When you ask most real estate brokers on the North Shore about the quality of the local schools, they’ll pass along some statistics about graduation rates, class sizes, or college acceptance levels.
When you ask Kelly Dunn Rynes of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices KoenigRubloff Realty Group, she’ll answer based on first-hand experience.
As a graduate of Lake Forest and North Shore schools, Rynes has spent her entire life and career on the North Shore—she was born at Lake Forest
After graduating college with a degree in economics, Rynes took a marketing position with the Chicago Blackhawks and intended to pursue a career in sports marketing.
That was until her aunt called.
Rynes’ aunt is one of the top-producing real estate agents in the country, and Rynes was wooed by the opportunity to put her economics degree to use and to be able to learn from one of the best in the business.
“I had a passion for marketing and saw the real estate business as a way to carry out that passion while connecting with my vast North Shore network,” Rynes says. “I’ve had the luxury of learning from the best in the industry.”
After a decade of working with her aunt, Rynes blazed her own path, first joining a top North Shore team specializing in luxury listings and then finally making a name for herself with Berkshire Hathaway.
“Backed with 15 years experience, I was confident in my own personal brand, ChicagoToTheNorthShore.com, and wanted to keep doing what I do best, helping people during transition,” Rynes says.
Her economics background comes in handy, giving her an advantage during transaction negotiations. It contributes to what Rynes calls “bringing a unique pairing of macro and micro insights to the table.” She can present to clients the larger economic picture of supply vs. demand in the area or, because of her roots in the community, provide a hyper-local viewpoint.
“Being born and raised in Lake Forest,” she says, “There is such a special connection having walked to town as a child and retracing those same steps with my own children.”
Rynes and her husband, also a Lake Forest native working in real estate, are active in the community, serving on charitable boards and attending many community events and activities that keep them connected.
“By continuing to maintain an active network along the shore I maintain an intimate knowledge of the neighborhoods and price points,” Rynes says. “My broad perspective brings value to both buyers and sellers.”
Rynes emphasizes the importance of understanding economic market shifts and how technology has already changed the game.
“It takes a fresh, aggressive marketing plan to capture today’s buyer,” she says. “In an area like ours with high inventory, having a smart strategy right out of the gate will help a seller receive top dollar in a shorter time frame.”
She adds, “A property’s first showing is an online showing. Sellers have to be picture perfect, as buyers are seeking out information online before they even contact a broker. Today’s buyers are high-tech and market-savvy.”
What she enjoys the most, though, is working with people and building relationships.
“In a world of followers and algorithms, human connection is going to be the differentiator,” Rynes says. “I focus my attention on each individual client and the needs of their family. And because I love what I do, we have even been known to have a little fun along the way.”