Each year, Midwest Real Estate News elects a new class to its Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame. Here’s a look at one of our new inductees, Chuck Delaney, executive managing director with Friedman Real Estate in Farmington Hills, Michigan.
Hard work matters to Chuck Delaney. Just consider his college years. While studying at the University of Michigan, Delaney worked 70 to 75 hours a week, earning $4 an hour, at his grandfather’s garden center.
That might seem like a lot of work for not a lot of money. But Delaney says that the lessons he earned then have remained with him today. And these lessons – most notably about how important it is to work hard and provide top service – have helped Delaney build a thriving CRE career.
“I learned many lessons in that job, from the importance of customer service to the value of a strong work ethic,” Delaney said.
After graduating from the university in 1979, Delaney worked for a large corporation. There, he met several key mentors who taught him much that Delaney couldn’t learn from his instructors or textbooks at college.
Delaney said that one friend played a particularly important role in his future career: He convinced Delaney to take the CPA exam. After passing that, Delaney began working with a small law firm that invested in commercial real estate as a way to shelter its income from its law practice.
“While there, I learned a bit about nearly all areas of real estate,” Delaney said. “My biggest takeaway was learning the value of leverage and the power of the residents and tenants paying the mortgage payments through their rent. After a couple more jobs, I made my way to Friedman. Learning what I was strong at and what I wasn’t helped carve my path at Friedman.”
Today, Delaney serves as executive managing director at Farmington Hills, Michigan-based Friedman Real Estate. His responsibilities include oversight of the entire shared-services platform and strategic oversight of the firm’s multifamily management division.
“One of my best skills was identifying and hiring strong team members with complementary skill sets,” Delaney said. “As our multifamily division grew substantially over the last few years, I relinquished some other divisional leadership responsibilities and assumed my current position. Currently, I am planning for a successor to my position.”
Another key in Delaney’s success? He’s always learning. Delaney says that he has attended many industry seminars, conventions and trade shows to further his education in the industry.
Delaney is fortunate in that not only is he skilled at commercial real estate, he also loves the profession.
When asked what he enjoys most about this industry, Delaney points to “the opportunities and challenges presented by the ever-changing micro and macro landscapes impacting our business. No two days are alike.”
When not working, Delaney says, he enjoys exercise, mostly riding his bicycle and walking. He says he masochistically follows Detroit’s professional sports and happily follows University of Michigan football and basketball. But mostly he enjoys eating his wife’s cooking and spending time with his family and grandchildren.
“On a personal level, my greatest blessing is the health and well-being of my family,” Delaney said. “As my full-time career winds down, I do aspire to give back. That will be the next chapter in my life’s book.”