CRE Future Leaders: Jake Parker of Kiser Group

Jake’s entrepreneurial spirit started early. Outside of commercial real estate, he developed and launched a successful online electronics e-commerce business which has seen year-over-year growth over the past six years. Jake graduated with honors from Michigan State University’s School of Hospitality Business within the Eli Broad College of Business where he majored in Hospitality Business and minored in Real Estate Investment Management. While at Michigan State, he was a member of the Real Estate Investment Club and Sigma Pi fraternity.

Tell us about your background. Where did you grow up, where did you go to school?

I was born and raised in Rochester, New York. Since I was young I always knew I wanted to get into real estate. I attended Michigan State University (GO GREEN!) and majored in Hospitality Business with a minor in Real Estate.

How did you get your start in the industry?

Having been a successful hotel broker with CBRE, my uncle was the driving force for me getting into real estate. My first start in the real estate industry was a summer internship between my junior and senior years of college, working with JLL’s Hotels and Hospitality Group in Chicago in hotel asset sales. Since my goal had always been to be a real estate broker, this was a great learning experience as to what the real estate world was like.

Did you have a mentor who helped you get on your feet, or is there someone you turn to now for support?

Throughout my life, I have had many mentors guide me to where I am today. In my professional world, I have two mentors that have helped me over the past few years, Michael D’Agostino and Lee Kiser. I worked as an analyst alongside Michael right out of college before I launched as an Advisor. I greatly appreciate the opportunity he gave me to get my foot in the door of the multifamily brokerage world and will remember him fondly. As for Lee, he has always been there to share his knowledge, whether it be working on valuation underwriting or helping through a challenge in escrow. I would not be where I am today in the real estate world without Lee’s help and guidance.

What does an average day in the life of Jake Parker look like?

While an average day in the life has changed dramatically during the pandemic, two things stayed constant in my life: drinking coffee and calling clients. All that being said, the exciting part about the real estate industry is that everyday is different, from cold calling new business and creating a valuation for a potential sale to reaching out to clients about a new listing and touring them through a property. All of these everyday activities have really picked up over the past six months as people are ready to deploy capital back into the market, resulting in my business partner, Andy Friedman, and I having a very active pipeline of valuations and closings.

What do you like most about your job?

My favorite part about my job is getting out of the office and walking through properties, whether it is showing a client a listing or having an owner show me their building. The aspect of being out of the office, along with the day-to-day variation, keeps my job interesting and exciting.

Looking to the future, what do you hope to achieve/work on that you have not already?

One goal I hope to achieve is to be able to sell the same property for a second time or even third time. Being able to represent a client in the disposition of the same property they purchased with me would be a great accomplishment.

What kind of changes do you hope to see in the industry in the near future?

In the future, I hope to see new adaptations of technologies in the industry such as CRM’s and real estate platforms getting better and more useful. There are a lot of technologies and real estate platforms that help make everyday business easier but I am looking forward to what the next adaptations will be.

How do you spend your time away from the office?

Away from the office, I enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and friends, whether it is traveling, attending concerts or going out to bars and restaurants. I also enjoy spending time outside with all Chicago has to offer, whether it is biking on the lakeshore or walking in Lincoln Park.


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Kiser Group Staff