It’s Meet a Mom Monday! Today we’re introducing Melanie Everett, Lincoln Park mom and founder of the boutique real estate firm Melanie Everett & Company! Keep reading our interview below, where Melanie shares more about new motherhood, her journey to starting her own real estate firm, and her super surprising high school job!
Hi Melanie! Thanks so much for speaking with us today. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Hi! I’m Melanie. I’m 27, I eat way too much Chipotle, I would wear pajamas all day if I could, and I run a boutique real estate firm called Melanie Everett & Company.
Where are you from originally? What brought you to Chicago?
I’m from Hinsdale, IL. I went to college at DePaul University and moved to Lakeview just before my junior year of college. I’ve been here ever since!
Which neighborhood do you call home, and what do you love about living there?
Lincoln Park, just a block from Armitage Avenue. Gosh, I love our neighborhood. I love the vintage homes, the restaurants (I miss drinking Old Fashioneds at Gemini), my church (Park Community Church!), Oz Park, the shops (Alice & Wonder is a fave), and the central location. From my home, I can hop in my car and get to the Gold Coast, Lakeview, or Bucktown within a few minutes.
You’re a mama! How many children do you have and how old are they?
I have one beautiful baby girl named Holly Grace Everett. She was born in October 2020, so she is 4 going on 5 months old.
What’s your favorite thing about being a mom?
I always thought this was cliche when I heard other moms say it, but I have never felt this kind of love. When Holly is sleeping, I look at pictures of her before I go to bed. I’m THAT girl. Haha.
How have you managed to find sanity juggling new motherhood in the midst of a pandemic?
Thankfully, my job helps me get out of the house and feel “normal.” I’ll go on a few showings with clients, and suddenly, I’m my pre-baby self all over again.
What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I wrote a teen advice blog for the Chicago Tribune when I was in high school. Sometimes, I didn’t get submissions, so I would make up my own crazy questions and give advice to… myself.
Tell us more about Melanie Everett & Company!
My other baby! I founded this company in January 2019 after spending nearly five years selling real estate with a big brokerage. Melanie Everett & Company is a boutique firm in the city. I have a phenomenal team (I work with three kick-butt women!), and together, we serve buyers and sellers in Chicago.
How did you originally get started in the real estate industry, and what was your journey to starting your own boutique real estate firm?
It was all my dad’s idea! I signed up for the real estate exam right before my senior year at DePaul University. At that time, I was studying journalism and worrying endlessly about what my career would look like post-college. My dad suggested I get my RE license, and just like that, I was hooked. I started representing clients in October 2014 and have been selling ever since.
How has the pandemic changed the way that you work? Have there been any positives for you?
At the start of the pandemic, no one knew what would happen to the market. My buyers cancelled contracts, my sellers chose not to list, and I was an anxious mess. But the market turned around, and shockingly, 2020 was our best year yet! We’ve figured out how to safely do business — virtual consultations, masked-up showings, and the same customer service as always.
What are your top 2 tips for people looking to purchase their first condo, or first family home in the city of Chicago?
Get educated! They don’t teach you how to buy a home in high school or college — take the time to learn about the process before you dive in. (I teach a free monthly webinar and would LOVE to have you there!) Also, read reviews before you hire, whether that’s an agent, attorney, inspector, or lender.
Who are your influences and/or mentors that have helped you get to where you are today, and/or continue to inspire you?
My husband, Andrew, supports me wholeheartedly and manages the back-end of my business. He has a full-time job (at a chocolate company!), and we joke that M&Co. is his side hustle. My parents have also been my mentors over the course of my career — before Andrew, they were my #1 cheerleaders! Lastly and most importantly, my faith is everything to me: Jesus Christ inspires me in everything I do.
Rapid Fire Round!
Favorite local takeout restaurant: Old Pueblo Cantina (order the sweet potato tacos!)
Favorite dessert: Anything from Ingrained in River North
Favorite makeup product: Better Than Sex mascara from Too Faced. Raunchy name, effective product.
Undergrad college/major: Journalism
Can’t leave the house without: Boscia blotting sheets
Your go-to breakfast: Oatmeal, but only when my husband, Andrew, makes it. I call it “A’s Oats!”
The last book you read: The Woman in the Window
Your binge shows: Gossip Girl is a guilty pleasure, Seinfeld reruns remind me of my dad, and currently, Matt James’ season of the Bachelor is my weekly entertainment!