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Real estate has its perks — a supportive community is one of them

While working on this month’s issue, it stood out to me how supportive those in the Chicagoland real estate industry are of their colleagues. That’s something you just don’t see in many other industries. In response to our posts garnering votes for our annual Agents’ Choice Awards, there were dozens of comments from our readers for candidates in our 19 categories. “A true professional.” “Excellent lender and loan officer.” “Good luck to all the participants.” The stream of awards goes on and on. And it reveals what many of you already know – there is something special about this business.

This is our 17th year running the awards, and we have broken all records for participation. Readers cast more than 44,000 votes, a number so large that even we were a little surprised. However, what did not surprise us was the list of truly professional candidates at the top of their game who were selected by you as finalists. It even made voting a challenge for us! We are proud to present to you our top picks of the year, and we want to extend a heartfelt thank you to all the participants and our readers.

This edition is special not just because of our best-of-the-best list of agents, brokers, developers and more. We’re also closely watching a growing trend in residential real estate that realtors, elected officials and others across the country are taking note of – the rapid increase in institutional investors buying single-family homes and converting them to rentals. Agents we spoke to for our November Real Issues feature say the trend is making it increasingly difficult for first-time home buyers to realize the dream of home ownership, and cutting local realtors out of the mix.

We also hear from Jeff Berger, founder of the National Association of Gay & Lesbian Real Estate Professionals (NAGLREP), in this month’s Association News feature on finding your niche in real estate. As we look ahead to 2023 (can you believe it’s only a few months away?!) we hear from real estate coach Sherri Johnson, who offers six proven strategies to grow your business in the coming year. While this month’s focus is on your votes for the best in the business, we also feature Chicagoland’s top producers and brokers in our Q3 Real Data report. Learn who sold the most in our partnership with Midwest Real Estate Data.

There was no shortage of input from our readers this month, but we always want to hear what’s happening in your world. Contact me at, and let me know what’s on your mind. Cheers!

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