The Swake Group, President
After earning two degrees from Iowa’s Cornell College in 1991, Todd Szwajkowski moved back home to Chicago and began a career in Marketing. He immediately made his home on the north side and has always taken great pride in being a son of this great city. Over the next thirteen years, Todd worked in marketing for a Chicago neighborhood redevelopment organization, an international hardware retailer and global marketing and promotions agency.
In making the transition to real estate, Todd brought a wealth of knowledge in marketing and project management – two skill sets essential to successfully managing real estate transactions. His first year in the industry ended with a commendation from the Chicago Association of Realtors® for sales volume. And each subsequent year has established him as a “Top Producer” in the market. In addition to transactional business, Todd has added real estate development to his portfolio. Projects include renovations of both multi-unit properties and single-family homes.
The growth of Todd’s business over recent years has been based solely on referrals – a testament to the priority he places on personal attention to his clients. For Todd, it’s more than just a sale; truly understanding his clients’ needs and maintaining an unwavering attention to detail supports a smooth transactional process and ensures that his clients’ goals are exceeded.
This business philosophy serves as the foundation of SwakeGroup – the real estate team Todd established in 2007. He is emphatic that “Walking you home, every step of the way.” is not just a tagline – but rather – a mission statement.
When not working, Todd indulges his passion for travel, architecture and being on the water. He is a regular supporter of Habitat for Humanity, the Human Rights Campaign, and The Lincoln Park Community Shelter.
The Swake Group, Vice President
Amie grew up in the Chicagoland area before moving away to earn a degree in politics from Princeton University. Following graduation, she returned to Chicago to attend Northwestern University for a master’s degree in integrated marketing communications. Making her home on the North Side for the last fifteen years, Amie continually draws inspiration from the city’s rich history and varying neighborhood personalities.
Previous to selling real estate, Amie managed marketing efforts for the Chicago Tribune’s real estate advertising sales division – its largest business category responsible for over $90 million in annual revenues. This experience cultivated her knowledge of the Chicago real estate market and proved a natural fit for her entry into the transactional side of the profession.
As a licensed real estate practitioner, Amie utilizes her general business knowledge and marketing acumen to achieve successful results for her buyers and sellers. By truly listening to her clients’ needs, effectively communicating, and maintaining relentless attention to detail, she consistently provides creative solutions and exemplary client service.
Amie enjoys Chicago because it embodies a great balance between work and play. She feels the beautiful lakefront and the vibrant and diverse neighborhoods, along with the city’s combination of historic and modern architecture as well as its multi-cultural and arts communities, make it an ideal place to call home.
Outside of work, Amie proudly serves as an executive board member for ‘Girls in the Game’ – a local non-profit organization providing sports opportunities, health education, and leadership development for underserved girls.
2010 Top Producer, Awarded by the Chicago Association of Realtors
The Swake Group, Vice President
Liz attended the University of Missouri where she earned both undergraduate and graduate degrees on a division one soccer scholarship. Immediately following graduation, she relocated to Chicago’s north side and began to pursue her passions.
Liz worked as a sports and orthopedic physical therapist for six years. And while she had always derived great satisfaction from assisting her patients on their paths to recovery – she could not ignore her passion for design and architecture, so she began selling real estate.
In her first year, Liz transacted more than six million dollars in residential real estate–and in the process established herself as a highly valued resource to buyers and sellers looking to redevelop their properties. Utilizing her renovation and design skills, she helps sellers obtain top-dollar for their properties. For her buyers, Liz has planned and implemented numerous kitchen and bath remodels and project managed the complete renovation of both single-family and multi-unit properties.
Liz manages the processes of buying and selling through her up-to-the-minute knowledge of the market, her focus on client service, and a highly pragmatic and organized work style. Her laid back personality and sense of humor never go unappreciated in what can often be a stressful experience for parties to a transaction.
In her free time, Liz can usually be found drilling holes in “stuff”, repainting a room for the umpteenth time, or acquiring a new piece of furniture for her home. She lives with her family in Chicago’s Andersonville community.
Liz was recently recognized as a 2010 Chicago Association of Realtors Top Producer. This prestigious award is given to the top 10% of agents based on sales volume for the year. Even in a tough market, Liz’s business continues to grow.
Mike and Sarah Saladino
Good decisions start with good information. That is why you need to pick a trusted advisor to help you with the many decisions you will encounter while buying or selling your home. Mike and Sarah pride themselves on being honest, knowledgeable, and driven. The combination of their extensive market knowledge and excellent negotiating skills enable them to get you the most value for your home. Trust is hard to come by in today’s real estate market, but Mike and Sarah want to assure you that they have the professionalism and integrity to represent you in one of the biggest decisions of your life.
Mike is a lifelong native of the north side of Chicago. He is a graduate of University of Illinois with a major in Finance and has also earned a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Lewis University. His inherent knowledge of every neighborhood in Chicago is magnified by his experience working for over ten years as a Sergeant for the Chicago Police Department in almost every area of the city. Mike is an extremely giving person and has a strong desire to help others which has lead him to the real estate industry. He loves to learn, and to teach others in the process. His clients can be assured that he has the professionalism and integrity they deserve while buying or selling real estate.
Mike enjoys spending time with his wife, twin daughters, and two dogs as well as his family and friends when he is away from work. He also enjoys bike riding, working on his home, and dining in Chicago’s great restaurants. He loves learning new things every day about this city. In his free time he volunteers for the Daniel Murphy Scholarship Foundation as well as the Chicago Foundation for Education. He is also involved with the Chick Evans Scholarship Alumni Association These organizations help kids when they need it most – early on in their education.
Sarah graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in Nursing. She moved to Chicago in 2001, and has enjoyed working as an Oncology, Neurosurgery, and Medical-Surgical nurse at Rush Medical Center downtown. Sarah loves the city life, and decided to branch off and explore her passion for real estate. Sarah truly is a people person. She has the competence and optimism that will make her clients feel at ease. She wants to make the process of buying and selling real estate to be straightforward, successful, and fun for her clients. Sarah will bring confidence and a contagious enthusiasm to any situation.
Sarah enjoys running, listening to live music, and spending time on the water. She appreciates photography and architecture. Sarah can often be found reading magazines and watching the latest trends in home repair and design. She has lived in and loved many different neighborhoods of the city, but currently resides on the Northwest side of the city with her husband, twin daughters and dogs. She volunteers for Chicago Foundation for Education, which awards teachers with grant money to be used towards enriching their student’s education.
Mike and Sarah proudly joined the Swake Group of Dream Town Realty in 2008 and they believe the dedication, integrity, and professionalism of their partners have led to the great successes that the team has experienced.
Thomas attended Central Michigan University in his home town of Mt. Pleasant Michigan Before transferring to Western Washington University’s satellite program in Seattle where he earned a degree in marketing with an emphasis in fashion design. Realizing pretty quickly the fashion world was not for him, he moved to a career in interior design-sales. After seven years in Seattle Thomas decided to sell everything and move to Prague. He spent a year in Prague helping develop an interior design business from the ground up. When he returned to the United States he moved to Chicago and started working as an art consultant, framer and outside sale representative of custom picture frame moulding.
After eighteen years of sales, marketing and business development success he transitioned to a career in real estate. Real estate had always been his one true passion. Since Thomas was a teenager, he browsed listings, frequented open houses and followed market trends with enthusiasm. This extensive knowledge and desire has culminated in a finely polished, experienced professional who is eager to make your home selling experience one you’ll always treasure.
Thomas will begin your partnership with a pressure-free consultation enabling you to express all your needs, desires and concerns. He then customizes a marketing plan that employs unique strategies to expose your property to its target audience. You can rest assured you will never be pressured into making any uncomfortable decisions. Instead, through diligent research and market comparison, you will be presented with all the information you need to make your decisions with confidence.
You’ll find no greater value in a Real Estate professional than the peace of mind in knowing your agent is working hard for you, and he is representing your best interests through every step of the process. In the end, when you’re settled and relaxed in your new home, you’ll never doubt your choice that Thomas Secson was the right one!
Thomas likes to have fun in his free time! You can find him at the beach with his dog, playing cards with the Euchre Club of Chicago, and enjoying the various Chicago street festivals in the summer.
Known as a tough negotiator, Ted’s clients consistently say working with him is a pleasurable and fun experience. Originally from Rochester, New York and the son of a farmer, Ted has called Chicago home for over twenty years. After graduating from Northwestern University, Ted remained in Chicago and currently lives in Andersonville. Before transitioning into real estate Ted owned a catering company that serviced some of Chicago’s best known families. As the owner of several multi-unit buildings, real estate seemed like a natural progression for Ted. He now has over twelve years of experience selling real estate in Chicago, giving him a thorough knowledge of the cities’ different neighborhoods. That expertise has given Ted a statistical edge in understanding property values, geographic areas and economics. His real estate business is based upon providing his clients with the solid facts and figures needed to make a good decision. As a property owner and Real Estate Broker, Ted has made it his business to be knowledgeable about construction, property management and surrounds himself with a network of vendors, contractors and electricians. Steeped with an entrepreneurial spirit he has gained an education in all types of real estate, especially investment properties.
Ted enjoys spending time with family and friends sharing a meal at one of his favorite neighborhood restaurants, attending the theater, or taking in the great architecture in Chicago and wherever his travels may take him. He is an avid student of Chicago history, enjoys a great glass of wine and rides his bike or ski’s to stay active. Near and dear to his heart, Ted supports PAWs of Chicago, and NPR.
Born and raised on the East Coast, Todd comes to Dream Town with a wealth of real estate experience both in the residential and commercial venues. After a five year stint in Denver as an executive facilitator for the CEO of Gittelman Properties, Inc. Todd came to Chicago in 2005 focusing on residential sales, especially first-time home buyers.
Attention to detail and due diligence are the catchphrases that best describe Todd’s approach to surpassing the clients expectations when buying or selling a home. Whether you are looking for a condo, a single family home, or a multi-unit income producing property, he is committed to finding the “perfect” home for his clients and eliminates much of the stress associated with home buying by clearly explaining the process step-by-step, insuring an educated and informed buyer. That same commitment holds true when marketing a property for a client. Todd knows that buying or selling a home may be the single most important decision a person makes. With that premise in mind, he carefully guides the client through the process. According to Todd, effective communication among all stakeholders provides the best platform for a successful real estate venture. His reputation is built on ethical standards and the highest level of professionalism.
Todd utilizes all of the latest technology available to find that perfect home or get the best market value for a property. He is more than proficient in every available real estate portal and is a multi-tasker who is able to achieve the highest level of success for a client.
When Todd isn’t finding the perfect property or developing the most effective marketing package, he can generally be found designing web pages, immersed in learning the fine art of photography, or lending assistance to a variety of volunteer programs such as the Chicago Foundation for Education, Advanced Arts@Gallery 37, or the One Brick program. Working with community-based organizations that zero in on neighborhood improvement provides first-hand intimate knowledge of many emergent areas. Todd is a seven year resident in the lakefront Buena Park neighborhood.