CHICAGO—The city of Chicago has become far more popular withyounger, tech-savvy and creative workers who increasingly rejectthe suburban lifestyle in favor of the downtown's amenities andnightlife. And a new brokerage firm called Idealty RealEstate has just opened for business with the aim ofserving this key demographic.

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Idealty will initially focus on residential brokerage indowntown neighborhoods including Wicker Park, Logan Square, theWest Loop, River North, Lincoln Park and Old Town. It will alsooffer commercial brokerage and development services.

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“Real estate is inherently rich in information and visuallybeautiful, but the business side of the industry has always been abit of a late adopter of change, particularly in terms of thecreative aspects of marketing, web design and social media,” saysPreston Jones, co-founder and director ofoperations for Chicago-based Idealty. “It's pretty homogenous howlistings, neighborhood data and even agents are presented on mostbrokerage websites. We saw an opportunity to marry our team'screative energy and capabilities with the brokerage world, andpresent real estate solutions in a fresh and aestheticallysophisticated way that's unlike anything else in Chicago.”

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Jones adds that Idealty appeals to innovative clients whoappreciate inventiveness and authenticity. “We're really the firstbrokerage firm to offer information and resources in the look andfeel that they prefer for consuming information, as well as contentthat speaks to their priorities. Consumers today are verysophisticated and drawn to visually-stimulating sites likeHouzz and Pinterest when it comesto designing their home, so why should they settle for a lessexciting website or experience when it comes time to buy or sell ahome? We don't think they should.”

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Idealty officials say they use high design quality and aestheticstandards on its website, marketing materials and neighborhoodguides. Using neighborhood data, the firm has also createdcommunity reports with visually pleasing infographics that presenta snapshot of each area's dynamics.

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“We are not in the business of providing a dry list of datapoints,” says Maria Boncza, managing broker forIdealty. “Instead, we combine imperative stats like home values andappreciation rates with lifestyle facts about a given neighborhood,such as average commute times and resident employment levels, so wegive buyers the best 360-degree view of what it might be like tolive in a particular area.”

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Idealty has already scored a significant client. It is theexclusive listing agent for circa 922, a new104-unit rental building under construction at 922 W. WashingtonBlvd. in the West Loop that will open this January.

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Idealty is temporarily based out of CanvasChicago, 2313 W. North Ave., until moving into new officespace currently under development at 3204 W. Armitage Ave. in theLogan Square neighborhood.

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Brian J. Rogal

Brian J. Rogal is a Chicago-based freelance writer with years of experience as an investigative reporter and editor, most notably at The Chicago Reporter, where he concentrated on housing issues. He also has written extensively on alternative energy and the payments card industry for national trade publications.