Hometown: Evanston, Illinois, USA

Scott Fishman, Local Real Estate Agent & Expert in Evanston, Illinois, recently wrote an international best selling book, Referral Secrets, to teach agents how to grow their business through relationships and referrals in their community.

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Best quote from Scott’s story: “Getting to know my clients is a critical step in building trust between us. I prefer to meet for coffee with a potential client so I can get a sense of whether we will be a good fit to work together. This allows me to focus on their needs, goals, and questions without the distraction of showing a house at the same time.”

Scott’s business philosophy: “In my opinion, real estate is a combination of both art and science. Most people want a fair market value for their house, and they don’t want to play games. The end goal is someone wants to sell their house, and someone wants to buy it, so we should be able to figure it out.”


“Scott is an experienced and savvy RealtorⓇ. He immediately understood our wish list and budget, and the links to potential homes that he sent us were spot on. He responds to emails and texts in real-time. I think his phone might be glued to his hand. 😉 He listened sincerely to our feedback on homes we visited, without pushing us to make an offer before we were ready. When we found a home we liked, Scott was very responsive and helped us negotiate a strong (and winning!) offer despite being in a multiple-offer situation. On the selling side, Scott’s ideas for minor updates to make to the home to get ready to list were really helpful — the house looked so different after the simple changes he suggested. He communicates honestly and non-judgmentally (We definitely ran into some realtors who were the opposite!) Scott was also very open to feedback. He and his team worked extremely hard to maintain a strong open house presence and accommodate showing requests with speed and flexibility. After 6 weeks, we had multiple offers and came in very close to the list price. You are in very good hands with Scott!” ~Altesse

“Working with Scott was a real pleasure. He’s professional, on time, answered all my questions, and showed homes that were what I was looking for. He made the home-buying process smooth and had great recommendations for other professionals I needed to purchase my new home. I highly recommend Scott and appreciate all his help.” ~Clint F.

“Scott was great to work with both on the sale of our condo and the purchase of our new home. We really appreciated how attentive and responsive he was throughout the process. He had excellent recommendations for the rest of our team and really put in a lot of effort to make sure things went as smoothly as possible, despite many hiccups on the seller’s side of our home purchase. We were able to sell our condo for $21k over list and we purchased our new home for $20k under list thanks to his advice and negotiating skills. Would definitely recommend him, and Compass, to anyone.” ~John and Shanna

More about Scott.

Evanston is a town of about 85,000 and it is the first community north of Chicago. It’s about as close as you can get to Chicago without actually being in Chicago. Northwestern University is located here, and it helped put Evanston on the map. We are right on the shoreline of Lake Michigan, which is a bonus too. 

My family and I moved here about seven years ago from Chicago. I grew up in the south suburbs and went to school at DePaul University in the city. I spent most of my adult life living in Chicago, and it’s where I met my wife, Jenny. We made the move to Evanston due in part to the school system here. Our daughter was entering middle school and the public school system in Chicago required selective enrollment which means one has to test into them. We simply did not want our kids to have to be anxious or worry about what school they would attend. 

It’s easy to live here. I love that we can get anywhere in any direction to any destination within 20 minutes. My son can ride his bike to his baseball games which he wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise. Evanston has everything to offer that the big city does, just on a smaller scale. 

We have a host of local microbreweries like Sketchbook, Temperance, and Smilie Brothers which have become really popular in the last few years. I personally like to work from coffee shops, and I have some great choices such as Brothers K, Backlot, or Hoosier Mama’s Pie Shop.

Interview with Scott Fishman, co-author of Becoming A Local Leader 2 – Referral Secrets.

What’s up, everyone!

Welcome to another episode of Become A Local Leader!

On today’s show, we have Scott Fishman, one of the Authors of Becoming A Local Leader 2 – Referral Secrets.

It is a book that features the stories of 23 top-producing agents and team leaders who share their stories on how to grow one’s businesses through relationships and referrals. 

They have values and a vision of how they want to run their business, and they go after that vision. They create businesses for themselves and serve people in the process. That authenticity and clarity make people like working with them.

The book has a great message on how to figure yourself out while you figure your business out. Scott will share more about the book and how he runs and thinks of his business.

Give people a context on who you are, why you are in the business, and why you got into real estate.

I’ve been a realtor for almost 12 years here in the Chicago Metro area. I have a degree in History and taught in the Social Sciences. I then transferred to advertising because they were looking for someone with a Liberal Arts degree. I took a 2-week intensive course, then I got my license as a realtor.

As a new agent, I grabbed every opportunity that I could get, such as open houses, properties, and cranky clients. They mentored me about what I should know about real estate. 

What are the benefits of transitioning to a career in real estate? Can you give advice to those thinking of making a switch?

If you’re from the corporate world, it’s a good thing if you have a structure to lean on. Because when you’re self-employed, there are not a lot of guardrails. There is a big mind shift of being self-employed. You’re in charge of everything and how you present yourself. 

Did you have any fears, worries, or doubts when making the career shift?

It’s a double-edged sword – it’s terrifying and exciting. It’s scary to leap into commission-based work, but there is a certain amount of freedom. And when you start to make progress, you’ll get your groove. Having a sounding board will make a huge difference as a brand-new agent.

What have been some of those changes in your belief system once you got started in real estate that allowed you to accelerate your success?

The guardrails are removed. You don’t have to work from 9 am to 5 pm anymore.

I learned that I need to create a new working structure for myself. You need to find the rituals that work for you and recreate those things. Time blocking helps develop that structure. Put the things that you need to do on your calendar.

How did you get a mentor? How did you structure that relationship? How did you make it mutually beneficial?

I met Jane, my mentor, in a networking group, and we became friends. I helped her with her business, and we realized that our approach to work was similar. We are finding the service in what we are doing. There are a lot of common denominators. We covered each other’s blind spots.

She’s a nice person to learn from. Her clients all love her. And I understood what client service meant. She even stayed in touch with clients from 10 years ago. It was really powerful. I realized that it is how a practice is built. 

You’ll find that kind of person as a new agent by having conversations. I believe that there are a lot of agents out there that recognize that relationship with other agents.

What would be your advice to agents on how to have great relationships with other agents?

One important thing to remember is respect. Respect their time during appointments and respect their process. That’s why when I present an offer, I make sure that everything’s there. I make it as easy as possible for other agents. 

Communicate with others and be open to them. Don’t feel like the other person is the enemy. Be fair, be clear, and be as transparent as you can be. So we can do the same for our clients.

What are your tips for buyer agents in order to excel in their field?

You should go someplace else and get to know the person before or after you look at the houses. Talk over a coffee or beer.  

It changes the dynamic, you’ll get to know why they are moving. Usually, there’s a life event, such as divorce. Ask 5-6 important questions and let them open up to you. 

Please share your secrets on how you tell the story of the house and the neighborhood.

It’s actually advertising and improv. Everybody likes a good story. Sellers would want to share about their house. You can ask about what was attractive about their house when they bought it. And it typically becomes a good story. 

People want to see themselves in the house. Serious buyers even have a relationship with your client’s story. Because they’re probably in the same place as the seller.

What would you say to your younger self about why he should buy the book?

Go to every kind of event, such as open houses and inspections. Because every event is different. Having a book on how people built their businesses and shared their experiences will be impactful to you. 

How can people get in touch with you?

Give me a call or text. I’m always open to conversations about the market. You can also check out the website or email me.

How to contact Scott

Principal, Fishman Group

Licensed Real Estate Salesperson

Worth Clark Real Estate

m: 773.316.5409

[email protected]