Meet Daniela Pagani, a healthcare professional turned real estate mogul who is working under the Compass umbrella in Chicago. Having spent much of her life on the move, she understands the importance of building a home and creating a space to raise a family. Before real estate, Daniela honed her ability to establish rapport with patients and their families as a registered dietitian. Her experience in healthcare has given her a well-rounded understanding of customer service. She is a Certified Negotiation Expert specializing in resales and new developments in Chicago. With focused hard work and attention to detail, Daniela never lets anything get in the way of delivering success for her buyers and sellers. She knows the market and takes pride in her ability to develop a multi-faceted plan tailored to each individual’s needs.
Raised in Mexico City and Houston, Daniela earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. Daniela is deeply involved in the community through serving on The Joffrey Women’s Board and multiple committees at Sacred Heart Schools. When not selling real estate, she enjoys fitness, time with family and friends, and exploring all that Chicago has to offer. Here is her success journey!
Bring us back yo your education and background that got you into the real estate market?
I grew up in Mexico City. My father is from Switzerland and my mother from Columbia. I lived for a while In Texas as a child. I always wanted to work with people, it was something I knew from a long time ago. I considered medicine and even did a minor in nutrition. After that, I went into pre-med but when it was time to apply to med school, I was very appalled at how dehumanized the profession has become so I decided not to proceed with this avenue. Interestingly enough, I ended up marrying a physician. I still to this day sometimes regret that decision but on the other hand because of that decision, I found my passion which is real estate.
I do love nutrition and implement it in my life very thoroughly, but ultimately, what led me to real estate was the fact that I moved around so much because of my husbands profession and because my family’s business is in freight forwarding toppled with the fact that my mother is a interior designer. I was looking for something that I can do while my husband was in his fellowship and then are children came along and I knew I wanted to be there for them and not pull those crazy hospital hours so I was looking for something that offered some flexibility. Little did I know that real estate isn’t all that flexible. It is in the sense where you choose how much you work but on the other hand, you are serving other people when they need you.
I have been in real estate for five years now. Compass really has a unique platform in the sense that they offer you a little ownership in the company. Furthermore, the owner of Compass, Robert Reffkin, wrote a book, and I am telling you he is such an amazing and authentic person you can’t help but want to join this company he created. His background really spoke to me even though it’s completely different than mine. He embodies enthusiasm, passion and reminds me a lot of my father. I feel very strongly about Compass and the company culture. Compass has become my family.
The values that speak the most to me about Compass are Collaborate without ego – this one really important because this industry is very cut throat and to Bounce back after losing – when you are negotiating and have multiple offers and lose the deal, well you bounce back, pick yourself up and keep moving forward.
What was a big challenge you had to surmount in your career?
There is obviously a lot of those moments and they come at every step of your growth. I think one of the biggest challenges was getting started. I switched careers and there were moments when it really wasn’t easy but I like to say that things that are easy are not worth it. Another challenge was that I am not from Chicago and so I really wanted to be on a team because I felt that they can show me the city and help me understand the city and the different boroughs and most importantly, be my mentors.
Moving to Chicago was very difficult for me socially and emotionally. When me moved, I had three kids under the age of four. It’s a new city with a new climat so it all takes its toll on you but you have to be adaptable. So as you can see, to every challenge there are good and viable solutions but you have to think outside the box sometimes and just start. I started off under a team lead and then switched to the top producing team in Chicago and was there for three years which was an amazing experience. Ultimately though, I decided that it was time to be on my own and build my own brand.
What made you decide that you were ready to go off on your own and build your own brand?
I just wanted to do things and serve my clients my way. There is obviously a lot of recognition by being on a top producing team but I wanted something that is mine and represents me to the fullest.
What is your vision for the next 5 to 10 years for your business?
To be honest, it’s not very clear with the way things are going at the moment in the world. The pandemic has already been here for two years and no one knows what’s coming next and when it will all stop. Overall, I must say that I would like to, as I quote from Compass “Help people find a place in this world”. I just want to keep helping my clients with all their real estate needs and provide them with an exceptional service whilst maintaining the human aspect in every transaction and in this field.
What are the best locations to invest in currently in Chicago?
This is a multi-step question. There are a plethora of good investment opportunities in Chicago. As far as investment opportunities, I would say with the pandemic and people looking for more space the best place at the moment are in small condos in downtown because they took a big hit and you can get them at an amazing price and make money down the line. Chicago has always had a triplex style housing and those always sell very well. Anything that is close to public transportation and offers schools is always a good idea. I will also say that it is best to buy when interest rates are very low.
What inspires you and motivates you to keep growing?
I would have to say my family, my beautiful children and my amazing clients. Finding a home is something that shouldn’t be taken lightly and being able to impact people’s life changing moments is something that drives me. Furthermore, knowing that there is no limit to what we can achieve is huge for me. We are are own limitations.
How do you keep a balance in your work and personal life?
I love meditation! I love affirmations! Also my husband and I don’t look at our phones until around 8-9am. My family wakes up at 6, and me a little earlier. I meditate for 30 minutes then workout for 30 minutes. After that, I do my affirmations and never touch my phone until 8 am. What is amazing is that by 10am, all of my daily tasks have been completed and I can concentrate on work.
All Photo Credits: Tanja Pleis
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