By Jimal Gilbert, Kiser Group

While my path to having a career in real estate wasn’t exactly linear (with stops along the way at the Art Institute because I wanted to design men’s suits and then eight years in the Army), real estate has always been part of my life.

My family, dating back to my grandfather, has always owned and operated real estate. After realizing I didn’t have the patience to endure the tedious process of designing suits, I started looking at getting into the family business. What sparked my interest in considering a career in real estate was continually seeing inefficiencies and pain points my family was experiencing from their investment portfolio. I felt the transactions could have been a lot smoother. I figured if I learned more about the deal process, I could make the deals less of a headache, so I got my broker’s license. 

I then joined a top team at a suburban firm that was “resimerical.” If you’ve never heard the phrase “resimercial” being thrown around, it describes residential brokers that dabble in commercial real estate as well. While the majority of my work was showing homes on nights and weekends, I soon got my first taste of commercial when I sold my first six-unit building. I found myself after that first deal enjoying the commercial side of things more. The deals were less emotional and more strategic. Investors had a criteria in mind. If the property didn’t fit, it didn’t fit. Of course, the commission didn’t hurt either. 

Multifamily properties are a different type of challenge than the typical first-time homebuyer I had become accustomed to. These clients are sophisticated, analytical, and data-driven. Before I knew it, I became more data-driven, too. I was now analyzing P&L sheets and operating statements regularly. This was where business shifted, and I found it fun to have these high-level conversations about the story the numbers told. 

Naturally business picked up as well. I went from working on a ten-unit deal, to a 25-unit deal, to a 43-unit deal, all the way up to a 100-unit deal. It dawned on me that at the rate I was going, I might as well make the jump to strictly focusing on commercial brokerage by joining Kiser Group. 

Now that I’m at Kiser Group, my focus is on the city’s southern border of Auburn Greshman to the south suburbs, including Blue Island, Dolton, and Calumet City. Having lived and worked in these areas, I intimately know the market and the socioeconomic drivers of each area. I am excited to work with investors looking for value-add deals between six to 100 units who have typically overlooked certain pockets on the south side of Chicago as well as the south suburban markets for one reason or another.

If you have any questions about the available inventory in this area, please reach out. 

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