There isn’t only one right way to become a broker. Sometimes, people discover their passion for real estate after already establishing a career in a different field. Other times, becoming a broker begins as soon as someone receives an undergraduate degree. No matter what someone’s path is, successfully becoming a broker requires an individualized approach that can ultimately help an analyst achieve their goals. At Kiser Group, associates work alongside teams of established brokers who mentor and guide them through the intricacies of the commercial real estate industry. It is this experience as an associate that allows individuals to feel prepared and knowledgeable as they work towards their goal of becoming advisors at Kiser Group.
Kiera Dominguez began as an associate at the beginning of 2022, Rashad Siam began as an associate at the end of 2021, and Jacob Price joined Kiser Group just under a month ago. The three associates detail their experiences in their current positions at Kiser Group, and what they have learned as they continue their journey towards becoming a broker.
1. What were you doing before multifamily real estate and why did you decide to switch over to multifamily real estate?
Kiera: Before starting as an associate at Kiser Group, I was a consultant at a large technology company. I have family with careers in residential real estate, but the investment side of multifamily interested me in the most, especially being surrounded by the Chicago multifamily market.
Rashad: I’ve studied all types of products at JLL, Cushman and Wakefield, and consulting (still doing this). Multifamily real estate is by far the most interesting to me. I decided to make the move based on my love for traveling, investing, and construction.
Jacob: When I was younger, I spent most of my free time, between jobs and internships, working at my family shoe store, assisting customers, and cashiering. There, I learned how to listen to customers and provide top notch service. It was also a great foundation to build a career. When I graduated in 2020, I was offered an incredible opportunity to join Allstate as part of the Leadership Development Program, and work in Sales Strategy solving problems for their Direct Sales Channel. I shortly realized that my passion for Chicago real estate and working with clients was something I must pursue. Two weeks later, I quit my job, got my real estate brokers license, and started my career with Kiser Group.
2. Why did you choose to begin your journey in CRE as an associate, rather than going straight into being a broker?
Kiera: Coming from a completely different industry, I wanted to learn from professionals and start out on the right foot. Joining Kiser Group and being surrounded by experienced advisors to serve as mentors for me alleviated some of the pressures of starting a new job in a new industry. Getting to learn from an experienced multifamily team while learning the ins and outs of the industry was incredibly appealing to me.
Rashad: My previous career revolved mostly around analytics. I felt I could be more of an asset to the company if I employed my analytical skills while working on a team and learning to be a broker.
Jacob: Brokerage is a tough, competitive business that requires extreme determination. I am an incredibly driven and motivated person, but at the end of the day- to succeed, we need help. When I was offered this position to work at Kiser Group, I didn’t give it a second thought. Lee has been in the brokerage for over 25 years and has a wealth of knowledge, making him an invaluable mentor for me to learn from.
3. How do you feel being an associate has better prepared you for your future as a broker?
Kiera: I feel better equipped all around, especially in terms of underwriting. Every building is different and being able to estimate value consistency is a valuable skill I continue to learn from them. I also think Kiser Group does an excellent job of providing training materials and hosting learning sessions that help associates learn the ins and outs of the properties themselves.
Rashad: I really can’t say yet. I think as time goes on and I eventually become a broker, I’ll be able to look back at what experiences I had that impacted my career as a broker the most.
Jacob: The Associate role at Kiser Group has enabled me to work with one of the most experienced multi-family brokers in the business. From day one, I have been working closely with our COO Dan Gonzalez and Lee Kiser to complete the extensive training regimen that was set aside for me. Through our one-on-one lessons, group sessions, and role play, I have learned that in order to understand the market, you need to understand the numbers behind the transaction- something I am working at every day.
4. What is your personal timeline regarding becoming a broker? Is becoming a broker your ultimate goal?
Kiera: My goal is to become an advisor at Kiser Group following my time as an associate. My ultimate goal is to invest in multifamily real estate myself and become an expert in multifamily that clients trust.
Rashad: Yes, my ultimate goal is to become a broker. Regarding my personal timeline to get there, I need guidance through deals, to learn the nuances between a good conversation versus a not-so-good conversation with a potential client, and a walkthrough of a deal from beginning to end. Once this happens a few times, I feel confident that it’ll be time. But I’ll follow the lead of Kiser Group.
Jacob: Yes, 100%. At the end of the day, I want to become an advisor. I want to be someone clients look to for advice, and I realize this takes time. As training continues, and I grow as an Associate, learn the market, and work closely with my mentors, we can evaluate my performance and decide on the most opportune time.
5. What do you think is the biggest benefit of working alongside experienced advisors?
Kiera: I think working alongside experienced advisors, seeing how a typical day is for them, their market knowledge, and what goes into each deal provides me with a model of how to be a successful broker. That has been the biggest benefit so far. It’s also been a bonus to be able to pick the brains of all the advisors in the office to learn more about their markets.
Rashad: I think the biggest benefit that I’ve experienced while working alongside Ron and Jeff has been avoiding pitfalls. Before deciding to reach out to Kiser Group, I knew it was important to work with a group of people who are hungry to work and transact as professionals. I feel I’ve found that at Kiser Group and am excited for what the future holds.
Jacob: As an Associate, I have been given the opportunity to learn from our team of experienced advisors about the ins and outs of brokerage. With such a diverse group of people, all coming from different professional backgrounds, I’ve had the opportunity to understand each person’s story and how they operate. By listening to their takeaways, I can continue to learn and grow while I shape my future as a broker.
Kiera, Rashad, and Jacob all come from different backgrounds and career experiences. Yet, all three associates have been able to learn and grow in their position. Associates gain invaluable insight by working alongside experienced advisors, and advisors can rely on them for new insights and ideas. This structure allows for Kiser Group associates to thrive, and ultimately feel prepared and confident going into their future careers as brokers.