Jennifer Ames Biography

About Jennifer Ames

I am passionate about helping people and exceeding expectations. This passion is a thread that runs through my life, career, civic work, and family.

As an Ivy League college graduate and a former investment banker, I was initially reluctant to become a Realtor. At the time, it was an industry largely populated by part-timers and the barrier to entry was low. With my mother’s encouragement, I transitioned into residential sales but with the promise that I would set the highest standards for myself and raise the bar in our industry. By my third year in the business, I was #3 in Chicago and ranked among Chicago’s top ten agents/teams for 21 consecutive years with $2.0 billion in career sales. In addition to sales, I have appeared on HGTV and WLS radio, and enjoy speaking to industry audiences around the country on a variety of topics ranging from marketing and branding to work-life balance.

In 2008, I founded Ames Group Chicago, a boutique team committed to providing the highest level of support, marketing and insight in the industry. In 2019, my husband and I took that mission to the next level, bringing the premier global boutique, Engel & Völkers, to the Chicago market. Everyone throughout our brokerage is dedicated to providing white glove service to our clients, regardless of price point.

I am a straight shooter and I am not afraid to be candid. With each new client, my priority is to understand their goals and develop a strategic plan to accomplish them. For our home sellers, I provide practical, cost-effective advice to help them get their home ready for sale, personally photograph it, identify our target audience, offer well-researched advice on pricing, and actively manage the marketing and messaging. Once we receive an offer, I negotiate, and with the support of my Contract Manager, manage the sale through closing. For our buyers, I listen closely and then help them refine and efficiently manage their search, respecting the value of their time. Once we identify their ideal home, I work with them to obtain the most advantageous terms possible. In many cases, we stay in touch long after the closing, and I serve as a resource that extends well beyond residential sales.

I am a multi-generation Chicagoan with deep roots going back to the 1800s in both civic entrepreneurship and residential and commercial real estate. My parents and grandparents instilled in me our family tradition of leadership in the city and the importance of giving back for the benefit of future generations. Over the years, I served as President of the Auxiliary Board of the Art Institute, on the Board of Directors of the Lincoln Park Zoo, founded the Auxiliary Board of SOS Children’s Village, and served on fundraising and event committees for several other important organizations. After becoming a parent, my focus shifted to supporting organizations that empower underserved young people to grow, compete, and take their academic and professional lives to the next level.

My major life accomplishments include climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, competing in a Dancing with the Stars competition to benefit Giordano Dance Chicago, and being a mother to three amazing high school boys. I live with my family and dog, Jeppy, in Chicago’s East Lincoln Park neighborhood. My husband and I enjoy spending time with our boys, trying new restaurants, fly fishing, skiing, and exploring the world. Someday, when I retire, I will be a writer.