There are moments in our lives when we have no control over the situations. We take a look at the universe and maintain our faith even in the most terrible of circumstances. And most of the time, things just fall into place without anyone realizing it.
However, before that happens, we spend a great deal of time and energy yearning for things that we believe are in our best interests, but with time realize that fate has other plans for us. Sometimes we worry and panic about the decisions that aren’t even ours to make, only to discover that events are unfolding precisely how we didn’t expect them to. And yet, in some strange way, it’s perfect.
Debra Dobbs’ professional line of work also followed a similar path. Fate smiled upon Debra when she returned to Chicago to start her gelateria and worked tirelessly to keep it running. Failing to do so, she transitioned from making ice cream to creating beautiful living spaces, as well as acting as a matchmaker, assisting individuals in finding their ideal houses.
And now, Debra’s extensive real estate expertise, along with her rich experience of Chicago’s neighborhoods, makes her an excellent resource for anybody looking to purchase or sell a house in the Windy City. Debra thoroughly understands her customers’ requirements and goals and is a vested partner in assisting people in getting their ideal home. She seeks to develop relationships with her clients that are founded on trust, honesty, and confidence.
Serendipity of Life
Debra Dobbs was 24 years old when she fell in love with Italy for its incredible art and delicious food. It was then she traveled through the Northern part of the country to learn the fine art of making gelato. With the skill mastered at her hands, she returned to Chicago to open the city’s first gelateria.
But just after two years, her financial partner moved to the West Coast, leaving behind the responsibility of managing gelateria on Debra alone.
Debra recalls that moment shattered her confidence. To her, it was the biggest obstacle of her life. Debra also found it difficult to seek assistance during difficult times considering she was the eldest child, and never had to ask for any help.
“The biggest roadblock happened when I had to sell my gelateria and my confidence was shattered. It took me longer than it should have to realize there was a silver lining of sorts. My other biggest challenge was and is asking for help. I am the eldest child and was always the child, daughter, friend who never wanted to ask for help. I still struggle with this issue,” shares Debra.
However, fate intervened when one of Debra’s favorite customers asked her to join his real estate development company. “I dried my tears, got my real estate license, and worked as the sales manager for another ‘first’, Chicago’s first loft condo conversion in the West Loop at 411 S. Sangamon.”
The transition to the real estate industry taught Debra Dobbs the value of serendipity in life. She recalls the journey now to be filled with curiosity and an open mind. While other leaders look to strategically plan everything, Debra waits for the moments to make the best out of them.
“The ability to balance a strategic plan while keeping an open mind is quite a balancing act. But to focus the journey based on strategy means missing the serendipity of life. I wake up every morning filled with joy, happiness, gratitude, and excitement about what the day will bring. My career intertwines with my life in ways that I never thought possible.”
The Dobbs Group comprises passionate, dynamic, self-confident, authentic, and kind professionals. On their individual levels, they carry unique qualities as a group, share a common desire to support each other and to grow professionally and personally. While in service to the clients, they act as fierce advocates for their best interests.
On the business front, although the majority of her business comes from prior clients, friends, and personal referrals, Debra treats each business interaction as if it were the first, and she meets with each client in-person to begin the journey for each purchase or listing. Debra calls her the quarterback of the team and plans out the play in front of the team with several checklists. She asserts, “I take my role as guide, counselor, guru, authoritative voice to heart. If there is a bump in the road, I take responsibility and move quickly to solve it. Internally, we have a 120-point checklist for each project to make sure no balls are dropped.”
Furthermore, she ensures optimal client satisfaction by establishing transparency, empathy, and availability. Her clients are assured that Debra is always there for them actively listening, engaging, and thinking outside the box for solutions.
Leading with Integrity
Debra leads the Dobbs Group by being an effective, respected, and inspirational leader. According to her, the most important traits of an admired leader are integrity, empathy, accountability, and passion to inspire others to exceed their abilities and expectations. “I think of myself as a leader for my team as well as our clients and strive to exhibit these critical leadership traits in every aspect of my personal and professional life,” she asserts.
Developing these leadership abilities, however, did not happen overnight for Debra Dobbs. She had to put in a lot of effort to get where she is now. The realization of being surrounded by others who share the same objectives surely helped Debra to grow as a leader. “My greatest learning experience has been to slowly, very slowly, understand that when I am surrounded by people I trust I can let down my guard and that level of mutual trust and respect allows for incredible personal growth.”
Debra also describes the most important trait of a leader by giving an example of an exemplary character, which is living a life by the defining characteristics of integrity, empathy, compassion, respect for self and others, a desire to bring out the best in self and others. “Do you do the right thing when no one is watching? Do you put the interests of those you serve above your own? Start by making a conscious decision to live by these principles and soon your unconscious mind takes over and these guiding principles become a force of nature.”
And for the forthcoming years, Debra will utilize these leadership traits to expand The Dobbs Group organically. She pays homage to her team and thinks it is a natural progression to grow the team given the success it has gained over the past several years. Moreover, the group is also working on a mobile app that Debra is excited about.