REAL ESTATE - INTERVIEW
Thursday, May 2, 2019
REAL ESTATE - INTERVIEW
by Meryem Aksoy
Whether you want to buy a property or to sell your own, the first person you should contact is your real estate agent. Since they have their hand on the pulse of the local real estate market, buyers and sellers can really only have a meeting of the minds with the help of real estate agents. It is their responsibility to follow the market, to offer the most suitable real estate to those who want to buy, and to find the best buyer for their sellers. Seventeen years ago, Mario Greco decided to become his own boss and established The MG Group. Since then, he has been offering services with a policy aimed at doing whatever it takes to keep the price-demand balance at the most appropriate point for the group’s clients. With over 20 agents and office staff, The MG Group offers both residential and commercial real estate selling and buying services in Chicago – including new construction. I talked with Mario Greco, Founder of The MG Group, to take advantage of his experience over the years in the heart of Chicago’s real estate market asking questions designed to elicit unique insight into the Chicago Real Estate Market.
Mario, before talking about the Chicago real estate market, could you tell us about yourself? Who is Mario Greco?
I am the first-born son of Italian immigrants, and I went to college thinking I was going to be a doctor and instead earned dual degrees in Chemical Engineering and Environmental Engineering with honors, then went to law school (also graduating with honors in intellectual property), practiced intellectual property litigation for 6+ years, and finally decided self-employment and real estate was where I would land – and it’s been the best decision I ever made – 17 years and counting!
How did you decide to establish your own real estate group? What inspired you?
I decided to form a group within the brokerage I joined back in 2002 so that I could help more people buy/sell without a drop-off in client care and customer service. I was inspired by the lack of quality real estate agents at the time and my desire to change the perception that the public had – and still has – about real estate agents.
The MG Group Sales Team
Could you tell us about The MG Group and your team?
We are a collection of 20+ diverse backgrounds – 12 real estate agents and 10 office and marketing staff – with a combined 300+ years of real estate and marketing experience.
What kind of services do you offer to local and international investors?
We assist clients in buying and selling residential and commercial property of all types in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs – from condominiums to large mixed-use buildings both new construction and resale - and everything in between.
The MG Group
What type of properties do you prefer most to keep in your portfolio? What are their common features?
We sell all property types – but I focus my personal investments on rental properties from single family homes to large apartment buildings.
What are the most important features that affect buyers' decisions in Chicago?
Buyers want a stable economy and a healthy city balance sheet – 2 things that haven’t been easy for Chicago to achieve. However, Chicago’s tech sector, legal/medical job opportunities and the rapidly rising quality of its public schools – not to mention its world-class theater, restaurant, and arts scene – attract people from all over the world to Chicago real estate.
The MG Group
What can you tell us about the current status of the Chicago real estate market? What has been changed over the last 10 years?
The Chicago market is stable and still recovering from the Great Recession and, as a result, it is the most affordable world-class city in the world to buy property in. Prices are nearly back to where they were 10 years ago – and in some neighborhoods, like Logan Square, the West Loop and Avondale, they are way above where they were in 2008-9.
Where is the best location for real estate investment in Chicago?
Long Term – west of the West Loop/Fulton Market district from Ashland to Pulaski; Short term – Logan Square, Avondale & Pilsen.
What do you think about the future of real estate investment?
Real estate investment will always be a part of any smart person’s total financial plan. Many of the richest people in the world accumulated their wealth by investing wisely in real estate.
The MG Group
What should the real estate investors pay attention to?
Investors should look at present market value as well as trends to ensure that what they are investing in has an upside – or at the very least, as small a downside as possible. The old adage still applies: “You make your money when you buy the property – not when you sell it.” In other words, buy right because you can’t and shouldn’t depend on the eventual sale price to be where you want or expect it. You only know the market conditions and property value upon purchase, and nobody can predict what the market or economic conditions will be when they’re ready to – or in some cases NEED to - sell.
What is next for you?
I foresee myself continuing to lead one of the top-producing real estate groups in the country for as long as my health allows and for as long as I still enjoy it. I can’t imagine doing anything else, and I exercise and eat healthy so I suspect I’ll be at this for another 30+ years!
Thank you Mario for your time.