Broker Spotlight – Ted Stratman
Are you curious about what it takes to become a successful real estate broker? Or perhaps you’re interested in learning more about the day-to-day responsibilities of a broker? Today, we sit down with one of our talented brokers, Ted Stratman to gain insights into his experiences in the real estate industry and learn a little more about his background. Ted has been a leader in Chicago’s Multifamily Brokerage, especially on Chicago’s South Side, contributing to the sale of nearly $900M throughout his career.
What brought you to Interra Realty and when did you join?
I have been with Interra Realty since day 1 (October 1st, 2010). Previously, I worked with Jon Morgan and David Goss at another brokerage firm. When they decided to start Interra, there was no question I was going to join them. Very grateful I made that decision.
What drew you to the commercial real estate industry?
I actually received a degree in Commercial Real Estate from Marquette University, which has now proudly become one of the top undergraduate programs for Commercial Real Estate. I enjoy serving on the Advisory Board for the Center for Real Estate and working with current students in the program. The combination of finance, real estate and natural entrepreneurship in the industry made it attractive to me…and still does.
What do you find most rewarding about your work?
For me, the answer is two-fold. First, I love the full circle aspect of the deals we work on. It is not uncommon to assist a client with acquiring a property, and then some months, or years, later we’ll join their team again to sell that asset for them. It is fulfilling to be able to see a client’s business plan through and getting them the best deal possible on both the buy and sell side.
Second, it’s rewarding to be a small part in improving Chicago’s housing stock. I’ve sold many vacant buildings, or buildings that are in need of significant repair. Client’s renovating these buildings – improving the interior of the units, new building systems and adding amenities – adds quality housing to the market while keeping the apartments affordable.
What do you think are the most important skills for a successful commercial real estate broker?
Aside from skills learned on the job (underwriting…etc.), I think the following are very important: Work hard and keeping showing up; Be reliable for your clients and company; Be persistent and able to handle rejection; Be positive but also honest; and most importantly – be yourself. Every successful broker has similar skills but also can pave their own way.
Can you share an experience you had working with a client that demonstrates your expertise and professionalism?
Over the last few years, I have assisted multiple clients assemble portfolios on the South Side of Chicago. After executing their business plan, these clients hired me and Lucas Fryman to sell the portfolios. Each portfolio was unique being scattered site properties and involving affordability regulations, assumable GSE loans, or in process of government rental assistance. Fortunately, we had sold many of the properties before and our familiarity with the assets and required approvals helped get the deals across the finish line totaling more than $60M and nearly 500 units. In addition, one of these portfolio sales has been nominated as a finalist for 2022 Multifamily Transaction of the Year in Chicago for the Illinois RE Journal Real Estate Awards.
What do you like to do outside of work and how do you balance your work and personal life?
My wife and I enjoy traveling, especially visiting family in Omaha and Milwaukee area. My 2 year old son now dictates what I do outside of work, and that’s typically exploring nearby parks or chasing him around the house to burn off energy!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received, and how has it shaped you?
Fortunately, my dad wrote a book many years ago titled “For What It’s Worth” and it’s full of great advice. Two of my favorites:
You have only one reputation – it’s hard won, easily lost and once tarnished, it’s hard to recover. Your reputation in business is a composite of your honesty, integrity, work ethic, temperament and professional skills…don’t compromise these for short-term gain.
Be Interested…ask questions, listen and observe.
What is the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done and what did you learn from it?
One adventurous thing that comes to mind (and maybe a bit naïve?) is a 3 day hike of the Grand Canyon over the 4th of July. We knew it would be hot, but Arizona in July was something we weren’t prepared for. We slept along the Colorado River at the bottom of the canyon, and then hiked back up 8 miles the next day. in total, we hiked around 25 miles (we may add a mile or two every time we tell the story). I learned to always break in your shoes, never pass a bathroom and there’s a limit on the number of Clif bars you can consume in three days.
See Ted’s active listings here.
Phone: (O) 312.361.3133 & (C) 312.371.2920