When Maria Devins was a young girl, she tagged along with her father while he went door-to-door selling insurance. She learned a lifelong lesson.
“My dad said, ‘if you can’t treat a client like you’re breaking bread over the dinner table then you have no business being in business’,” Devins says. “With my dad, what you saw was what you got.”
Devins has carried this lesson throughout her 12-year real estate career.
“For me, it’s always about giving 1,000 percent for my clients, about sincerity, and about maintaining their trust and never letting it go,” she says.
Devins was born in Chicago and raised in Park Ridge until her family relocated to Southern California when she was 15. While her Italian father took to the California sunshine, Devins’s Chicago-bred mother missed the Midwest, and her parents returned to Park Ridge.
After attending UCLA, Devins eventually moved back to Chicago, working as a makeup artist for the film industry and Saks Fifth Avenue, where she met her husband in 1989.
In 1996, a bad experience purchasing her first home in Palatine initially piqued her interest in real estate. She and her husband bought a home in Palatine and their agent hadn’t done proper due diligence. On closing day, mechanicals all failed.
In 2007, her youngest son developed a rare brain condition, and the medical bills began piling up. With encouragement from her husband, Devins obtained her real estate license and worked part-time.
“I took the test on Pearl Harbor Day during a blizzard at the real estate office,” Devins remembers. “I looked around the room at all of the agents. Half of them would be gone in a few months.”
During her first few weeks working in real estate she was told by seasoned agents that the glory days of getting clients easily were gone.
Devins did not sit in an office waiting for business to come to her. “You have to go out and get your business,” Devins says.
“I remember being on the train to a training session, proudly wearing my new badge, and seeing a woman in tears because she couldn’t sell her house,” Devins recalls. “She became one of my first clients. No matter where I am, I see opportunity to help potential clients.”
This tenacity has helped Devins develop and grow her business over the years, especially after 2014 when her son made a full recovery and she was able to work full-time.
She continues to maintain strong relationships with past clients.
“Even after clients close, I go back to follow up,” she says. “There’s a consistency of never failing to nurture the relationship that we’ve created. They know I’m there for them and that I’m in their corner.”
While Devins stays abreast of technology and the online tools that drive so much of today’s real-estate business, it’s the real interactions with clients and potential clients that provide the foundation for her work.
“It’s a face-to-face business. It’s about hearing clients and listening to them,” she explains. “Computers and robots and machines will never capture the heart of a human being. It’s really what I base my business on.”
Speaking of technology, if potential clients are wondering how far Devins will go to find them the right house, they need not worry.
“If my client wants to buy on Mars, I’ll get a rocket ship and we’ll go.”
Maria Devins is an agent with Baird & Warner, 585 East Dundee Road in Palatine, 847-840-2520, [email protected]