“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
Robert Frost’s poem aptly describes Julie Morse’s 15-year career in realty, for good reason. She was literally raised on the poem and its philosophy by her late father—a Nova Scotian immigrant with an eighth grade education who became a top New York banking executive. Julie says his can-do approach still guides her.
Post-Northwestern, Julie worked for media and public relations firms, and then wrote on lifestyle and real estate for the Chicago Tribune for much of the 1990s. In 1999, with the urging of her children, she stopped writing about homes in favor of selling them. It was a fateful decision. She became “Rookie of the Year” for a large Chicagoland brokerage.
“I found I loved helping people find and sell great homes as much as I did writing about them. My knowledge of the industry from my newspaper work also helped me,” says Julie.
Her early success propelled her into a top North Shore realty partnership for nearly 10 years. During this time, she also kept her hand in writing as a marketing specialist for clients, and as a suburban newspaper columnist on realty topics.
At about the 11-year career mark, Julie surprised friends and colleagues once more. She left a top-ranked team to go solo again, with new personal goals intermeshed with professional ones.
“I felt the clock ticking on a personal goal to write a book. I couldn’t do that and give my partners my all, too. So I took a leap of faith to travel a new road,” she explains.
Her decision brought her to Prudential Rubloff (which this month becomes Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices’ new Koenig Rubloff Realty Group.) “One key reason I came to Prudential was manager Wendy Bergseth, now passed. Wendy embraced my vision of recreating myself as realtor and writer both, and understood my hope of making a difference in some way,” says Julie. “Wendy honestly didn’t care if I’d be a top producer. She gave me freedom to take off in different direction, which was powerful.”
Just how powerful would be reflected in Julie’s work and life since. She still receives the high-sales awards, but other awards may speak more to her different approach. She received her company’s Wendy Bergseth Leadership Award, earned consecutive Five Star Professional Awards in Chicago Magazine, and, most recently, won the 2013 Charitable Service Award from Chicago Agent magazine. The latter honored one of the two books she has written since 2012—a children’s book about a little boy’s journey with cancer. Her adult-audience book about a self-made man is being adapted as a screenplay.
“The children’s book, called When Billy Went Bald, was a dream of mine and my son’s ever since he survived childhood cancer years ago. It helps kids understand that anyone who has cancer wants to be treated like a person first and patient second,” explains Julie.
The book won a national Moonbeam Children’s Book Award and has enabled Julie to raise awareness about childhood cancer, as well as money for The Sunshine Kids, its beneficiary. Ironically, Prudential corporate introduced her to that foundation through its own charitable work. It proved to be the perfect partner she and her co-author son were seeking.
“My life and realty roads have truly crossed in rewarding ways,” says Julie. “I’m deeply thankful to everyone on the journey, especially my clients and family, for believing in me and my approach.”
Julie Morse’s office is located at 778 N. Western Avenue in Lake Forest. She can be reached at 847-234-2500, 847-830-4356, or at [email protected]
– Kate Windsor // Photography by Jim Prisching