IT TOOK SOME TIME for Lisa Trace to convince her daughter-in-law, Samantha, to join her Lake Forest and Lake Bluff real estate business two years ago.
Sam Trace has two young children and had an already established career in secondary education for the Chicago Public Schools. Lisa Trace was in her third decade as a real estate broker after retiring as Navy nurse and spending some time as a stockbroker.
“I’d been trying to get Sam to come on board for years and was waiting for the right time,” Lisa says. “About two years ago she joined me, and we decided to team up and that’s kind of how we got together.”
The two defied the “in-laws don’t get along” rule and have established a formidable partnership helping clients buy and sell homes on the North Shore and beyond.
“Surprisingly, it has brought us closer together when it could have been one of those things that divided our family and our relationship,” Sam Trace says. “But it really is a family affair.”
It helps that both bring distinctive skills—and experience—to the business partnership. Lisa has over two decades of experience on the North Shore and a deep knowledge of the real estate market. Sam Trace brings a fresh approach to marketing and technology, especially as online platforms have become a dominant force in the business.
“I think one thing that differentiates us is that we bring different skill sets and different offerings to our clients,” Sam says. “Lisa has the experience and has been a top producer in the area for a long time. So, her experience, her negotiation skills, and her network, give us a competitive edge.”
What Sam brings to the partnership is the savviness required to connect with younger buyers who have a completely different approach to buying a home than previous generations.
“I feel like when I joined, I was seeing a shift in real life and how people are buying real estate,” Sam says. “I feel like I have been able to bring a different dimension to Lisa’s business in terms of marketing, social media, and just connecting with the younger buyers who are moving from the city to the suburbs with their families.”
In today’s historically tight market on the North Shore, Lisa says potential buyers and sellers should be seeking out experienced brokers and agents.
“It’s really important for buyers and sellers right now to team up with experienced and local professionals,” Lisa says. “I think that a lot of sellers now think they can just do a for sale by owner because the market is so hot and their house is going to just sell in an instant, but there are so many more complexities now because the market is so tight.”
Lisa draws inspiration from her father, who spent his life competing in sports. Jim Dooley played and coached for the Chicago Bears for 28 years. He played with Mike Ditka on the Bears 1963 World Championship Team, became head coach of the Bears after George Halas retired, and worked with Ditka for the 1985 Bears Super Bowl winning team.
“My dad taught me that winning requires 100 percent effort and constant attention to detail,” she says. “Sam and I have modeled our real estate business after that philosophy, working effortlessly on every transaction to ensure client satisfaction.”
The Trace Team is with @properties in Lake Forest, 600 N. Western, 847-295-0700, atproperties.com/agents/TheTraceTeam.