Years in the business: 22
Never boring: After co-founding his namesake firm in 2005, along with his partner, Estella Kiser, Lee Kiser worked to assemble a team of highly capable multifamily brokers in Chicago. But he’s certainly not been idle; in addition to running the company, he remains an active broker and has a personal career transaction volume greater than $3 billion.
Over his 22-year career, Kiser remains invigorated by the industry. When it comes to commercial real estate, Kiser derives satisfaction from both the actual buildings that make up part of his and his firm’s transactions and the people he comes into contact with through his work. “From the architecture to mechanical systems, I love apartment buildings themselves,” said Kiser. “I also love the personalities and characters who own them (highly entrepreneurial, Type A and never boring).”
To err is human: According to Kiser, the greatest challenges in selling commercial real estate are, first, predicting value and then convincing a buyer and seller to agree on it. So what is the secret to his success? A willingness to make mistakes and understanding what the true goals of the industry are.
“I’ve been doing this long enough that I’ve made most of the mistakes you can, so now I’m much more effective in what I do,” said Kiser. “I’ve developed a knack for valuing an apartment property and have put systems and methodology in place for property marketing and exposure so that the market is pushed to meet and accept that value.”
“These are the steps I’ve taken to improve over the years but there isn’t some nirvana reached that is ‘success’…no threshold to reach, then sit down,” Kiser continued. “Ours is a service business. The better you are able to serve your clients, the more successful you will become. There is no perfection, so you always have to improve.”
Out of office: Kiser is actively involved in various commercial real estate organizations, including the Leadership Council of The Preservation Compact, the Lincoln Park Builders of Chicago, The Kellstadt Graduate School of Business at DePaul University, The Eisenberg Foundation and the Forbes Real Estate Council.
In his free time, Kiser enjoys working out, cooking, hiking beautiful mountains around the world and performing with his band.