Chicago. My parents and husband all now work for Compass. Before working at Compass, my parents had 35 years’ experience working on their own. For seven years, I worked for my parents. They were on their own for 35 years. I worked with my family for 7 years before working for various companies. A year and a half ago, I joined Compass.

What changes in the industry currently excite you?

The biggest change has been the way you style homes and post listings. It used to be much more simple and quick. Now it’s all about the photography and the pre-listing. Home buyers want to have a vision of what the home will look like when they live there. Pinterest has really changed the game and set the expectation for how homes should appear. We try to make the settings as pretty as they can be. We want to stage it how families can visualize the rooms. We try to make it look like what people want. That takes more time but is worth it in the end.

How did you get to the place you are currently at in your career?

A lot of blood sweat and tears. A lot of networking. I climbed the corporate ladder of the real estate industry. I’ve been on several different boards including the Chicago Association of Realtors and the National Association of Realtors. I was mostly interested in networking with other agents. A lot of people shy away from that because they see other agents as competition. I saw it as a learning and networking tool. The more exposure, the more trusted I become as an agent.

What advice do you have for up-and-comers?

It takes time. They have to go after everything and have a go-getter mentality. They won’t have huge sells at first, but every unit, even $1,000-dollar sells are important. Don’t complain. You’ll work long hours. You’ll work weekends, but you do what you have to do to get your name out.

What motivates you every day?

I’m an entrepreneur at heart and I wanted to make my own name in the business. I didn’t want to just be a reflection of what my parents had accomplished. I just have the drive to keep doing more. The sky is the limit. Real Estate gives you so many highs and lows, so you keep fighting to get that next big win. The lows can be frustrating, but the highs make it all worth it. It’s great to have your clients satisfied and happy.

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

Getting involved in different associations and taking leadership roles. When you get a good track record and build trust then the numbers prove your worth. I’ve been a part of the Chicago Association of Realtors, the National Association of Realtors and the Women’s Council of Realtors. Through those roles, I gained trust and put my name out there. Forbes Magazine recognized me as one of their “30 Under 30’s” young professionals. That helped my track record.

Do you have any real estate role models?

Honestly my parents really. Through them, I realized how much work you have to put it, especially when the commission is 100 percent. I didn’t get it when I was a kid, but I get it now. My parents, who were both agents, worked so hard for what we had.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

I want to build my team and not work as much. I want to travel and spend more time with my husband. Right now, I work nights and weekends and want to have more time with my family.