Monday, December 13, 2010

Professional segues from commercial interior design into commercial real estate sales

Showcasing early entrepreneurs has a twofold purpose. One is to offer an added marketing communications or social media element to help promote their businesses. The second is to provide a forum through which they can guide other aspiring business owners around avoidable obstacles and toward a path of attainable goals. Sharing insights begins with hearing their stories firsthand beginning with a conversation with

Patricia Keegan, senior vice president
Vertical Brokerage, Inc.
O: 312-362-0360
M: 847-612-0504
F: 847-550-0679

There were several circumstances that motivated my becoming a commercial real estate broker with Vertical Brokerage. First, I had more than 20 years in the corporate world of land acquisitions, corporate building, recruiting tenants, negotiating their leases, getting their space designed, etc. So, I had that behind me. Secondly, after I left the corporate world four years ago, I started an interior decorating business. I became certified as an interior decorator and also had earned certification as a commercial interior decorating specialist. Then, more recently, a friend offered me the opportunity to join her brokerage firm as senior vice president of commercial real estate. So, I decided to jump at that. But, in order to do so I first had to go to school to obtain a real estate brokerage license which I did and, subsequently, joined Vertical Brokerage.

Vertical Brokerage is a small commercial real estate brokerage firm that works with the small business person who wants a small office or retail space. Our focus is on anything under 20,000 sq-ft. which the large firms traditionally don’t care to handle. As far as our marketing efforts, we use traditional online brokerage sites to list our properties, do a lot of networking, and make use of a onsite signage at our listed properties.

Along with our niche of serving the small business owner, Vertical Brokerage specializes in helping both owners and tenants find the right match. While we do help clients find land or buildings for investment purposes, our expertise goes beyond just helping them find properties, we also help them evaluate the perspective space, show them how they can use it efficiently and effectively, and help them build the business image they want to convey through interior design recommendations.

Our ideal clients are building owners who are seeking tenants, business owners who are seeking office or retail space and investors who are looking for commercial properties to add to their investment portfolios. Our area of focus is from Naperville to Vernon Hills along the Schaumburg corridor.

If I would have done anything differently, it would have been to start this career sooner. I just feel that this is such a perfect fit for me. I love the idea of helping clients find the right space and match tenants with landlords looking for the perfect tenant. Tenants, on the other hand, are looking for the perfect space that is functional and a landlord who is reasonable. So, making those match ups is what this job is all about. The best advice I can offer new entrepreneurs is to choose a business that you love, because, if you love what you’re doing everything else will fall into place.

Editor's question: How many of you have changed career paths within the last year?

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