An inside look at how this trio of CRE veterans came to form Monarch Realty Partners

Veteran industry professionals, Bill Baumann, Brian Semel, and Michael Anguiano aren’t your average trio of investment sales brokers. Not long ago, the three worked together at commercial real estate firm Kiser Group more so as competitors rather than collaborators.

But thanks to a number of shared client relationships, the team began working together more frequently on assignments and became top producers at their firm. The three have closed more than 300 investment sales transactions ranging from $1 million to $100 million, combined.

“We realized not only did we enjoy working with each other but that our collaboration created greater production for ourselves and enhanced results for our clients,” said Baumann, managing broker at Monarch Realty Partners.

Baumann, Semel and Anguiano saw the opportunity to build a premier commercial brokerage company focused exclusively on the sale of multifamily and mixed-use properties in greater Chicagoland.

With this mentality, the trio partnered to form Monarch Realty Partners, a firm with a goal of providing commercial real estate investors the most trusted brokerage platform to buy and sell Chicago multifamily and mixed-use properties.

Building straight from their careers in the multifamily business, the three principals wanted to pursue their one shared philosophy: to focus on one thing and do it the best.

“We understand the asset class, know the local markets and have developed relationships with investors and vendors in the market,” the team explained. “Multifamily has been a very attractive market for investors in terms of the returns it has provided and as a result, it has been a healthy market for brokerage firms given the recent level of transaction volume.”

In today’s market, the team has been seeing broad activity throughout the city and suburbs and across the investor spectrum, from individual owners to institutional investors.

“Given the strength of the rental market and premium prices being offered for apartment buildings, we’ve increasingly seen a number of condominium buildings and their boards choose to sell in bulk to investors looking to de-convert their condo buildings back to rental buildings,” the team said.

Baumann, Semel, and Anguiano said this is a sign of continued strength of the rental market overall, and an interesting reversal of what they saw in the mid-2000s, when a significant portion of rental properties were purchased by developers for conversion to condos.

Among the various Chicago corridors, the team believes the Fulton Market District and West Loop areas have seen the most changes, with transformations in recent years from an industrial and meatpacking district to now one of the city’s most vibrant neighborhoods to work, live and socialize.

“The neighborhood’s growth over the last five years in terms of new rental buildings, new employers like Google and Uber, and new restaurants headlined by top chefs has been remarkable,” the team noted.

“We have seen record investment on a broad scale throughout Chicago, both in the downtown market, the neighborhoods as well as many suburbs. The amount of new construction investment currently underway is staggering, with roughly 45, new high-rises under construction in the city, from Hyde Park and the South Loop to Logan Square and Lakeview. Sales of downtown multifamily transactions surpassed $1 billion through the first half of 2016 while suburban transaction volume through the same period approached $2 billion with both likely to set new records this year. Similarly, transaction volume within the neighborhoods of Chicago has risen steadily over the last five years.”

For individuals looking to start their own business, the team suggests that if you have a passion for a business, appreciate hard work and know it’s what you want to be doing, then go for it–it’s worth it. They said that while there is always room in any business for a brilliant game-changing idea, it’s execution that tends to make one successful.

“Real estate has been around forever, with many successful and unsuccessful companies,” they shared. “How a company executes their ideas often defines how well they do.”

Although Baumann, Semel and Anguiano have no plans to expand other specialties like office or industrial brokerage, the trio is looking to expand the firm’s presence within the markets they serve, and to add experienced, respected brokers and staff to the team.

So what do the next five years look like for Monarch Realty Partners? The team hopes the firm will have a team of talented individuals and continue to grow their reputation as a leading, trusted partner to commercial real estate investors and developers throughout Chicago.