Agent Spotlight: Jonathan Self

You know those TV commercials for the most interesting man in the world? The next one should probably feature Access agent, Jonathan Self.

Describe yourself in 3 words.

I play chess

Tell us about yourself.

I grew up in “The South”. I moved every 2 years as a kid. I’ve lived in Europe and Asia. I met my wife while I was studying abroad getting my masters degree. Chicago is my adopted home and I fell hard for it. I’ve been here about 11 or 12 years now.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I straight up wanted to be Indiana Jones. That’s why I love travel so much. I suppose it was the desire to get out of “small town America.”

What was your first job in the real estate industry?

I joined a team as a buyer’s specialist. I’m glad I started there. I knew with my customer service background, I could really build something unique. Focusing on my brand has been a lot of fun.

What do you love most about the industry?

I really get to put that liberal arts degree to the test. It’s also a big honor to be such an integral part of people’s lives. They ask me into their homes. That’s a place that so few people are invited into. It’s their sacred space. On top of that, my clients trust me with advising them on how to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars.

How do you distinguish yourself from other agents in the business?

I help friends navigate the landmines of real estate by learning how to balance their idea of “home” with the reality of investing. So many agents are just pre-internet, “door openers” on auto pilot, and customer service just isn’t a thing. People need an ally. A real relationship with an expert. I’m a millennial, and I know we like communication, speed and data. I grow my business around a concierge model, and now I’m in my clients lives like the family doctor, accountant, or financial advisor.

What’s been your biggest accomplishment?

Her name is Mrs. Self.

Tell us about your favorite property that you have shown to a client.

Honestly, it’s not a fun answer but I don’t have one. I’m so objective when it comes to property. I’m about the numbers, the problem solving and the deal. I let clients get excited about finishes and design.

When you aren’t showing properties to clients, where can you most likely be found?

I’m usually working on some stupid life hack. I’m constantly trying out bio experiments. I’m on, like, month 2 of 1-2 ice showers a day.

What is your favorite restaurant in Chicago and why?

What an impossible question. Honestly, give me a cash only, ethnic, no english menu, hole in the wall with some unapologetic home cooking and I am a happy man. It’s one of the things I love this city so much for. The diversity is so appealing to me. That being said, Aroy Thai is LEGIT!

Who is your favorite person/organization that you follow on Facebook/Instagram?

Lately, I’ve been digging freedivingart. My hobby is freediving.

What smartphone app could you not live without?

Evernote, but Spotify is a close second.

Which Spotify playlist are you most proud of?

If you listened to my sunday me or cigar space playlist, you’d have a good idea of the type of man you’re dealing with.