Agent Spotlight: Janelle Dennis
What do advertising, real estate and the Cadillac Margarita at Tuco and Blondie have in common? The answer is: Janelle Dennis.
After 15 years working in advertising agencies, the desire for an entrepreneurial career path led this bubbly Lakeview dog lover straight into the arms of real estate. And she’s never looked back.
When Janelle isn’t basking in the thrill of navigating a successful real estate transaction, you can probably find her walking her pup Lexi around the Southport Corridor. Get to know Janelle Dennis in this week’s agent spotlight.
At Work with Janelle Dennis
How did you land in real estate?
After 15 years in ad agencies, I was looking for a career where I could have more control over my own destiny. I wanted to enjoy the rewards of working really hard, and it was important to me that I utilize all of my marketing, project and people management, negotiations, promotional and communications expertise.
I had worked with an ad agency friend-turned-realtor to sell my first home and buy my second home, and she suggested I work in real estate. It was life-changing advice: real estate was a natural fit for me and I was named ‘Rookie of the Year’ my first year in real estate.
What were you doing prior to real estate?
Both education and experience prepared me well for real estate. I have a bachelor’s degree in marketing and a minor in advertising. I worked in advertising agencies for my first 15 years out of college. I use this advertising and marketing education and expertise every day in selling homes and consulting with clients about the real estate market.
What is your favorite part of the job?
I love the thrill of successfully helping a homeowner sell their current home so they can take on their next big adventure, or purchase a great new home where they can make memories.
What is one thing you couldn’t do your job without?
My cell phone is my connection to everyone in my life – personal and professional. Between calls, emails, texts, photos, videos, social media, password keeper and apps, everything is in there.
Tell us the craziest thing you’ve seen in real estate.
I have seen a lot of really crazy things in 15 years in real estate, but like a good friend, a good realtor never tells your secrets.
What is your proudest professional achievement to date?
They say you never forget your first. For me, being named ‘Rookie of the Year’ my first year in real estate was big.
I had made a big leap of faith, personally and professionally, and it confirmed that my decision had been a successful one!
What are three things you bring to every showing?
I bring marketing materials on the home and neighborhood, my cell phone with listing notes to answer any questions and the attitude that “this is the one!”
What do you love most about working in real estate?
I love that many of my clients become friends. That says a lot.
What three words would someone use to describe you?
My clients tell me I am hardworking, knowledgeable, and professional. When I asked my mom and my sister how they’d describe me, they said: hardworking, talented and optimistic. I think they may be a bit biased, as all family should be, right?
At Home with Janelle Dennis
Describe your own first home.
A new construction soft loft in West Lakeview that I purchased off a floor plan at a time when going “west of Ashland” seemed “slightly risky” very long ago!
What is the first big ticket item you bought in your first home?
In my first home, I bought a long-coveted luxury steel bed from an ad I had saved from Architectural Digest magazine. See? Advertising works!
How do you start each day?
Taking my little 14-pound white fluff-ball dog Lexi for a walk.
What is your favorite restaurant in Lakeview?
What do you love most about Lakeview?
In Lakeview, the Southport Corridor has evolved a lot over the past 18 years as I have lived in the neighborhood, but I love the local shops, lush tree-lined streets and friendly neighbors. As a Realtor, I feel like I know and love all of Chicago’s neighborhoods!
Finish this sentence. If I weren’t a real estate agent, I would be…
Traveling the world. There are so many more places I want to explore. I can only wish for time and space travel so I could instantly put myself in places all over the world and in all different eras of time to see some of life’s most beautiful moments and places.