Michael Rosenblum is a legendary Chicago broker with Berkshire Hathaway. He’s worked with 1000+ clients and closed over 475m in transactions. In addition to being one of Chicago top producers he’s also a best-selling author with Happily Ever Always, a work which serves as a guide for one to find their passions and truth, which will lead to more happiness and fulfillment. It will also lead to more business, increased productivity and happier clients. In our conversation Michael share how he built his business and how Happily Ever Always can help anyone looking to discover greater, well, happiness!
D.J. Paris 0:14
Hello and welcome to another episode of Keeping it real the only podcast made by Chicago real estate brokers for Chicago real estate brokers. My name is DJ Paris. I am your host through this show. And as always, we like to start out by thanking our audience for listening and continually telling a friend about the show. So if you have any other realtors that you work with, and if you’re a realtor yourself, we appreciate you listening. But make sure to tell everybody you know who was interested in learning from the top 1%. We feature the very highest level producers in Chicago and only the highest level producers and have them share their stories and their generously do do that. In today’s no exception. We have Michael Rosenbloom coming up in just a moment. I will also encourage all the listeners to follow us on Facebook. So find us at keeping it real pod. And also you can stream every episode we’ve ever done directly from our website, which is keeping it real pod.com Of course, you can subscribe via iTunes, Google Play Anywhere else podcasts are served. So we now I think this is episode 76 or so we’re grateful to keep doing it. And we’re really happy you keep listening and you’re sending in all sorts of recommendations and good questions to ask during these these interviews. So without further ado, on to our interview with Michael Rosen.
Michael Rosenbloom is the author of the best selling book happily ever always top selling real estate brokers guide to confidence, contentedness and security. Published by trade craft books, he is one of Chicago’s most successful and legendary. I added that residential real estate brokers having generated career sales of over 450 million individually and I believe over 1000 transactions, which is really impressive. Nationally, Michael has been inducted into the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Chairman’s Circle, and is consistently ranked in the top half of 1% of 48,000 real estate brokers in the Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Network. Michael is, of course, always in the top 1% of all the Chicagoland brokers as well learn more about Michael and his book at happily ever always.com, which you can purchase. Basically, everywhere books are sold, we will post links to the Amazon direct link, as well as Barnes and Noble. So Michael, thank you so much for being on the show. Welcome.
Michael Rosenblum 2:51
Thank you, DJ, I’m delighted to be here. And I have to tell you, you are the nicest PR person, you should be a public relations individual as opposed to just a real estate person. Wow, you’re excited? Well, well,
D.J. Paris 3:08
well, no, believe me, we are the one thank you for that. We are really the ones who are most excited to have you because you are somebody that has been on our invite list since the beginning. We are now 76. This will be our 76th episode. But you’ve always been one of the people that we’ve been trying to get since the beginning. And we’re so grateful because Michael is on a book tour, we should mention this book is a very, very big deal. But before we get to the book, I would like to hear your personal story about how you got into real estate if you don’t mind sharing that.
Michael Rosenblum 3:40
I would love to so I actually am originally from the East Coast. That’s where I was raised. And subsequently I came to the Midwest to go to journalism school, which then I became more interested in the business side of media. And so going to University of Missouri was quite an interesting experience. And then subsequently, I moved to Chicago in 1986 and enjoyed a 23 year career in media and marketing. And of course that’s not answering your question directly, but I’m trying to just give a little background information because I know it will be important as you and I speak today
D.J. Paris 4:23
show and by the way, by the way, I’m sorry to interrupt. I was gonna say we should note that Mizzou is one of the top journalism schools in the country. So Michael has obviously been a superstar even pre real estate. But anyway, I’m sorry, go ahead and continue.
Michael Rosenblum 4:36
Oh, no, it’s my pleasure. So basically, during the tenure of being in the media, I worked for different magazines and then created a magazine in 1994 called Travel your way and it was distributed through the New York Times sold it to a division of the Interpublic Group of Companies in 98. And then and created another book called endless travel during that.com era when people started to book travel online in the late 90s, and then sold that out in the year 2000. Of course, none of the books are in existence today due to the crisis that occurred during 911, which was horrible on so many different levels. And that being said, I semi retired in the year 2000, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. But as a kid, I was always fascinated with real estate, I loved going to open houses I, I loved the design, the architecture, like the pricing, what made something, you know, priced, the way it was priced land, it just all resonated with me. So my partner said to me, you should do real estate, you’re so great at just understanding space. I’m a very abstract thinker, and I can go into a room. And I can visualize 15 different ways to set up furniture. Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration, maybe it’s only five. But the point is, is that my brain is more like a kaleidoscope. And I can kind of just move things around imaging in my head. And then I can articulate that to people before I actually do it. So they understand, I actually stage a lot of the listings that I end up taking, I don’t use an outside staging firm, because I really don’t, you know, need them since I have that sort of gift that I own. So in short, that’s how I started to get into real estate is that I didn’t know what I wanted to do. And I know I, you asked me the time I built your watch. This is being a little bit laborious. But in short, I just decided to get my real estate license. And that was the beginning to everything. That happened, I think, in the year 2003, that I decided to start doing real estate.
D.J. Paris 7:20
Well, and how did you find the transition from journalism being a business owner? Obviously selling businesses, maybe related in a sort of peripheral way to real estate? But certainly, you know, this is a was a different career path for you. How did you find that transition into real estate?
Michael Rosenblum 7:45
I found it pretty easy, because here’s the thing that I always tell brokers that are just starting out in the business, you bring a skill set, you know, it’s interesting, I’m, I’m a little older. And so when I went to school in the business school, they didn’t teach real estate courses, per se, I believe today, that there are many university business schools that actually teach real estate as a course. And so whether or not you’re coming from another position or another occupation into real estate, you always have a skill set. And that skill set is what is really your foundation for your success as you move into the career of real estate. So bringing all of my media and marketing knowledge is what allowed me and what up continues to allow me to this day to really be a huge listing broker and just know how to platform, the various properties that I’m selling in a way that’s going to drive traffic. And so that’s probably a distinguishing factor about me from other brokers. But getting back to you know, your your, your question. It wasn’t a difficult transaction, because it was just, you know, basically sort of an academic approach, and just being who I was, but using that skill set that I had owned.
D.J. Paris 9:20
Well, it’s clearly apparent and I’d like everyone who is listening, assuming they’re not driving, or pull over if you’re driving but visit Michael’s website for a couple of reasons, which is happily ever always.com which is of course the name of his book, but also highlights a lot of what Michael just mentioned, which has to do with the listings that he is working with, and I it was funny a few moments ago, you had mentioned that you do the staging yourself. I would have never assumed a broker would have that particular of strong of a skill set and staging because if you want to see what really super professional staging looks like, Michael’s doing it and you Need to see his listings because they are breathtaking. You know, I don’t know if you’re also doing the photography, but boy, the staging is just perfect on these. And also, his website is also really super impressive for a lot of reasons. But I see a lot of broker websites, and this is one of the best I have seen. So again, this probably speaks to a lot of Michael’s strengths in journalism and media itself. But boy, I’ll tell you just the homes he has listed are just breathtaking. So congratulations, I don’t You don’t need me to congratulate you. But it’s really impressive.
Michael Rosenblum 10:35
Oh, my God, DJ, you’re so nice. I mean, honestly, that’s I’m just really humbled by your comments. They’re, they’re very nice. But I’m just being me. And I think that’s what I want to share with everyone out there is. And this is what my book talks about. Not that we want to plug the book, but it’s the idea that each one of us on this earth is born with special gifts, you know, you think about like a diamond, which starts out in a chunk of rock, and it goes through the sort of hardest cut in the roughest polish in order to be able to shine, to brilliance, I believe. So too, are we as people we start out and we have these gifts, beard buried within us. And as we begin to self discover, and self awaken and self reflect, we find out what our own natural talents and these natural talents or gifts about us are what makes us different, and also unique, and provides us what marketing people call that competitive edge. So it’s what allows one broker to distinguish themselves over another broker, DJ, if you think about, like, what makes you a great broker, what makes you different, what kind of gifts, we all have something special. And sometimes that sort of special gift is similar in a way to some other people that we know. I mean, they always say birds of a feather flock together. But I think it’s important that even if there’s similarities, there are a few points of difference sort of like cultures, think of all the cultures out there that we have on this planet. And they’re rich, and they’re wonderful. And, and sometimes, you know, people don’t understand cultures of, you know, different lands. And so they’re perhaps intimidated when they should be welcoming, because what we realize is, while there are many different cultures out there, and there are many differences among people, there are more similarities among mankind, which brings us back to being a broker, it doesn’t matter who you’re working with, everyone wants to be treated with kindness, with respect, everyone wants to work with someone who has a great amount of knowledge to help them achieve their goal, whether it’s buying a house or, or selling a house or buying up, you know, new dress in a store or a Siewert. You want to work with excellence. And I think that, you know, we it’s really important for us as brokers to, you know, treat others in the same way that we would want to be treated ourselves. So I know my mantra is very much of I treat my clients exactly the way I would expect a broker to treat me if I hired them to do my transaction. And that is what frames my mind. With every client. I work with DJ.
D.J. Paris 13:53
Well, you’ve worked with a lot of clients. So it’s cool. It’s clearly working and I think in a very genuine way over the your career, it’s over 1000 clients 450 million and transactions, which I know you wouldn’t brag about yourself, but I’ll brag for you because it’s it’s really indicative of your ability to connect directly with consumers and obviously work I’m I’m assuming almost exclusively if not exclusively by referral. Michael is is very much a legend in the Chicago broker community for his ability to just do a wonderful job and his obviously his production supports that. I would also like to I do want to promote your book because I think it’s a really important book and and by the way, we should note that Michael is is currently on a a tour to talk about this book all over. He’s been on television, many podcasts, and we appreciate his time, but I want to talk about I’d also like to talk about the book and getting dive into it. It may be even more so than we have which again is called happily ever always, which you can find Amazon, Barnes and Noble, really anywhere, books are available, but happily ever always.com There’s direct links as well. But tell us a little bit about why you decided to write the book.
Michael Rosenblum 15:13
Well, the book has been marinating in me a very, very long time. And I suppose it’s based on the fact that I looked at the world today and see where people are. And I find that, you know, sometimes I see so much unhappiness, and I feel that everyone deserves to live in a mindset of happiness, not misery, I just feel that’s the way we were put on the earth. Not to be miserable in our existence, but rather to always be happy. And if you think of the fairy tale, the wonderful fairy tale ending happily ever after, which we all know, after is, sort of it’s over. It’s an end, right? It ends. But think of the word always, always is enlists. It’s, it’s, it’s warm, it’s cozy, it’s kind of like what the sun feels like, on your face, it just feels good. And I just feel like, that’s what really people need to think about is that they always deserve to live happily ever. But but the pathway of self discovery and to get to that always place is really the requirement of us as people to really, again, self awaken and self reflect and, and think about what is necessary for us to have security. In my book, I talk a lot about the fact that I, I always thought security would be making a lot of money. Well, I’ve made money, and I’ve lost money, and I’ve made money, and that hasn’t necessarily given me happiness. And then I thought, well, if I meet the most perfect person in the world and fall in love, then I’ll be happy. Well, I fallen in love and out of love. And sure, you know that that didn’t make me happy. So I realized that it was really about myself, it was more about the emotional security and stability of do I like myself, do I want to be me? Am I comfortable in my skin? And I think that when we get to the point of finding comfort within ourselves, and we like who we are, that drives us to success in so many areas of our lives, or so many facets, much like a diamond shines through the facets, so do we as people, and I think that’s really the goal. And I think that when we and this is part of my success is that I really like being me. I mean, honestly, DJ, the only thing I would change about me is I’d like to be four inches taller, so I’d look better. But other than that, you know, because I’m a short guy. But other than that, I, I absolutely. Somebody once said to me, if you could be anyone in the world, who would you want to be? And I said, I’d want to be me. I don’t want to be anybody but me. Because you know what? This other person, I might have their baggage, you know, it’s the idea that the grass is never greener on the other side. And you really don’t want to be somebody else because you don’t know what they go through. You know, sometimes people think, Oh, I wish I was this agent or that agent because they do a ton of business. Okay, so you might have their business and you might, you know, earn their income. But then if you have to take everything else that’s going on in their life, you might say, Gee, I don’t want their life I’d rather have money. The money’s not worth it.
D.J. Paris 18:56
Yeah, there’s a there’s a great expression that says don’t compare your insides to someone else’s outsides, which is so easy to not do. Or in my case, I think it just as you were saying, I look at people who I think have it all figured out. And maybe they do, but likely they don’t. And I think well, if I if only I was x, more X or more y, then I would be the solution. Instead of saying, well as I am maybe that’s good enough. And then I stopped looking to change who I am. Obviously, there’s always ways to improve, but I stopped looking for the solution start realizing as I am is pretty good. Or at least I can learn to become good with it. So I could not agree more with that messaging. I think it’s so important. Well said, by the way.
Michael Rosenblum 19:44
Well, I agree with you. And you know, it’s interesting because we all have those moments in our careers where we question whether we did something right or did we handle the situation appropriately and that kind of brings us sent to a concept of, you know, self confidence and self esteem. And, you know, what, what’s the difference between those two. And I think, you know, we realized that self confidence is very much about trusting, trusting ourselves, and believing in ourselves. And when we trust ourselves to make decisions, and help other people, that we’re coming from a very authentic place. And I think self esteem is important. But the problem with self esteem is, it can also bring us into that sort of darkness of arrogance, where or we become so cocky, by doing so many transactions, that sometimes we say, I’m not going to deal with this person. Or this, you know, I don’t want to deal with taking this transaction on or you don’t serve as somebody because you become a little bit too big for your britches, because you say yourself, well, you’ve seen yourself in a string of transactions, and you think it’s going to continue. But it’s not, because what’s going to happen is the minute that you become a little too arrogant for yourself, and you think that, Oh, my God, I’m this big broker, and I do all this business, and I can treat people any way I want is your downfall. I mean, that’s the end of it, because it’s sort of like, you know, one bad performance on the stage. And the audience is certainly not going to have the best commentary or reviews to give to friends, which that’s going to end. So in this business, it’s really important to be confident in your skill sets, your abilities, your knowledge, you know, and the whole factor of trust, and how that sort of permeates to everything that you do. But it’s also important to, to realize that, that’s going to be your staying power. And I just really feel that’s something that’s so vital, because sometimes I see agents who were on the rise, and I’ve seen this, and then the way that they treat their clients, I think to myself, Oh, my God, how can you do that? How can you behave that way? I wouldn’t want you it goes back to what we were talking about earlier that, I always try to frame my mind of how I would want a broker to treat me if they were handling my transaction.
D.J. Paris 22:40
So I recently rented a storage facility or a storage unit and a storage facility and really didn’t need much space. So I actually got the smallest available space that they had. So this is a very small, a smaller transaction, to you know, their overall business, I’m probably the cheapest storage locker they sell. And I will tell you that, you know, you would have thought that I was the most expensive client bringing in the most amount of revenue, they have hundreds and hundreds of units, all of which I think are more expensive than mine, mine probably doesn’t even register in their in their overall profitability. But these two people who who helped me get my locker treated me as if I were their most important client. And it is, it’s it’s such an unusual experience for me as a consumer. And such a great reminder of really, no matter what profession you’re in to treat your customers that way. And this obviously is something that you do with your clients. But I have told that story to everybody now, but you’re not going to believe I pay these guys 30 bucks a month. And you would think I am their most important client when I know I am their least important, but they treat me as if I’m a big deal. And and I just tell that story to everybody. And I’ve probably referred them five or their clients as a result. So I think you know what you were.
Michael Rosenblum 24:06
And you think that’s the reason why they treated you because it’s sort of the perpetual marketing and the fact that and this is what the books about kindness, it’s happiness, it’s when we’re happy. We’re so productive, we’re so willing to give of ourselves and all of these incredible things begin to unfold. It’s like a life of richness, when you’re happy. And when you’re miserable or when you’re unhappy. You’re just not as productive. You just don’t achieve and, look, it’s hard. We all have those days where we do things that were naughty. Like for instance, I’m a happy person but sure I’ve cut people off the whole Lane in a hurry when I’m in a hurry. Because you know, I’m in a rush to get somewhere because I’m late and thinking I don’t want to be late for the appointment. But you know what, that was terrible of what I did. But you know, I you know, I tried to make up for it. I tried to be conscious like I just did something that was wrong. So you know, then Next person who wants to cut in front of me, I let him I mean, you know, we all have those moments where we do things that aren’t right. But gosh, if we can recognize it, and then try to do better, when we know better, I think that kind of brings us that bounce back to happiness. You know, that’s what’s important.
D.J. Paris 25:19
Well, and, and it’s so infectious as well, I mean, the simple act of being, you know, truly happy or content, or fulfilled is maybe even my favorite word. Because if you’re truly fulfilled, people can see it, they can smell it. It’s noticeable, it’s infectious. And it brings out the best in others, obviously, you know, this as well. So I couldn’t agree more of the meshing. And we should, again, I want to mention the book, at least one more time, because not only is Michael having a tremendous amount of success with this book, but it has a perfect five star ranking on Amazon, which is not, I mean, if you have just one review, and it’s your mother review, I get that, of course, you probably have a perfect five star review, because many, many reviews, all of which are five stars. So that just goes to show you how important this book is and how it’s resonating with your readers. So if you if you haven’t already purchased the book, please, please go do that have happily ever always. And Michael, what I would like to end with is, of course, as you are a real estate broker in addition to a best selling author, it and by the way, Michael, you know, is one of the top if not the top broker as far as production in Gold Coast and many other neighborhoods of Chicago and the suburbs. But if there are any buyers or sellers out there who would love to work with a broker like yourself, what’s the best way that they should reach out to you?
Michael Rosenblum 26:48
Well, they can go to our website happily ever always.com Or they certainly can call my office at 312-893-8162. And of course, all that information is on my website. And it’s very kind of you to certainly plug me it’s very nice, you know, I just wanted to go back to something we were saying earlier about the infectious aspects of sort of happiness, it’s, it’s kind of like think about if you ever go to Starbucks, which many people listening probably do. Imagine one day you just pay for the person behind you. You say to the cash, yes, you know, can you up my bill $3. And, you know, I’m not a coffee drinker. So if I use the wrong amount, I apologize to all your coffee drinkers, but I don’t know, you just put something towards the next person. And you imagine their face that excitement, okay, then where I’m going with this DJ is that excitement of what that person says to you, thank you, or smiles or it just lights up their life, you know, for that moment or that day and they’d become Can you imagine probably more productive because now they have this adrenaline rush, rush of happiness. But imagine what that does for you. Now, as you go through your day, that adrenaline rush of somebody just being like, just absolutely shocked and surprised in a good way. And can you imagine all the perpetual continuation, I suppose I’m sort of sounding very idealistic, but it’s just the resignation of energy of happy energy when we do these kinds of things. And then, gosh, you know, maybe you end up getting a new buyer that day, who, who rings your phone, I mean, the Universe works in such a profound way. And when you really frame yourself into trying to be, you know, a kind person, a happy person, it just, it resonates in just so many different areas of your life and, and getting back to the book listened in the book I talk about, I certainly have weathered a lot of bad storms in my life. I mean, I spent years in litigation, I had all kinds of different things that have occurred to me, which people think, wow, how do you survive? And, you know, there were moments where I was absolutely devastated. But I also realized that, you know, it was me, I had to pick myself up I had to keep moving forward. No buddy, could help me more than I could help myself. And of course, we always depend on, you know, the kindness of strangers, but we also realize that sometimes the people in our lives who are haters end up helping us platform to a better place because we get to the point where we realize we’re not going to let those people be mean to us. You know, we’ve all had those stories in real estate where We work with, you know, a buyer who’s a liar or a seller who’s just absolutely, you know, so difficult and so unappreciative because they think we have a wand and we can just wave it, and we’re going to sell their property. And it just doesn’t work that way. There’s, there’s just so many things that happen. But when we sort of stabilized ourselves and into a good mindset, it just seems like our brains flooded with so many ways to overcome, you know, bad things. And, and DJ, you know, it’s interesting, if we think of the word manure, which of course is disgusting, and everyone will probably have like a frown on their face. Sure, where’s this guy going? manure, it’s so disgusting, it stinks. It’s repugnant. But when you mix it with the soil, it actually allows us to grow our vegetables, which sustain life. So I guess what I’m saying is sometimes the most hideous things in life turn out to be blessings in disguise.
D.J. Paris 31:07
Yeah, and life is, as you know, has ups and downs, you don’t have much control over these external factors that just come and go. And obviously, you’ve, you’ve been through some trials, and you’ve come out the other side going, well, the manure actually helped foster this beautiful garden, ultimately, and I think that’s just true. And so I think you’re right, like the quest is not to never have bad experience bad days or bad experiences, because those are gonna come no matter what. It’s how we bounce back. And I think you’re right by empathy, kindness, intimacy, all of those things. Really just foster you know, that that sense of fulfillment and happiness and I love I love the idea of happily ever always as opposed to after because it get after what, right i after what, no, it’s now and always I love that.
Michael Rosenblum 32:01
So always endless. Yes. Well, again,
D.J. Paris 32:04
to whether you’re interested in working with Michael in real estate, obviously, how you can visit him happily ever always.com, which highlights his career as a real estate broker. Also, this book you need to purchase. Again, it has a perfect five star rating on Amazon, which is really is about oppressive as a fetus, you can get especially in self help, that’s very even more difficult to do. But he has done it. So and he is on this this big, promotional tour for the book. So please, let’s support Michael. And let’s, let’s go pick up that book. Again, if you want to work with Michael, you can contact him directly happily ever always.com. Michael, thank you so much for being on the show. I know, you’re again, you don’t have time to do this yet you’ve made time and that really speaks to your character. And again, probably no coincidence on why you’re so successful as well. So we couldn’t be more grateful that you spent some time with us. So on behalf of Michael and myself, thank you for listening. We’ll be back in a week with another episode. And Michael, thank you again.
Michael Rosenblum 33:13
It’s my pleasure. I’m flattered and humbled that you even had me so thank you so much.