How long have you been a member of COLBA?
I believe I (finally) joined in 2012.
What do you appreciate most about COLBA membership?
The ability to connect, and socialize, with my friends & peers within the brokerage community.
Tell us about your CRE background:
I was fortunate to have been given an internship with Transwestern Commercial Services in the summer of 2001, which was my first exposure to this fascinating industry. At the time, I had no formal knowledge or understanding of what a Commercial Real Estate professional did. During my internship, I began to develop an insatiable passion for Commercial Real Estate. I spent the Summer learning the marketplace by canvassing the Buildings that made up Chicago’s Central Business District) and developing an understanding of the various mechanics & clauses of a Lease Document – I religiously took home & studied old Lease Documents to familiarize myself with what an Executable Lease Document looked like. I also asked a ton of questions of his colleagues – and still makes a habit of this today. At 21-years old I was hooked, and by the end of the Summer I knew exactly what he wanted to be “when I grew up”!
Today, my passion for the business is as strong as ever! I enjoy the many challenges of commercial real estate, and like to be able to look at a city skyline and understand the corporate composition of the landscape within the marketplace. I am passionate about problem solving, and consider myself a consultant rather than a “broker”. I am not in the business for a quick commission – if I do a good job and represent my clients’ best interests, then I have achieved success.
What is your advice for young brokers starting out in the industry?
I learned early on that commercial real estate is a “contact sport” and thus, people still appreciate human interaction when communicating … a face-to-face conversation goes a long way.
What do you expect to see in the CRE market for 2017?
Unlike the previous 2-3 years, I am surprised that we have not seen a large suburban company make a commitment to relocate its workforce downtown.
What are some of your philanthropic associations?
The Adler School
City of Hope
The Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago
Lurie Children’s Hospital
United States Golf Association
Chicago District Golf Association
What do you like to do in your free time?
I love to spend time with my family. Having a 6-year son keeps me very busy on the weekends. On occasion when I have a free moment, I love to play golf.
If you weren’t in Real Estate what would you like to be doing?
I would learn the flower business and work in his family’s floral shop (that would make him the third generation to work at Swanson’s Blossom Shop!) in Deerfield, IL. My Grandparents started the business decades ago and it is now run by my Mom and Aunt. It was my grandfather that taught me at a very young the importance of a day filled with hard work and the joy one can gain from servicing a client. One of my Grandmother’s favorite sayings is, “don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty!”
Most folks don’t know that I am…
I love reading about golf course architecture … I am a total nerd.