Agent Spotlight: Rada Burns
If a cat can live 9 lives, we’re pretty sure Rada Burns is part feline. She spent her childhood in Southern California. She lived a life as a professional basketball player overseas. She made a name for herself in the fashion industry. Now, Rada is living her best life as a broker for @properties in Oak Park.
From basketball to real estate, Rada Burns can hold her own on the court.
How did you get your start in real estate?
Initially, a headhunter placed me with a commercial developer in Santa Monica, CA. I managed properties and became a LEED coordinator working closely with the architect, engineer, and developer on various projects. I quickly realized that I wanted to run my own business while continuing to work in real estate.
Prior to real estate, what were you up to?
My first job out of college was playing professional basketball in Europe. Running and managing a basketball team is very similar to managing a business. You need to focus on the day to day but also have a vision for where you want to go and what you want to achieve with your team – every player has a role. I also worked in Times Square, NY, in the fashion industry when I returned to the States. I think if anything prepares you for relationship building, it’s the sink or swim nature of the fashion industry. You need to be on your toes at all times, make decisions quickly and read people very well.
Finish this sentence: My most favorite part of working in real estate is…
The variety of the work involved. I love staging a home. In fact, I have created a new branch of my business geared towards staging. It allows the artist inside of me to flourish. At the opposite extreme, my tenacity and competitive nature make negotiating for my clients fun, challenging and rewarding. For me, the best reward is a continued relationship based on mutual respect and of course, a great testimonial is a cherry on top of the sundae.
How do you start each day?
Ideally, I get out on to the tennis court with my partner. Then I chug a protein shake and clean up to start my day. At this point, it’s about 8 a.m. and I have an hour to prioritize my email inbox before the office opens. If there is a tennis tournament going on, such as Wimbledon, I try to catch the early matches.
What is one thing you literally could not do your job without and why?
At this point, I could not manage what’s on my plate without my assistant. She helps me maintain all of the systems I have in place to keep organized with momentum.
What is your favorite local restaurant and what should we order when we go there?
Citrine is by far the best restaurant in town. The Gemstone Cafe Group owns multiple restaurants in Chicagoland and they never fall short, which is why I have them cater my annual client party. My favorite dish is the Mediterranean Branzino, as well as an excellent selection of wines and cocktails, my favorite being the GTO, a gin grapefruit concoction.
What do you love most about your neighborhood?
The historical significance behind the architecture, such as Pleasant Home, whose board I reside on, and of course the proximity to such a great metropolis. I like to come home from a fun night out in the city to a beautiful, tree-lined neighborhood with a small-town feel.
What is the one thing you read every single day?
It varies from week to week but I am a fan of non-fiction geared toward business building and currently, I am reading “Am I Being Too Subtle” by Sam Zell. Of course, a fashion magazine squeezes itself into my repertoire whenever possible. Currently “The Badass Women” issue of InStyle featuring Serena Williams is on my coffee table.
You have a full day free in your town with no obligations and cost is no object. What do you do?
I would spend the day at the East Bank Club poolside, then take a helicopter ride, land on a boat, take a ride on the lake with friends and then rent a luxury rooftop patio and host a gourmet dinner party with the best champagne and high fashion dress code.
What is one piece of advice you’d give to a new real estate agent?
Work hard, take risks, do what you love, and the business will come. Then once you’ve grown your business… MOVE TO CALIFORNIA AND REPEAT!
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