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Sarah Leonard’s meteoric rise to the top of the Chicago real estate market almost defies logic.  Although she has worked in real estate since the age of 16 when she got her start in customer service for RE/MAX, Sarah has been a full time agent for less than 10 years. Yet in that time, she has surpassed all reasonable expectations for success.

After earning her license at the age of 21 in 2005, Sarah worked with a team for the first several years of her career before venturing out on her own.  The result of going solo was impressive to say the least.  In 2011, she doubled her sales, closing 50 transactions for the first time.  But Sarah was just getting started.  She ended 2012 with 120 sales to her credit for the year, and in 2013 that number rose to 150, effectively tripling her business in just three years.  In the first five months of 2014, before the summer real estate season had even begun, she’d already closed 80 transactions. Obviously this remarkable success begs the question: just what is Sarah doing that is bringing clients to her in droves?

To hear Sarah tell it, it is a mix of things.  First, she credits her experience working not only for RE/MAX but also as a loan processor while attending school, which she says helped her to have a “big picture approach to real estate.”  Sarah explains, “It taught me how to look at real estate as a huge investment, and it allowed me to understand and truly explain the whole process to my clients.” Of course it also doesn’t hurt that Sarah is a Chicago area nativemaking her intimately familiar with the region, and also grew up watching her mom work for the Board of REALTORS®.

The second reason Sarah says she’s been able to be so efficient is due to her amazing support team.  Sarah explains that her team of Christie Nyquist, Valeria Sulma and Katie Funk are extraordinarily talented and the reason Sarah is able to spend her time wisely-working directly with clients.  “My time is the most valuable thing I have to offer my clients.  Having these incredible women in my office backing me up is priceless. There is no way I could have achieved what I have without them,” she says.

Rest assured, Sarah has achieved a lot.  She was inducted into the RE/MAX Hall of Fame after her first year as a solo agent, an achievement typically reserved for agents who have been in the business much longer. She’s also been the recipient of the Chairman’s Club, Executive Club and 100% Club 5 Star Agent Awards from Chicago Magazine.  At last count she was also ranked the #6 agent in the entire state of Illinois.

Sarah also believes that her commitment to giving back, and community service has helped her to earn the respect and loyalty of clients.  “As you get older, I think you begin to put life in a different perspective.  And certainly when you become successful, it’s even more important to give back,” she says.  But Sarah has taken charity work to a whole new level. In addition to participating in countless charitable events; in 2012 the Sarah Leonard team launched their own donation campaign to promote local charities.

“Each month we sponsor a cause on our social media platforms.  For every like we get on Facebook that month, we donate $2 to that charity,” she says. Moreover, Sarah gives 20% of her commission from any referral that comes to her via a charitable organization, right back to the charity who referred her.  To date Sarah and her team have donated thousands of dollars (and hundreds of hours) to charities including Animal House Shelter in Huntley, Foster 2 Home Shelter in Anderson, Anderson Animal Shelter,11 U Northwest Vipers Little League Baseball Team in Pingree Grove, Cammy Can, and Braver Than Big, to name a few.

Yet, Sarah knows that none of this would be possible if it weren’t for one factor, which she believes is the primary reason for her success.  “I absolutely love what I do, and I think it shows.  I wake up excited to go to work.  I love helping people.  I love meeting new people.  I know so many people who don’t like what they do for a living, and I feel so lucky to love what I do every day,” she says.

For more information about top real estate agent in Illinois Sarah Leonard, visit, email, or call 224-239-3966.


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