Taking The Leap of Faith into Entrepreneurship

The pandemic saw increased entrepreneurship, particularly in the black community, with many using this time to manifest their dreams. The Real Estate industry is a sector that saw growth over the past year. Chicago native Todd Stephenson decided that this was the time to take the leap of faith and pursue entrepreneurship in Real Estate. Originally Todd began his career after college, working in corporate sales. Ten years ago, a friend convinced him to leave sales and pursue his love of real estate. In 2012, Todd began his journey as a broker.

A Boutique Real Estate Brokerage means a smaller firm that focuses on quality over quantity in the neighborhood. These firms are typically committed to an economically sound, beautiful, and welcoming community because their business only does well if the community does well. In addition, a smaller company means more innovative and customized service, as they work for both the rights of the buyers and the sellers.

Todd says that timing is everything and being prepared is vital. He always knew his goal was to own a brokerage firm, so he obtained his managing brokerage license. Then, during the height of the pandemic in March of 2020, Todd said, “preparation meet opportunity” and decided to open his firm. In September 2020, Premier Chicago Real Estate Brokerage, a minority-owned boutique brokerage firm, opened.

Opening a brokerage firm amid a pandemic had its challenges; however, Todd says despite the risk, it was rewarding, and he was grateful for supportive family and friends. Initially, he did not have adequate resources to build office space for his new firm, so he used FirmSpace, a local private office space in Chicago.

Premier Chicago Real Estate Chicago Defender
Chicago native Todd Stephenson

What are some of the Challenges and advantages of being a boutique real estate brokerage?

Todd: We are competing with big-box brokerages. So, we must establish ourselves to be a player in the market. Therefore, recruiting agents to work for Minority boutique real estate brokerage is challenging, but the competition is fierce. New agents are drawn to the big-box brokerage due to reputation because some of these names are synonymous with real estate and resources they may or may not provide. If new agents are not part of a team or have a brand, the hands-on support is slim to none. Many big-box real estate brokerages see it as a numbers game, and newer agents can get lost in transition. Being part of a boutique real estate brokerage allows new agents to directly contact their sponsor and managing broker. There is training from the start to help you navigate and know the market, learning how to start a sale from start to finish which is all the skills you need as a beginning broker. You are an independent contractor, so every broker is like a brokerage franchise.

What does the future look like for you, your Boutique real estate brokerage, Premier Chicago Real Estate?

Todd: Number one is growth! Not just transactional but bringing on more agents and talent and growing as a boutique broker. To build and refine the brand, credibility, and recognition around Chicago as a top producing full-service brokerage. Premier Real Estate looks to offer solutions to buyers and sellers and be that resource to put you in contact with that right person and educate anyone on buying and selling homes, real estate, commercial, and investment property. Todd is also a commercial broker for the Cook County Land Bank, which lists commercial properties, retail storefronts, industrial properties, and vacant lands for Chicago’s South and West sides.

Premier Chicago Real Estate is a full-service brokerage firm that focuses on residential real estate. For more information on Premier Chicago, Real Estate, visit their website at https://premierchicagorealestate.com or contact Todd directly at todd@premierchicagorealestate.com.








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