Illinois REALTOR® Magazine  | July 2013
by Stephanie Sievers | Associate Editor
During his real estate career, John P. Vranas has shown a commitment to the REALTOR® organization but also to his greater community. Illinois REALTOR® talked to the 2013 Illinois REALTOR® of the Year about getting started in the business and why being involved is so important.
You’ve been in real estate for 35 years. How did you get started?
My brother started a company that was involved in putting together partnerships aquiring properties. He needed someone to operate those assets and it just fell into place. I grew up in the real estate business with my parents and it was really exciting to be involved in a company that started fresh and to be able to develop value with the real estate industry.
Why did you focus on property management?
There were four partners and we had diverse skills so my focus became asset and property management. Our market is really diverse. It is about what investment makes the most sense, so we’ve been involved in shopping centers, office buildings, multi-family residential and condominium development.
What is the best advice anyone ever gave you?
The advice comes from my parents. Be the very best that you can be in what you do, no matter what you do. Put all the effort into what you are doing and you will be successful.
What are the keys to success for a long real estate career in property management?
The keys are being attentive to detail, being organized and making sure you cover every base.
Why has it been important for you to be involved in the real estate industry and your community?
In the REALTOR® organization, our clients and investors depend on us to help protect them from what is going onMeet the 2013 Illinois REALTOR® of the Year John P. Vranasin government. I got involved in the Chicago Association of REALTORS® Property Management Committee, not only for the advocacy but also for the sharing of information with other members and practitioners. I’ve learned the power of the REALTOR® organization and what we’ve been able to do at the city council level. I learned the same thing being involved in IAR. The power we have in Springfield, the voice we have is so critical in making sure we protect the industry, property owners and our clients.
My involvement in the community is an offshoot of that. As we went into communities that needed development we needed to be involved in the community organizations that surround those communities — community groups, builder’s clubs, social service agencies. Those are the type of wrap-around services we need to help support the community and support our real estate investments.
Two areas of focus have been your local schools and programs aimed at the homeless or those in need of emergency housing assistance. Why have those been important?
Education is the primary tool to community redevelopment. If you have good schools, you have strong property values, consistent and stable real estate taxes and you educate the new generation to be productive members of society.
The issue regarding homelessness and my work with the Emergency Fund really comes to the issue of what are we here for on this earth and how are we going to report what we’ve accomplished. When you have someone who needs a hand up, that’s what you give them.
Do you want to see more REALTORS® get involved in their community?
It’s critical. If you are a real estate agent, you need to be involved in your community because your clients depend on it, your community depends on it and your own success depends on it because it’s all about relationships.
John P. Vranas is the owner of Vranas Ventures Inc., a property management company in Chicago. He is a member and past president of the Chicago Association of REALTORS® and received his local association’s REALTOR® of the Year award in 2004. He received IAR’s Distinguished Service Award in 2006. He is president of the Chicago Alliance to End Homelessness and the Emergency Fund and is chairman of the Chicago Special Service Area #26 Board. He serves on his local school board.