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Get to Know Krista Waski, Operations Manager
Q: Krista, how did you get started with the Gracik Makinney Group?
A: Before they ever joined forces, my family had bought and sold houses in Elmhurst listed by Maria and Tom. We had all stayed in touch (definitely the norm with Tom and Maria!), and they contacted me a few years ago to become their O.M.
Q: What makes you guys different?
A: When clients work with us, they experience individuals with complementing strengths who work together to bring them buying and selling success. With a team of six, we’re able to give unbeatable support during the entire real estate process.
Q: If you could think of one word to describe the Gracik Makinney Group, what would it be?
A: “Dynamic” is a word that fits us in many ways. We’re dynamic in terms of our high energy, dynamic in the way we make results happen for our clients, dynamic in how we lead the market trends. People who work with us sense that we are action-oriented, positive and forward-thinking.
Q: What do clients want and need in their real estate agents today?
A: Buyers and sellers need agents who are proven and experienced, and want agents who keep their best interests a highest priority and make real estate an enjoyable experience. We keep things light but never lose focus on what we’re working to achieve.
Q: Tell us about the Elmhurst community. What makes it attractive to potential buyers?
A: All of us know Elmhurst extremely well. You don’t have to live here long to realize the beauty of the community, its excellent amenities, the importance of education and family. Two special areas, the Prairie Path and Eldridge Park, which connects to the Salt Creek Greenway Trail, are simply beautiful and not to be missed. Local haunts such as Flight 112, Zenwich, Chow, and Brewpoint are personal favorites, although I could name many more establishments in town that are just awesome!
Q: What should we know about Krista Waski?
A: I love what I do professionally, working behind the scenes for our team to help our agents do their best work for our clients. I also love my personal life. I’m not only a very proud hockey, baseball, dance and soccer mom to two amazing kids, I’m a two-time “tough mudder.” (Translation: I compete in 10-12 mile long military-style obstacle courses!) And so yes, I’m obviously into fitness. Hockey, cross training, and biking are tops on my weekly list.
Q: Final thoughts?
A: Regarding real estate, choose the team that knows how to get the job done and make it fun. That’s us! Stop in and say “hello.” You’ll be treated like one of the team!
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"As a third generation broker, I know real estate is in my DNA"
Liz Eder recently joined @properties as a real estate advisor in the Elmhurst and Oak Park Offices and newest member of one of their most successful teams, The Gracik Makinny Group. Liz is a full-time Realtor with over 10 years experience representing buyers, sellers, tenants and landlords. She specializes in residential sales with added experience in commercial property. With her previous career of over 15 years in the property management, Liz has built a solid foundation in the real estate industry.
Liz is a lifelong resident of the Chicago area living in neighborhoods from South Shore to Hyde Park to Oak Park and her current home of over 30 years, Elmhurst. She graduated from Oak Park/River Forest High School and Loyola University where she acquired her lifelong love of history, literature, art and design. As a mom to two amazing daughters, Liz would not trade a minute of the time she spent supporting church, PTA, District 205 Foundation, Girls Scouts and numerous sports teams and clubs.
What consistently drives Liz is the opportunity to build strong relationships with clients and show them how to maximize the potential value of their
property, whether buying, selling or renting or investing. A few years ago, a wise colleague reflected that "real estate is as much art as it is
science" Liz made this her motto from that day forward and knows that a successful Realtor must do both with equal passion.
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A native of Northwest Indiana, Elicia has been a Chicago resident for the past 14 years. She has lived in several neighborhoods, including Lincoln Park and River North. She originally moved to Chicago for college, receiving a Bachelors of Science degree in Finance from DePaul University. Elicia and her husband enjoy traveling, exploring Chicago, and attending Bulls games. She also loves stopping into the Anti-Cruelty Society to visit with the animals looking for forever homes. They recently decided to make the move to the western suburbs, where they are putting the finishing touches on their newly built custom home in Elmhurst.
Elicia places value in honesty and integrity above all else. She decided to make a career in real estate because she was inspired by building her own home to finally pursue her dream of becoming a broker. The most exciting part of the buying or selling experience for Elicia is helping to paint a picture of how you can make a space your own and make it your home.
As a detail oriented person, she will be able to put her previous experience as an analyst at Aon to use by making sure you are not only getting a home you love, but a smart investment for your future. A social creature at heart, she will be able to use her account management and customer service knowledge from Groupon to balance every part involved in a real estate transaction. Most importantly, she will be able to use her negotiation skills from Morningstar to ensure you have accurate pricing for your home.
Elicia is proud to join the Gracik Makinney Real Estate Group in Elmhurst, who consistently is ranked in the Top 10 of DuPage County Teams for production. Additionally, Chicago Magazine ranked them one of the top residential brokers. Elicia is backed by over 40 years of experience with her group co-owners, Tom Makinney and Maria Gracik.
Whether you are buying or selling; Elicia is passionate about finding the right home for you, the ideal buyer for your home, or refer you to an expert anywhere in the U.S. or internationally.
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George Kafka is a Chicago native with over 20 years' experience in real estate. In addition to buying and selling, his background includes new construction, rehabbing, leasing and interior staging.
George is known for his integrity, professionalism, communication and sense of humor in what can be a high-stress time for clients. Utilizing cutting edge technology, creative marketing and a unique 3 step process, he tailors his approach to each client's situation ensuring a successful outcome. George received his undergraduate degree from Northern Illinois University and his MBA from North Park University. He resides in the western suburbs with his wife and their three children.
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“Our highest priorities are your highest priorities — ethics and honesty, skilled representation, expert negotiating, vast market knowledge, proven results — the Gracik Makinney Group makes the difference in reaching the closing table.”
Tom Makinney approaches real estate as a “connector” — connecting buyers to sellers, solutions to needs, reality to vision. With an inherent love of architecture and passion for people, connecting clients to their goals in home ownership brings new opportunity to each day.
One will rarely hear Tom speak of his personal accomplishments without acknowledging his team, because relationships are key at the Gracik Makinney Group. Individual success is team success. A staggering 75% of their business comes from referrals and repeat clients, a testament to the value placed on relationships.
Why work with a team of realtors? One distinct advantage is that each team member has a unique sphere of influence. When combined, these spheres create a strong pool of valuable information for each client. Team support, broad-based marketing and transaction management, along with the team’s collective knowledge and experience, creates a worry-free, enjoyable real estate experience. For sellers, each team member knows the inventory and is available to show the property. For buyers, the blended market acumen of the team members can help the buyer make informed decisions when thinking about a property, a community or negotiating a sale.
- 2015 Top Ten DuPage County Team, Gracik Makinney Group*
- Consistent multi-million dollar annual producers, over 1,000 closed transactions, Gracik Makinney Group
- 2009, Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) designation
- 1996, BS Operations Management Information Systems, Northern Illinois University
- Triathlete, hockey player, stand up paddle board enthusiast
*Chicago Agent magazine, 1/1/15-12/31/15 sales volume
“Over 90% of consumers begin their real estate search online, but that is only the beginning of what they need to ultimately find success. The Web is a wealth of inventory, but clients need help navigating the process. We streamline their efforts, provide customized service, and often know of inventory not yet on the market through our vast networks. Our knowledge of Elmhurst and its surrounding areas is invaluable when buying or selling here, and our personal support is second to none.”
Tom has lived in Elmhurst since the tender age of four, and now raises his own family in the community.
A devoted husband and proud father to three beautiful young daughters, he knows first-hand the meaning of “home” and “roots.” Although Elmhurst appeals to a wide variety of buyer, including singles and empty nesters, its fine schools and amenities make it a huge draw for families.
“Choosing an agent is not about us; it’s about you. Our accomplishments and ranking only mean something if your real estate goals are achieved. Let’s have fun achieving them!”
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“Providing the highest level of service requires concrete experience, a foundation of proven results, and a heartfelt desire to ‘thrill’ your clients every time!”
With over 500 career closings and 18 years in real estate, Maria Gracik embodies experience. She has skillfully adapted to and thrived in every kind of housing market, proving that the best REALTOR®is not just a talented market forecaster, but one who puts client needs first.
Maria is committed to helping buyers and sellers connect, putting her keen insight, confidence, home-finding abilities and contract-negotiation skills to work in their best interest. Over three-quarters of her business comes from referrals, a testament to her ability to provide thoughtful and sound advice to her clients.
In 2009, Maria co-founded the Gracik Makinney Group with her accomplished partner, Tom Makinney, marrying the diverse talents of its members to service any client need in Elmhurst and the surrounding western suburbs. Together, their 30+ years of experience gives the group vast knowledge of the existing home and new construction markets, and experience with transferees as well. In 2015 they were ranked in the Top 7 of DuPage County Teams for production.
Also in 2009, Maria earned the prestigious Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE), and was one of only 1600 agents nationwide at the time to receive this designation for her extensive training in foreclosure avoidance and short sales. She is a consistent multi-million dollar producer.
“To me, success is when your clients are truly happy with one of the most important decisions of their life.”
Maria has lived in Elmhurst since 1990 and is married to a lifelong resident. Both of her sons attended Elmhurst schools, where Maria was actively involved in the school and sports programs, and serves as a Junior Achievement volunteer. She also participates in a variety of local fundraising activities. She loves to travel and spend time with her family.
Prior to her career in real estate, Maria worked in customer service management for a major airline and in executive travel services, where she sharpened her negotiation skills.
“Find out why loyal clients keep coming back, and send their friends and family to me!”
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Gracik Makinney Real Estate Group is proud to welcome the esteemed Mary Riva to our group. Mary has been a licensed broker for 33 years and closed over $50,000,000 in sales.
Also licensed in Florida, Mary is a professional that prides herself on details to make every transaction as smooth as possible.
As a generation of family, friends, and clients can attest, it is Mary’s inherent determination and huge heart that have assisted her to become the consummate professional. We invite you to reconnect with Mary Riva, or meet her for the first time, and see for yourself why Gracik Makinney Group is overjoyed to have her part of our company.
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- Member, Mainstreet Organization of Realtors
- Team Member, 2016 Top 10 real estate teams in Dupage County
- Maximum online exposure for every listing
As an Elmhurst resident for 20 years, Jill Giorno brings a unique core of qualities and values to the Gracik Makinney Group. She has lived in the western suburbs since 1997, residing in Naperville and Oak Park before finally settling in Elmhurst. Prior to practicing real estate, Jill was a small business owner in Elmhurst for eight years, and was a school social worker in Oak Park for seven years. She holds a Master's of Social Work degree from the University of Illinois, Chicago.
As a former small business owner and resident in Elmhurst, Jill brings a wide range of knowledge in Elmhurst and suburban real estate. She truly understands the importance of positive client relationships, and her ability to earn and maintain trust, coupled with a knack to connect people new to the community, are qualities she is extremely proud of.
Jill and her husband, Wade, are proud to raise their family in Elmhurst and enjoy watching their children participate in many extracurricular activities. Her favorite pastimes include hockey and golf, anything involving fitness, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.
Jill is thrilled to be mentored by some of the best in the business and was extremely impressed by the extensive training @properties gives their agents. We're thrilled to have her as part of our team, and we're sure you will enjoy working with her as well.
Contact Jill when you are ready to make your move.