Nada Ilich – Celebrates 50 Years in the Real Estate Business
Nada (Janhevich) Ilich grew up in Noranda, Quebec, Canada. She began her sales career at age 13, working at her family’s bakery and delicatessen. This is where she learned the #1 Rule of Sales – “The CUSTOMER is always right!” She moved to Detroit, MI in 1946 to marry Spaso (Sammy) Ilich. Together they built, owned and operated a variety of businesses in Northwest Detroit – bakeries, dry cleaning, and lastly a paint and wallpaper store on Warren Avenue in the Warrendale neighborhood. During the 1950s and 1960s suburban expansion of Metropolitan Detroit, many local builders would buy paint from the Iliches and were quite impressed with Nada’s natural sales skills. They encouraged her to go into the real estate business which she did in 1964, obtaining a Michigan Real Estate Salesperson License. She began her career with Teepee Realty on Five Mile Rd in Redford. A few years later she joined Hartford South Real Estate on Farmington Rd in Livonia, soon becoming one of their top producing agents. In 1974 Hartford South joined the Century 21 franchise system, and its owners asked Nada to open and manage their new location at Five Mile and Newburg Roads in 1976. Mrs. Ilich has been loyal to the Century 21 brand since its inception in Michigan in 1974.
Over the years Nada has seen economies go up, and down. She remembers when, in the late 1970s Land Contract sales were the norm as mortgage interest rates skyrocketed to 19%.
In 1976 Nada closed 189 units valued at $6 million, when the average home sale price was $38,000. The Century 21 Hartford South office, under her leadership became the top-producing C21 office in the entire Great Lakes Region.
In 1978 Nada decided to open her own franchise – Century 21 Nada, Inc., first located on Farmington Rd north of 8 Mile in a rented space. In 1985 she purchased a former bank building on Nine Mile and Farmington Rd, and relocated her office and agents there. Her company operated there until 2005, when she merged with Century 21 Town & Country in Northville. For many years Nada’s office was one of the top producing brokerages in the entire Century 21 system. In the early 1980s her annual sales volume surpassed $11 million. At one time she carried 125 listings all by herself! In the late 1980s and early 1990s her annual sales volume exceeded $25 million! She was a consecutive recipient of the Centurion, Double Centurion and even Grand Centurion Awards through the Century 21 system. She attended every annual Century 21 convention, up until 3 years ago. She was a longtime member and officer of the Metro-Detroit Century 21 Broker Council and Farmington Hills Chamber of Commerce.
When asked what contributed to her half-century successful Real Estate career, Nada shared the following… “Go to the office every day. Always be on time. Work hard. Be ethical and always tell the truth. Always put your clients’ needs first. But most of all… love what you do, and love the families (especially the children) whom you have the privilege and honor to serve.”