Today we’d like to introduce you to William “Bill” Himmelstein.
Bill, Founder & CEO of Tenant Advisory Group, is an excellent broker not simply because of the number or size of deals he’s worked on, but also because of his admirable set of values, which he places above all else in his business and personal life. While it may sound simple, Bill attributes his success in the commercial real estate to basing his firm on the time-honored principles of doing what you say you’re going to do, being punctual, acting with integrity and always placing your client’s best interests first.
He first learned the tenant representation business at several larger firms. He spent 8 years working at UGL Equis, Cushman & Wakefield, The John Buck Company and as a Managing Director at Advocate Commercial Real Estate Advisors. While he enjoyed training at the larger firms, he was always taught to “pound the phones” cold calling to bring in deals and pushed to get each deal done as quickly as possible. When he began Tenant Advisory Group in 2008, he decided to do things differently. He devoted the first two years to Tenant Advisory Group primarily to building relationships and thinking about how he could connect his network to new business so they could grow and prosper. Although his own pipeline was sparse, he felt confident that his “giver’s gain” attitude would eventually bring good business back to him, which it did. His continued support of his clients, from introducing them to new business to donating to their preferred charities is now perpetually reciprocated through referrals made right back to him. As of today, he is personally working with 35 active clients, an impressively large number of deals to be working on at one time. Over 95% of these clients were generated through referrals from people who have seen Bill in action and understand the strength of his character.
In addition to working hard to save his clients money, building strategic connections to support his clients and partners, and assisting in growing their businesses, he is actively involved in several organizations in the local community. This includes: being a Founding Member of Coleman Circle aimed at supporting local entrepreneurs; a Founding Member of the Chicago Leadership Alliance, whose mission is to connect local leaders to create social-impact initiatives; a sponsor and panel moderator at Techweek; a sponsor and board member of the civic engagement platform GoCivic Chicago; as well as a member of Entrepreneur’s Organization. This year, he also founded two monthly Executives Breakfast and Luncheon groups which are designed to bring business owners and c-level executives of professional service and technology businesses together in a casual atmosphere to network and share ideas. When he is not networking or helping to save the world one lease at a time, he enjoys spending time with his wife and business partner, Diana, and two sons, Austin and Brody.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
As was alluded to in the last question, the first few years of starting the business were a struggle. I was confident that building relationships and focusing on supporting others’ successes would eventually bring good business back to me, but initial earnings were sparse as I was focused much more on giving than getting. This was a challenge as I struggled to support myself and my wife Diana, while she was also making a very modest living earning a biomedical Ph.D. at the time. Eventually, however, as I continued to fill my networking partners’ business pipelines, grateful business owners and satisfied clients began to return the favor and the result was a positive snowball effect in prospective client referrals back to us at Tenant Advisory Group.
There were also, of course, additional struggles during the first few years of running a business such as navigating how to hire good talent, and how to be a good manager, leader, and trainer (working in the business) while also trying to bring in new clients (working on the business).
Tenant Advisory Group, LLC – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Tenant Advisory Group, LLC. is a licensed independent commercial real estate brokerage firm focused on helping tenants and buyers get the most out of their business space. We partner with our clients, providing education and advice based on our in-depth knowledge and years of experience to help them find space and negotiate their leases and purchases.
One thing that sets us apart from all of the larger CRE firms is that we are tenant and buy-side representation only, which limits any dual representation conflict of interest that many of the larger firms run into.
Another thing that sets us apart from many of the larger firms is our core set of values that we bring to every client relationship and transaction. I worked at several larger real estate firms before starting my own and they all seemed to value one thing: making as much money as possible. I and all of my team members focus on a core set of values that we hold above all else. These are responsiveness, follow-through and putting our client’s best interest first. These things may sound trite to say, but can truly be rare to find. Our goal is not to get to the finish line, but to build a relationship. We are a nearly 100% referral-based company and therefore our incentive is to do a fantastic job so that our clients continue to work with us and believe in us so much that they will refer us to their own clients and partners.
Another thing we are proud of is the affiliate relationships we’ve built along the way, so that when our clients work with us we can also offer them top rate and affordable service solutions in Residential Real Estate, Cloud Services, Managed Services IT, and Architectural Services.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
I think it’s probably seeing the team we have today in action, and how productive, effective and successful we are at working together to achieve what we are achieving right now.
- Address: 150 N. Michigan Ave Suite 800
Chicago, IL 60601
- Website: www.tagcommercialbroker.com
- Phone: 312-775-4040
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TenantAG/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/T__A__G
- Other: https://www.linkedin.com/company/tenant-advisory-group-llc