Agent Spotlight: Brian Behan

A background in analytical trading has fostered Brian Behan‘s work in real estate– combining his data-driven mindset with his passion for architecture and design. Striking up a balance between understanding exactly what his clients are looking for and pouring over the related market data, Brian maintains a transaction process that is legitimately enjoyable for his clients.

Although he is currently raising his family in River Forest, Brian’s been fortunate to call many of Chicago’s neighborhoods “home” over the years and loves sharing that knowledge with others. Get to know him in this week’s Agent Spotlight.

How did you wind up working in real estate?
A few years ago I was growing super unhappy trading at the CBOT and took a trip to Glacier National Park in Montana where I did some soul searching. I knew instinctively that I would be a natural in sales but wanted to sell something that I was truly passionate about. In college, I studied architecture and design but left to chase that CBOT dream. It’s a blend of that original love for architecture, having conversations with people and being put on the hunt for something, anything. When I got back from that trip I reached out to a friend who is a broker with @ and went through the steps to get my license.

What is your favorite part of working in real estate?
I really love the search process; being put on the hunt for a specific property, finding fair value and then negotiating based on that. I recently started working with a builder and truly love the ability to have an input and thus an artistic impression on design.

How do you start each day?
Black coffee and a workout.

Describe your own first home.
In 2005, we bought a townhouse in the Fulton River District. Originally we were looking for a timber loft in Fulton Market, but by chance drove by this Open House. After going through it we realized that we loved the idea of having our own front door and garage. Not having to deal with taking an elevator and lugging groceries down a hallway. The private rooftop deck absolutely sold us, at the time you could see 333 Wacker (curved green glass building where the river bends to the east) and basically that it lived like a single family home, but was super close to the loop.

What is the first big-ticket item you bought when you moved into your current home and why?
An exterior paint job. Our house was built in the late 1800’s and is a mix of frame and stucco. I don’t think it had ever been stripped after it was built. The painters said that they used 5x their average of scrapers to get it prepped.

What is one thing you literally could not do your job without and why?
Multiple computer monitors. I will have my email and Real Scout open on separate screens and then can jump into the MLS and Infosparks when I get a call from a client and need to pull stats without having to minimize things.

What is your favorite local restaurant? Why? What is one amazing dish you always order/recommend?
Maya Del Sol in Oak Park. Cochinita Pibil is a pork shoulder dish that just amazing, it’s served with homemade tortillas and will blow your mind.

What do you love most about your neighborhood?
There is an amazing mix of architecture out here, but it is so close to the city. Frank Lloyd Wright made this neighborhood his home and studio and designed more than 25 homes and buildings in the OP/RF area.

What do you read every single day?
Crain’s – Chicago Real Estate Daily and an article from GRIT.

How do you stay involved in your community? 
Mainly through the Lincoln School PTO (where our kids go) and a few local organizations; Hephzibah, Sarah’s Inn and Opportunity Knocks.

You have a full day free in your town with no obligations and cost is no object. What do you do?
Get out of town!!

What is your proudest achievement to date? 
Along with help from my wife; raising two, kick ass, smart and strong girls.

What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Don’t ever let anyone walk over you.

What is one piece of advice you’d give to a new real estate agent?
Reach out to your personal sphere, they know you and trust you.

If you won the lottery which property would you buy?
A Mission Mountain view on Flathead Lake in Montana. It’s pure paradise, every season offers something to look forward to.

3 things you always bring with you to a showing?
A tape measure, for ceiling height and furniture placement, a flashlight in case we need to investigate an area with poor or burnt out lighting, and three active and recently sold comps, so we can talk about what fair value is without having to say, “let me check that out and get back to you.”

What are 3 words clients would use to describe you? 3 words your family would use?
Positive, enthusiastic, interested. I’d hope the same, plus loving.

What was one of your most defining moments?
Locating a property for a builder and putting a price on it for him. He wanted to bid $120k less and it traded exactly where I valued it.

If I weren’t a real estate agent, I would be…
A builder/developer

What did you eat for breakfast today?
Peanut butter and banana protein shake!

Written by @properties
At @properties, our goal is to provide you with expert, caring, and candid advice throughout one of the most important transactions you will ever make.