Midwest Real Estate News recently inducted more than 90 new members to its Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame. We are running profiles of these new members throughout this year. This week, we look at the career of Charles Krawitz, vice president of commercial lending and loan trading with Chicago-based Alliant Credit Union.
Charles Krawitz’s commercial real estate financing career began in 1987 and includes several key positions with highly regarded intermediaries and banks. Of particular note is his leadership of LaSalle Bank’s small balance commercial real estate lending operation, LaSalle Select. In January 2017, Krawitz joined Alliant Credit Union as the head of commercial lending.
“My career in commercial real estate commenced in 1987, an interesting time to start in the field as the tax law had just changed to disallow accelerated depreciation and the industry was in flux,” Krawitz said. “Naïve to this, I took a job with Balcor who, as one of the biggest syndicators, was in the midst of massive tumult. While this resulted in a very truncated tenure at Balcor, it did launch me into what ultimately turned into a prosperous career in commercial real estate finance, filled with periods of both great accomplishment and daunting challenges.”
Under Krawitz’s leadership, Alliant Credit Union received the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) 2018 Excellence in Lending Award in recognition of the credit union’s forward-looking commercial lending strategy and successes. Krawitz also received multiple awards while at Fifth Third Bank; was honored as a Director of the Year in 2011 from SomerCor 504, Inc. where he served on the Board of Directors for many years; and was awarded a 40 Under 40 designation by Chicago Magazine in 2002.
Krawitz has worked in commercial real estate for more than three decades. What has kept him in this field for so long? He points to the variety of his job. As he says, no two days are the same.
“Real estate finance rests at the center of an interconnected web that includes small investors, institutional owners, divergent capital sources and the confluence of economic forces,” Krawitz said. “Simply put, no matter how similar a situation may look, no two opportunities are the same. There are a multitude of drivers and challenges that need to be understood and accounted for. Each loan is supported by, and exposed to, a unique set of circumstances. I find it intellectually rewarding to be able to discern the signal from the noise.”
Succeeding in commercial real estate finance is no easy task. Krawitz, though, hasn’t relied on any one secret formula to do this. Instead, he’s worked long hours, researched his field extensively and, most importantly of all, has made meeting the needs of his clients his top priority.
“To be successful I have been adaptable, open-minded and tenacious,” Krawitz said. “These qualities helped me envision a more promising tomorrow when all looked bleak, and allowed me to find niches to play in when the industry was booming and the field was crowded. Overall, I have been well served by being curious and inquisitive.”
Krawitz has served on the board of a large CDC and has held leadership positions with a number of charitable organizations, including the City of Hope’s Real Estate Action Committee. He has served as an editorial advisor to numerous trade publications, speaks frequently on commercial financing at trade conferences and has authored numerous articles in this regard.
When not working, Krawitz enjoys long walks and listening to a variety of podcasts. He also reads a lot, taking on everything from business publications to the latest and greatest in outer-space discoveries. Krawitz enjoys traveling internationally, too, has has developed into a street-art enthusiast.