Austin Vanderstappen is an associate within Podolsky Circle CORFAC International’s brokerage division, where he specializes in industrial transactions in the Northwest Suburban submarket, representing both tenants and landlords. He focuses on new business development, market research and client services for both private and institutional clients.
Tell us about your background. Where did you grow up, where did you go to school?
I grew up in Johnsburg, a small town in the far Northwest suburbs of Chicago. I graduated from Johnsburg High School before attending McHenry County College for some general credits, then went on to Columbia College of Missouri at a satellite location in Crystal Lake, Illinois.
When you were young, what did you aspire to be?
I changed my mind many times over the years, but the one that always stuck with me until it was too late, was to be an NFL offensive lineman. When I didn’t grow to be 6’5″ and 275 pounds, the dream died.
How did you get your start in the industry?
When I first started college I wanted to be a pharmacist; after working in a pharmacy for two years I realized it wasn’t for me, so I changed my path towards CRE brokerage. I started in residential real estate to get some exposure to the industry. Six months into residential I sat down with Alissa Adler and Adam Tarantur of Podolsky Circle to discuss CRE, and the rest is history.
Did you have a mentor who helped you get on your feet, or is there someone you turn to now for support?
My biggest mentor in the business has been my colleague, Adam Tarantur. He helped me get started in this industry and has been my backstop since the beginning. He’s always there to offer advice or help me review various documents, even if the timing isn’t ideal. My biggest supporter/fan is my fiancé, Maggie. She’s there to comfort me anytime a deal goes south or the road gets bumpy.
What does a day in the life of Austin Vanderstappen look like?
Every day tends to be a little different than the last; but I like to get an early morning run in, followed by several calls, emails, meetings, working to keep deals together, prospecting for new deals/clients and transaction management. I also like to get a late night lift in when the gym is a ghost town, then dinner and off to bed.
What do you like most about your job?
To me, I love the art of the deal and problem solving for my clients. I really enjoy getting creative with solutions when it doesn’t otherwise appear there’s an answer to a problem. It’s cliché to say it in this industry, but I also like that every day is different. I’ll wake up Monday morning with a fairly open schedule for the week and by noon my whole week is already overbooked.
Looking to the future, what do you hope to achieve/work on that you haven’t already?
I look forward to working on some bigger deals. There’s nothing wrong with a small deal, they’ve really helped me learn the industry, but I can’t wait to take my business to the next level! I have also had a growing itch for CRE development; I’d like to add that to my resume sooner than later too.
How do you spend your time away from the office?
I love spending time with my fiancé, family and friends that still live in the area. I grew up basically living outside and not much has changed since those days; so once the weather warms up you can find me playing basketball, golfing, boating and wakeboarding, grilling out and going to concerts.
What is your favorite place that you have traveled to? Where do you hope to go next?
My younger brother got the travel gene from my parents and I have never been out of the country, so I can’t say I’ve been anywhere too exotic. The go-to though is absolutely Key West (although, that can be exotic at times); my fiancé and I try to make our way down there at least once or twice a year. As for where I hope to go next, Cuba has to be the spot. We’d like to see it while it’s still authentic and before commercialization takes over.
Who would you like to see answer these questions?