Hello! This week’s Meet a Mom is the lovely born and raised Glencoe mama, Ashley Kain Silver. Ashley has had her unfair share of unpredictable life changes. 2019 was an exceptional year for her business in residential real estate. Whilst kicking butt and taking names, Ashley put on a brave face for her family, friends and clients – she was going through and finalized a divorce. In this Meet a Mom interview Ashley discusses how she became involved in this line of work, her favorite family stomping grounds, how her children lift her up and life going through a divorce.
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in town? What brought you to your current town?
I was born and raised in Glencoe, although I attended college in Ohio and lived in Colorado briefly during and after graduate school . After having my kids, I moved back to Glencoe because of the community, top-rated schools and to be close to family.
You’re a mama! How many kiddos do you have and how old are they?
I am! I have two amazing kids (most days). My daughter Emma is 5 years old, and my son, Eli, is 3.
Haha, we hear ya! What’s your favorite thing about being a mom? Please share at least one mom “hack/tip” that makes your every day life a little easier…
Watching my children grow is the most amazing part of being a mom. My son is at the age where he is getting bigger every day. It is both very entertaining and very scary. He is super cute right now and I don’t want him to grow! Having two kids has come in handy, as my hack is to reward whoever behaves better…. A little competition goes a long way with them!
Yes! Healthy competition! What is your least favorite mom job?
Can I just say that 4:15-7:30PM is my least favorite time? I feel like my day winds down so should the kids, but instead I am trying to feed two energizer bunnies with very different dietary demands. I end up making at least 3 meals for each kid.
What are some of your favorite local places to spend with the family?
There are so many but here are my top five:
- Woodlawn Park in Glencoe-the zipline is the kids favorite!
- We love the Rockin’ Jump in Buffalo Grove, especially when its snowing outside.
- Obsessed with Tacos El Norte in Highwood-so easy for the kids and really great food.
- Frequent to Barnaby’s Pizza.
- My son is obsessed with Hi Five Sports Zone in Northbrook Court-they are amazing there!
What is one thing you’d like people to know about you outside of your career?
It’s not a cheerful thing but I just finalized a divorce.
Thank you for sharing that. How have you been able to plug ahead with your career and motherhood despite this difficult and painful roadblock? Do you have any advice for other moms going through a divorce that you can share?
My divorce was challenging and probably the hardest time in my life. It’s through rough times that we realize that no matter what challenging things are going on, we work hard and push through for the things that really matter. I always focused on my kids and on my job because those are the things that allow me to get through the tough times. Also, talking to friends, family, and even clients, is always therapeutic for all involved. In a way I feel like I am not just a real estate agent. A lot of the clients I work with are not just changing their address, they are having a big life change. I have always found that talking open and honestly with somebody helps. Whatever they are going through, I am there for them.
How did you stay your best self while you were going through a divorce?
My best self wasn’t always great. I focused on the things that made me happy instead of focusing on the things that made me upset. Everyone has their struggles, and although I like to keep mine private, I always tried to stay strong for my kids.
What is something nice you do for yourself on a regular basis? Something that helps you stay sane?”
I get to see friends and catch up over coffee. When I can, I like to get out and go to the city. Last month I got to see Ray Lamontagne and Bert Kreischer!
Tell us about your real estate business!
I am a residential broker with @properties. When I first started working in real estate, I worked with agents that were burnt out, and not really having fun or showing passion about the work they were doing. I decided to center my business around being approachable, available, transparent and patient. My business partner and I try our best to create a relaxed environment for our clients when showing houses. Car salesmen wear a suit and tie – we prefer jeans and a comfy sweater, and we urge our clients to be comfortable as well.
How did you get into the field of residential real estate?
I spent my first few years working with North Shore top-producing agents. I’ve adopted many of the methods I was shown from these brokers but made changes that I believe are more authentic to who I am as a person. Buying or selling a house can come with a ton of stress, but with the full range of services I provide, my goal has always been to make the process as stress-free and easy on my clients as possible.
What are some of your proudest moments with your business where you said “wow, I did that”?
Like with any new business, becoming successful in the first few years is a rarity and I was prepared for the struggle that any new business has at the beginning. However, with the help of my business partner, Ross, a great marketing strategy and exceptional service, we are now in line to become top producers in our first year together! Most agents may say that once they get someone under contract or on closing day are the “proud” moments. For me, it’s a few weeks later when I am having dinner with those clients (that are now friends) and they tell me how much they love their new home.
As an expert, what advice can you share with perspective home buyers?
Get your ducks in a row. Whether you are listing or buying, there are things you should do before you start looking around. Pre-approvals for buyers, staging for sellers… but instead of trying to find the information you need, contact me instead. Use an agent that is a one-stop-shop for everything you need, instead of piecemealing it together. And don’t hesitate to ask questions!
How important is it for you to have a passion outside of being a mother?
It is very important because I feel like we sometimes lose ourselves in motherhood. My passion has always been being a part of the education world. As I am not a teacher, I do my best to volunteer and be a part of the community. I am on the Glencoe School District 35 Board, a member of the PTO, and a committee member of the Glencoe Village’s Sustainability Committee.
When parenting gets hard, what’s something you tell yourself that gets you through?
I have those moments most days, and for me, just seeing my kid’s faces helps me get through it.
What’s on the horizon for your business? Future aspirations, plans….
2019 has been an exceptional year for my real estate business. I couldn’t have asked for a better start in this new career. Continuing to provide customized service for my clients is a cornerstone of my business and making the process fun for my clients also makes it fun for me. Within the next couple years, I would love to give back more, by working with Community Partners for Affordable Housing, donating part of my commission to cancer research, and teaching my kids the importance of giving to those in need.