Fresh out of college at Indiana University, Kelly Joyce knew she wanted to do something sales and marketing related.
On the verge of accepting a position to sell fax machines and other office equipment, Joyce conferred with her brother in-law, Tim Wagener, the new president of Owen Wagener Tim advised her that if she was going to sell a product or service it should be bigger than a piece of office equipment—like real estate.
She needed little convincing and quickly began a career in commercial real estate. From the start her emphasis has been on the industrial marketplace. Today, as a vice president at Colliers and based in their Rosemont office, Joyce covers the O’Hare market and the Northwest suburbs. Her current assignments find her in Mt. Prospect, Arlington Heights and Schaumburg to name a few.
Joyce cites her most memorable experience as the making of a transaction that began at one of her first sales meeting at Colliers, the firm she joined in 2005 after 18 years at Owen Wagener.
She explained that during those meeting brokers would discuss the market and go around the room talking about new assignments and client requirements. In one of those first meetings one of Joyce’s colleagues mentioned having a building in Bellwood for sale. Ironically, in the days ahead of the meeting a client of hers talked about wanting to buy an investment property.
“Within a day or two I was showing the property and soon after that a deal was done,” Joyce said. “It was so uplifting to see how the spirit of collaboration and problem solving worked at the firm. It was an exciting way to get a deal done.”
That memorable experience also reinforced one of the greatest pieces of advice she was ever given, “When you talk to people good things happen.”
The woman who almost launched her professional career selling fax machines and office equipment suggests that people today often are too reliant on technology.
“It’s such an easy habit to quickly shoot off a text or send an email,” she said. “But there is nothing like talking face to face.”
That’s one of the real advantages she points to in working in an office and within a specialty group the size of Colliers and its industrial group.
“It’s really great to know the solutions you can come up with by talking with others at the office,” Kelly said.
Most people in the industry, at least within the industrial real estate community, know that Joyce is married to John Joyce, a managing director at Transwestern. But what most don’t know is that she and John were high school sweethearts when she went to Regina Dominican and John went to Loyola Academy in Wilmette.
John and Joyce have three children aged 19, 17 and 13. Her children and family is something very important to her. In 2008, Joyce took part in the Avon Breast Cancer Walk, a three day event to raise money for breast cancer research. She did the 39-mile walk in celebration of her mother, a breast cancer survivor, and in memory of her sister who passed away after a battle with cancer.
“Walking and participating in the Avon 3-Day Walk was a great experience,” Joyce said. It also lead to what she considers one of her greatest accomplishments outside of work, raising $10,000 for a cause so intertwined within her family.
When not working, Joyce loves to be active, cooking, skiing, taking pilates and taking in concerts at different music venues in the area. And then there is travel. Some of her favorite places she has visited include Ireland, Scotland, London and Jamaica. Places still on the bucket list would be Italy, Spain and other European destinations. Perhaps even higher on Joyce’s bucket list is a rafting and hiking trip in the Grand Canyon.
With more than two decades in industrial/commercial real estate, Joyce says that the reason she has stayed in the industry is constantly meeting new people and new companies.
“It’s satisfying and gratifying to come up with solutions for clients and to follow their growth,” she said. “That definitely makes it more of a career than a job!”