Agent Spotlight: John Burks

After wrapping up a film that he executive produced, John Burks knew it was time for a career that didn’t tie him to a cubicle.

With a background in project management, film production & art curation, John was confident he had the skills necessary to become a successful real estate broker – and he was right.

John was named ‘Agent of the Year’ his first full year as a broker, and it was then he knew he had a career for life.

At Home with John Burks

@properties: How do you start each day?
John: I start each day with reading and meditating. My first stop is usually the office or the gym.

John & George Foreman III after a boxing match.

@properties: Describe your own first home.
John: My first home was a beautiful ranch-style home in the suburbs. It was small and quaint – Perfect for our close-knit family.

At Play with John Burks

@properties: What do you love most about Bucktown?
John: Bucktown is such a walkable neighborhood. The 606 is only a block away, which is a great place to exercise or just take a friendly stroll. Bucktown also has a great mix of tree-lined streets, beautiful homes, and nightlife. Its central location makes it very easy to bounce around to other neighborhoods as well.

@properties: What is your favorite local restaurant?
John: My favorite local restaurant is Giant, a relative newcomer in Logan Square. Their menu is very approachable and the flavors in their food explode on your taste buds. Last time I was there, we ordered almost everything. I’d recommend going with a group of friends and doing the same.

A post shared by giant (@giantchicago) on

@properties: What do you read every single day?
John: A book on Happiness and how to spread your happiness to others. It’s amazing how reading something inspirational in the morning can spread that inspiration to the rest of your day.

@properties: How do you stay involved in your community?
John: Last year was my first year coaching Little League baseball in Chicago’s East Garfield Park neighborhood. We won the championship. I also just started getting involved in the Special Olympics.

John & his East Garfield Park Little League Team after winning the championship.

@properties: You have a full free day in your town with no obligations & cost is no object. What would you do?
John: I love exploring Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods through the amazing food that the city has to offer. I’ve been to New York, LA, Charleston, New Orleans, etc. Chicago is the best food city in America. If the weather is nice, biking is the best way to see the city.

@properties: What is your proudest achievement to date?
John: My proudest achievement was our Little League winning the Near West Side championship last summer.

At Work with John Burks

@properties: How did you decide that real estate was the right career for you?
John: After wrapping production on a film that I executive produced, I was looking for an opportunity to work in a field that gave me flexibility with my time and didn’t tie me to a cubicle.

One of my friends suggested real estate. My first full year, I was awarded “Agent of the Year”, recording the highest revenue in the company. That’s when I knew that I had a career for life.

John has been curating art in Chicago for over 7 years.

@properties: How did your previous work experiences prepare you for real estate?
John: Previously, I worked in both project management and film production. Project Management was very influential to my current career, as it helped me learn how to work a project while paying attention to the minute details, as well as the bigger picture.

Film production prepared me for dealing with multiple personality types, in addition to helping me “navigate the ship” during difficult circumstances.

@properties: What is your favorite part of the job?
John: My favorite part of working in real estate is working with people. Its great to meet a diverse group of personalities and help them make one of the biggest decisions of their life.

There’s no greater joy than handing the keys to someone’s very first purchase or seeing my clients start a family in the home that we found together.

John & a happy client.

@properties: What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
John: Leap and your net will appear. Also, volunteer your time.

@properties: What is one piece of advice you’d give to a new real estate agent?
John: The best way to learn is to study the path of someone who’s been successful. Get out there and meet people. Be the person that people are dying to refer.

Written by @properties
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