In 2019, Laura Ellis continued to be a strong advocate for the real estate industry and was named one of Crain's Notable Women Over 50. She serves on the Illinois Real Estate Administration and Disciplinary Board and is a Forbes.com contributor who offers her perspective on issues affecting the industry.
As president of Residential Sales and executive vice president of Baird & Warner, Ellis is responsible for the day-to-day operations of residential sales and serves on the Executive Committee. Ellis previously served as senior vice president of sales and oversaw the operations of all branch offices, as well as the creation of the Baird & Warner Leadership Institute, a unique training program that teaches sales associates leadership and business skills to prepare them for management roles.
Ellis joined the firm in 1998 as a sales manager in Bolingbrook. During her eight years in that position, the office embraced innovative practices and consistently broke production, recruiting, mortgage and title records. Ellis transferred to the corporate office in 2006 to serve as director of sales operations.
The Chicago real estate market has struggled in recent years. Ellis told Crain's Chicago Business that comparing volume at different brokerages can reveal "who's been able to understand the changes in the local market and operate from a position of strength." Baird & Warner was one of only two top-five brokerages that experienced a growth in sales volume in 2018, although much of that growth was due to the acquisition of a former Century 21 office.