As part of our series, CRE Future Leaders, we caught up with Adam Saxon, director at Interra Realty. Saxon is a multifamily, mixed-use and land development investment specialist within the Chicagoland market. He joined Interra Realty in October 2015, bringing with him five years of diverse sales and marketing experience. Since 2017, Saxon and his business partner, Brad Feldman, have closed more than $56 million in total real estate transactions with an average deal size of $1.55 million. Together, they raised Interra’s profile with the $3.7 million sale of 1955 N. Lincoln Ave., a 16-unit apartment building in Lincoln Park—the first sale of the property in nearly 20 years.
Tell us about your background. Where did you grow up, where did you go to school?
I grew up in Libertyville, Illinois, and attended Libertyville High School. I then went on to graduate from Indiana University with a degree in management. I was also fortunate enough to study abroad at Oxford University in England.
When you were young, what did you aspire to be?
A professional athlete—and then reality kicked in. I was, however, always interested in making money. Whether it was setting up two lemonade stands at each entrance into the neighborhood or knocking door to door offering my lawn mowing services, earning a buck seemed to always be on mind. Growing up, my mom was an architect and my dad was an attorney. I was constantly around negotiations, construction, plans and renderings. Real estate was never a distant thought.
How did you get your start in the industry?
After graduating from IU, I got a few years of sales experience under my belt. I loved how your income isn’t capped in sales, but I knew I always wanted to specifically be in real estate. I achieved getting my license and started speaking to as many people as I could in the industry. I enjoy how real estate is a tangible asset that you can touch and feel. And I appreciate the management aspect of up-keeping the building and making sure your tenants are well taken care of.
Did you have a mentor who helped you get on your feet, or is there someone you turn to now for support?
Nearly three years ago, when I began my career at Interra Realty, I joined forces with managing partner Brad Feldman. Being a part of a solid team was valuable when starting out in the multifamily brokerage line of work. Brad’s experience, reputation and driven mindset is something I’m proud to be a part of on a daily basis. We strive to be the top performing multifamily brokers in the Chicagoland area. In addition, Jon Morgan and David Goss, the two co-founders of Interra, go out of their way to assist with client meetings and share their expertise on the market.
What does a day in the life of Adam Saxon look like?
After I wake up and work out for 45 minutes, I grab my coffee and head to the office. From there I get caught up on my emails and outstanding sale analyses. The job can consist of client meetings, building walkthroughs, inspections, showings and phone calls. Multitasking is the name of the game.
What do you like most about your job?
I enjoy the different aspects of being a broker. Every day is different. It’s a competitive business, so you really have to be motivated every single day. I believe if you can add value, you can become a reliable resource for your clients. I particularly enjoy meeting with building owners and learning about their properties.
Looking to the future, what do you hope to achieve/work on that you haven’t already?
My goal is to always be learning. Real estate is an ever-changing market, so you can never be prepared enough. I want to continue to be a credible source of information and provide valuable insights as to what is happening in the Chicago market.
How do you spend your time away from the office?
I like to travel, cook and try new restaurants. That’s one of the best parts about this city—the emphasis on food. There’s always a new restaurant to try in different neighborhoods. A wise man once said, “If you’re still in business, you must be doing something right.”
What is your favorite place that you have traveled to? Where do you hope to go next?
Hands down, Italy. Pizza, pasta and people—nothing better! Greece has always been a place my wife and I have wanted to visit.
Who would you like to see answer these questions?
Jeremy Morton, Lucas Fryman and Paul Waterloo of Interra Realty.