Holly Connors

Senior Broker

Holly Kapsa Priestley

Senior Broker

Amy Philpott

Broker

Noel Walton

Broker

Monica Biewer

Broker

Michele Sohl

Broker

Shannon Bennett

Director of Admin Operations

Nicole Kar-Ali

Director of Systems

Kari Firak

Marketing Director

Anton Groark

Assistant

Meet Our Team!

Holly Connors

Senior Broker

After joining @properties in 2003, Holly helped establish it as the leading real estate brokerage in Chicago, while helping hundreds of clients meet their housing needs—and dreams—in the northwest suburban Arlington Heights area.

Since 2015, she has been a top volume earner, meaning she sells over $30 million annually in northwest suburban residential real estate with an average market time of 54 days—25% better than the 73-day region average.

Known for her bluntness and transparency, Holly’s dedication to client satisfaction is bolstered by an extensive network of esteemed industry professionals like contractors, attorneys, inspectors, and mortgage brokers.

Holly is in the 1% of realtors on Trulia who has been cited on the site’s Best of the Best for 16 years running. She has been featured in Chicago Agent Magazine and Top Agent Magazine and has received several industry awards, but the recognition she most values is that her business is based almost entirely upon referrals.

From first-time buyers to real estate developers, Holly represents a diverse range of clients, helping sellers position their home for top profitability, establishing personalized criteria for buyers, or navigating the area’s vast array of award-winning schools. Holly’s insider perspective on her native area helps clients consider neighborhood criteria like how long it takes to walk to the train, the best place for wine and tapas, or local special events.

Holly is dedicated to her community: she has been named Woman of The Year by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, helped raise thousands of dollars in donations as a corporate match for A Better Community for District 25, and is a member of the Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce.

She lives in the Pioneer Park neighborhood of Arlington Heights with her husband and their two children.

Holly Kapsa Priestley

Senior Broker

Knowledgeable. Trustworthy. Analytical. Dedicated. These are just a few words clients have used to describe Holly Kapsa Priestley. With a degree in architecture and background in interior design, real estate was a natural progression in her career.

 

Holly’s signature drive and solid work ethic pushed her forward quickly in her career, from starting at Chicago Tribune’s For Sale by Owner in 2010 to joining @properties (Chicagolands #1 real estate brokerage) in 2013 as an accredited Real Estate Negotiation Expert (RENE) and Certification & Pricing Strategies Advisor (PSA Certification). Holly is an @properties Top Producer, a Zillow 5 Star Agent and has been featured in Chicago Agent Magazine.

 

Spend one minute with Holly and you’ll find her love of homes, architecture and design infectious. She has manifested this passion into productivity, rolling out the red carpet for her clients and covering the technicalities of pricing, timing and overall process, just as easily as giving design advice to buyers or staging a home to sell.

 

As part of GetBurbed, Holly joins a team with over 20 years of experience representing buyers and sellers from the city to the suburbs. With over a half a billion sold lifetime, Holly and the GetBurbed team are proven experts in Northwest Suburban Real Estate. Living and working in the ‘burbs, Holly has an insider’s knowledge on details like school info, walkability, blocks that flood, and which areas have better resale than others, as well as an expansive network of professionals, from contacts for zoning permits to carpenters to interior decorators.

 

Holly does not subscribe to the one-size-fits-all approach to real estate, instead establishing personalized criteria for each buyer and researching the market to help sellers position their home for top profitability. She has a strategy for every obstacle, providing clients all the details they need to make the right decision for them, be it in the city or suburbs.
Holly is a fierce advocate for local business: a member of the Roselle Chamber of Commerce as well as Mainstreet Merchants and the Zoning Board of Appeals. She lives in Roselle with her husband and two children.

Amy Philpott

Broker

As the former owner of what she refers to as the “The Cheers of Arlington Heights” (AKA the Tuscan Market & Wine Shop), Amy Philpott knows the northwest suburbs and the power of living in a wonderful community. Amy has a tremendous sphere of relationships, in the business and local community. Her relentless work ethic sets her apart from many of her peers and she has proven herself as seasoned, trusted broker. Amy is intuitive, patient and thorough in her service style with her clients.

Amy, a California native, has relocated on multiple occasions in her previous jobs as operations management at FedEx and Trader Joe’s. Corporate and personal experience allow Amy to share strategy, area knowledge and data analysis to counsel her clients. Amy places a strong emphasis on client service and communication. Her clients are more than a “deal” to her and the post close relationship is even more important to her.

Amy resides in Palatine but her time owning and operating a small business, working alongside the local Chamber of Commerce and government, Amy knows all about Arlington Heights. Her area knowledge and sales area cover from the Chicago city limit, to the far western and northern Illinois border. Amy has extensive knowledge of northern lake properties near the Wisconsin line, if boating is your thing. Whether you are buying, leasing, selling or investing, Amy’s goal is make your real estate transaction seamless and successful!

In her spare time, Amy is co-founder of Brewing Opportunities-Gerry’s Café, a registered non-profit. Gerry’s Café will be a full service café employing adults with cognitive disabilities. Named after Amy’s Aunt Gerry, who was born with Down’s syndrome, Amy has been diligently working on the creation, planning and fundraising of Gerry’s Café. As you can imagine, Amy makes the most out of every hour of the day.

Amy holds a degree in Behavioral Science from The University of San Diego. Through the National Association of Realtors she’s a certified Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR), a Real Estate Negotiation Expert (RENE) and Pricing Strategy Advisor (PSA). Amy served as the 2015 President of the Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce. Amy was voted Arlington Heights Business Leader of the Year in 2016, received the 2010 Cook County Heroine of the Year Award and was the 2010 recipient of the Business Leader Heart of Gold – Village of Arlington Heights. Amy’s passion and spirit for her community transcends into all areas of her life. That passion, along with her skill makes Amy a unique and special broker.

Noel Walton

Broker

For 15 years—before HGTV’s “Fixer Upper” was even a thing—Noel and her husband rehabbed distressed properties, giving her lots of experience in spotting ways to add character and improvements to a home, not to mention navigating differences of opinion when more than one person goes into a property together.

From her experience flipping houses—and being married to a contractor—Noel is an expert on what types of permits a client may need to replace an HVAC, or the potential costs of putting in more duct work or tearing down a wall.

One of Noel’s strengths is being able to break the buying, selling or remodeling process down into small, doable pieces. She also takes pride in making customers feel pampered with her signature concierge style treatment, bringing her clients everything from carpet samples to dinner in order to make their transaction smoother.

Noel has had her broker license since 2015 as part of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and the North Shore/Barrington Association of Realtors (NSBAR) and is a Certified Staging Agent, helping clients envision how to best stage and market a home for quick sale.

Noel and her husband are both natives of Arlington Heights where they returned to put down roots with their three kids who attend Hersey High School, Thomas Middle School and Olive-Mary Stitt Elementary (so she is a great resource for parents looking to buy in a good school district.)

A former teacher, Noel is a self-described sponge, spending her downtime educating herself on everything from educational podcasts on negotiation or rehabbing to housing trends on Pinterest.

MONICA BIEWER

Broker

The narrative of Monica’s career is rooted in real estate. Starting in the early 2000s as a residential real estate agent, this is where she began to hone her skills as an expert negotiator, problem solver, and client advocate. Following her passion for home design, Monica moved into a sales manager position for a custom home builder, just a subtle shift within the industry. She held the hands of clients as they built their dream home, providing a calming and consistent presence during a time of stress, as well as keeping a finger on the pulse of each project- a multitasking triumph! Here Monica was also rewarded with a vast network of industry professionals, from carpenters to interior designers, she can recommend a trusted specialist. 

 

Knowing real estate is where she wanted to be, Monica joined the largest independent brokerage firm in Illinois, @properties. Her career history has provided her with a unique, well-rounded approach to real estate, giving her a true edge over the competition. Monica has found a home within the GetBurbed team, a support system providing a sounding board for any obstacle, as well as countless resources.

 

After 20 years in the northwest suburbs, Monica moved to Inverness with her husband and oldest of three children. On her time off Monica loves to golf, shop and hang out with family and friends. 

MICHELE SOHL

Broker

For most of her professional career, Michele built strong relationships within the community as a Speech and Language Pathologist in the Northwest Suburban schools. Her experience honed her skills in listening, understanding, and being able to translate needs into positive action. Michele recently made the leap into real estate to combine her passions for helping others, community development, and the excitement of the industry.

Having lived and worked in the Chicago Northwest Suburbs for her entire life, she is well versed with neighborhoods from Schaumburg to Elmwood Park. Michele has lived in Mount Prospect for the last 11 years and is intimately familiar with schools, activities and proud to call it her home.  Additionally, she has a strong network of local contractors and specialists to provide support for the aspiring homebuyer. Perhaps Michele’s most significant trait is her determination. When Michele sets her sights on a target, she works tirelessly to achieve it. One needs to look no further than her achieving Ironman Finisher while managing her full-time job and home-life.

Michele graduated from the University of Illinois with an undergraduate in Speech and Hearing Science and Northern Illinois University with a Masters in Speech and Language Pathology. She lives in Mount Prospect with her husband,  three children, dog, cat, bunny and turtle. When not involving herself in the community, Michele also loves running, biking, traveling and enjoying good wine with good friends.

Shannon Bennett

Director of Admin Operations

Since 2012, Shannon Bennett has operated, as her coworkers put it, as the brains behind the operation of GetBurbed, handling the behind-the-scenes work that goes on behind every listing and sale.

Whether handling a client’s questions, following up with real estate attorneys, or scheduling meetings and open houses, Shannon multitasks like a boss while maintaining angelic levels of patience with clients and coworkers who need calm, cool, reassuring help. Working alongside Holly Connors for many years, she has perfected the art of making each client and colleague feel like they are her #1 priority—even if that’s not technically possible.

Prior to her work specializing in contract administration at GetBurbed, Shannon worked for employers such as Walt Disney World Resort, AT&T, Four Seasons Hotels, and Lennar Homes. She has always been a people person, which is why she has always been customer interfacing. All those years providing support has made her an expert at being cool under pressure and giving clients what they need, when they need it.

Raised in Glenview, Shannon earned her bachelor’s in communications with a minor in business administration from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Together with her husband, a former Olympic qualifying boxer who recently opened Marvelous Fight Studio in Wheeling, Shannon has a son interested in anything active and a daughter interested in anything outside.

Nikki Kar-Ali

Director of Systems

Nikki is basically a miracle worker. Technically the Director of Systems at GetBurbed, Nikki is essentially the one that makes everything work efficiently internally. She assures the team is utilizing the systems to their fullest capabilities, creating streamlined processes to ensure our transactions run smoothly and our brokers have the support they require. She also works closely with Shannon, assisting brokers in their transactions from beginning to end by processing contracts and helping clients with all of their needs as well.

 

Nikki has an extensive history in systems and project management. After graduating from St. Norbert College in Green Bay with a BA in Communications, she went on to work as an Executive Legal Assistant for the General Counsel of a Financial Services firm, and then moved on to be Search Coordinator for Ferguson Partners, a boutique Executive and Board Recruitment firm.

 

A real renaissance woman, Nikki juggles her family at GetBurbed with her family at home. An Arlington Heights local, you can spot her around town with her husband and two children, at local parks, activities with the kids, or sneaking away for a date night at her favorite local spot, Tuscan Wine Market. 

Kari Firak

Marketing Director

Kari is the creative conscious of GetBurbed. As our Marketing Director, she is at the helm of promoting our properties, branding the business, and coordinating community outreach and events. Luckily, the team is always happy to join in on any imaginative idea constructed by Kari. From writing property descriptions to creating content to preparing printed materials, she builds the brand from top to bottom so the rest of the team can do what they do best- sell real estate!

 

Kari has been the creative, branding force for various local businesses for the past 10 years, prior to that working as a buyer for the Art Institute of Chicago Museum Shop. She prides herself on being a professional chameleon, easily adapting to an ever-changing industry, figuring out the best ways to promote a business and ultimately benefit the end client. In 2018, Kari and her husband started a photography company, LOMA Studios, and have had the opportunity to style and photograph the most beautiful homes. Her own home has been featured in Architectural Digest, Design Sponge, and Apartment Therapy. 

 

Originally from Woodstock, then living and working in Chicago for 10 years, Kari now calls Crystal Lake home, along with her husband, two kids and dog.

Anton Groark

Assistant

Anton has been with GetBurbed since 2019, keeping the GB machine well-oiled. A true superhero, Anton assists the team with a million tasks that add up to an indispensable role. Getting keys, setting up lockboxes, delivering booties and marketing materials, putting up under contract signs, delivering birthday signs… most times without being noticed, like a ninja!

Anton has a very bright future ahead! A talented musician, he writes, records, and produces music in his own studio. He also moonlights as a wedding DJ! Anton lives in Arlington Heights, if you are local, chances are you have seen him around running errands. Give him a shout-out!