Louise Eichelberger was covering politics for Newsweek magazine out of its Atlanta bureau in the early ’80s when her husband, Harry Eichelberger, accepted a job offer in Chicago. She didn’t know it then, but she would eventually become one of the top-selling real estate brokers on the North Shore.
“I had a friend who lived on the North Shore and her advice was to live as close to the lake as you can to walk to it or ride your bicycle or take a short drive to it,” Eichelberger says. “We both grew up going to the beach—The Atlantic—but we liked that big lake with those beaches the first time we saw it.”
With two young preschoolers at home, Eichelberger didn’t want to continue her journalism career, which would have meant traveling or heading each day to a downtown office. Having always had an interest in architecture, she eventually obtained her real estate license and was off to the races. As it turns out, journalism skills come in handy when it comes to working with real estate clients.
“It’s interesting when people find out my background was in journalism and that I worked for Newsweek for years they kind of look puzzled and they don’t understand how that can translate to a business career in real estate,” says Eichelberger. “If you can listen to people and ask good questions and be quiet long enough there are plenty of correlations.”
Eichelberger was the founding and managing broker for Village Green Realty in Winnetka, a market leader for 20 years, between 1988 and 2008, and is now with @properties. She started her career in real estate well before the industry exploded on the Internet and says the practice of managing and communicating information, an important skill for journalists, is also important in the real estate world.
“In an ironic way, this abundance of information about real estate doesn’t make it any easier,” she says. So many people move here from the city or have lived here for a while and are making a change but they don’t really know about the different villages on the North Shore.”
Like any good journalist, Eichelberger brings an objective approach to real estate work. Her family has bought houses and lived in Kenilworth, Winnetka, and Glencoe (where she currently resides). Both of her sons played hockey at New Trier High School and one now lives in Wilmette. She brings a well-rounded viewpoint for any family looking to move, upsize, or downsize in the area.
“I do have a breadth of knowledge about the area so you can ask me about the preschools and the curriculum, about the park districts,” she says. “You can ask me about what $600,000, $1.5 million, or $2.2 million will buy. I know these communities.”
Eichelberger’s approach to working with clients combines her experience in the old school, pre-Internet days of the real estate business with new technology, in her case much of it supported by @properties.
“I’ve transitioned from the old school of real estate to the new school of real estate and it’s been quite a path. Agents were just getting started and they put their images and their reviews and their pictures and everything all across the Internet,” she says. “You’re talking to a lady who did not have a headshot taken until I had been in the business for 20 years.”
Longevity, and the knowledge gained over time living in different communities on the North Shore, give Eichelberger a unique edge.
“It’s nice to have been involved in this business for this long and it is especially nice right now to find that the experiences that I have and the knowledge that I have is so useful to people as they make a dynamic change in their lives,” she explains.
Louise Eichelberger is with @properties, 30 Green Bay Road in Winnetka, 847-612-3347, atproperties.com/agents/LouiseEichelberger.