It’s a surprise Graham Allen has any time for himself. Though he spends most of his day answering emails and calls, Graham never loses sight of what’s most important to him: his family.
When he isn’t on the real estate grind (he was once a featured realtor on HGTV!), you’ll likely find Graham out and about in his neighborhood or kicking back with his loved ones at home.
At Home with Graham Allen
@properties: How do you start each day?
Graham: My day starts with the gym at 6 a.m. It gets the blood pumping and sets the tone for the day. Then I’m home for emails over breakfast by 7 a.m.
@properties: Describe your own first home.
Graham: My first home was a small cottage-style home in Glen Ellyn, perfect for just my wife and myself.
@properties: What is the first big-ticket item you bought when you moved into your current home and why?
Graham: Not really a big-ticket item, but a lawnmower. I’m a Texas boy — I missed not having a yard while we lived in downtown Chicago!
At Play with Graham Allen
@properties: What do you love most about Glen Ellyn?
Graham: My neighbors. Whether we all hang out around the fire or meet up for drinks, we all mesh perfectly and have a great time.
@properties: Where is your favorite local restaurant?
Graham: Fire & Wine. Tony, the co-owner, always takes great care of us. The Lobster and Shrimp Rigatoni is my go-to, you really can’t beat it.
@properties: What do you read every single day?
Graham: Lots of emails? I love reading real estate/business-inspired books. I spend a lot of money on audiobooks so that I can listen on-the-go. I’m currently listening to “Way of the Wolf” by Jordan Belfort.
@properties: How do you stay involved in your community?
Graham: Church, coaching youth basketball, and sponsoring and attending community events.
@properties: You have a full free day in your town with no obligations and cost is no object. What would you do?
Graham: I would take a walk with my wife and pup to Lake Ellyn and then downtown for lunch. After, we’d head home to relax by the fire pit while listening to music. There’s nothing more valuable than spending time with my family when I have free time.
@properties: What is your proudest achievement to date?
Graham: Being a feature Realtor on HGTV.
At Work with Graham Allen
@properties: How did you decide that real estate was the right career for you?
Graham: My father is a banker and he tipped me off to the impending 2008 crash. I started with under-water sellers and investors (short sales, foreclosures, and investment properties). Then I transitioned to a more ‘normal’ real estate career as the market corrected.
@properties: How did your previous experiences prepare you for real estate?
Graham: I worked for NBC Universal as a promotions producer/director, creating commercials for their Field and Series department (Nightly News). I also developed marketing and creative advertising skills. No one markets a property better than I do. 😉
@properties: What is your favorite part of the job?
Graham: The thrill and art of the negotiation. The satisfaction of selling higher or buying lower than my client expected.
@properties: What is one thing you literally could not do your job without and why?
Graham: My cellular device. Calls, texts, emails — from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., I don’t stop.
@properties: Tell us the craziest thing that has ever happened to you on the job.
Graham: I don’t think I can share that here… Let’s just say it was on St. Patrick’s Day and I was downtown showing condos. There was more than just green beer on the table when I walked in to show my buyers.
@properties: What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Graham: The last paragraph in the last letter I received from my grandfather before he passed away, read: “Graham, you’re doing great. And life stays good when you do your best. I love you, PawPaw”
From that day on, I have never given less than my best and life has not disappointed. There have been tough times, but I’ve always been happy with my effort.
@properties: What is one piece of advice you’d give to a new real estate agent?
Graham: Jump all the way in. You’ll surprise yourself when your only option is to sink or swim.