Jack Petrando is an Advisor at Kiser Group, where he focuses on brokering multifamily properties throughout Chicago’s West Side neighborhoods. Jack first joined Kiser Group as an Associate supporting the firm’s Birk | Sklar team and was promoted to increase the team’s market share on the west side of the city.
Tell us about your background. Where did you grow up, where did you go to school?
I grew up in the Wheaton suburb of Chicago and was the middle child of three boys. We kept our parents busy by always playing sports or getting into some shenanigans. My dad owned his own construction business, so I’m convinced that he had three boys on purpose so that he could put us to work at a young age. For college, I went to Indiana University and graduated from the Kelley School of Business with a finance degree.
How did you get your start in the industry?
After finishing with school, I moved to Arizona to work in hedge fund operations for a couple of years. I’d always been interested in real estate and knew the desk cubicle life wasn’t for me. So I began exploring other opportunities. Oddly enough, my neighbor at the time was Noah Birk’s uncle. He and I got to talking about real estate and he mentioned how his nephew Noah has really enjoyed his time working for a company in Chicago called Kiser Group.
I checked Kiser Group’s website and thankfully they had a position available, so I applied right away. It was serendipitous that the analyst position available was for Kiser Group’s Birk | Sklar team. It was incredible to learn about Chicago’s multifamily industry from Noah Birk and Aaron Sklar.
Then on April 1st, 2020, I launched my brokerage career. Needless to say, it was an interesting time to get started as most of the country and world were in lockdown, and we were all just learning what COVID-19 was. I believe that you can only worry about what you can control, so it was a great time to set a long-term business plan, and I think those early days of prep as an analyst were very instrumental to my success throughout Chicago’s westside neighborhoods.
Did you have a mentor who helped you get on your feet, or is there someone you turn to now for support?
Aaron Sklar and Noah Birk have been invaluable throughout my short time as a broker. They set an amazing example of how to go about your business day-in and day-out. Their energy in the office is contagious, and I’m very lucky I got to work alongside them every day.
Additionally, my dad and mom have been incredible mentors for me my whole life. They’re both very personable, which is so important in real estate and in life. My dad gave me the entrepreneurial spirit to want to go work for myself. I learned so many great habits and just all-around life skills from them. If there’s anything I need, I can reach out to them, and they’ll know what to do. I don’t know if I can ever repay them for all they’ve given me, but hopefully, I’ll make them proud and one day I’ll be able to repay them.
What does an average day in the life of Jack Petrando look like?
I wake up at 6:00 a.m. or a little earlier each day. I take my Border Collie, Tux, for a 30-minute walk and listen to some good music or something motivational. From there, I’ll check my emails and schedule for the day to make sure everything’s in order. After that, I have to get a good workout in to get juices flowing before I head to the office.
At work, there’s always something that needs to be done, so I’m either working on my current deals and making sure everything is moving along, or I’m on the phones talking with clients. If I need a break from work, my co-worker Justin Turner and I will meet at the ping pong table. After work, I go for another walk with the pooch and decompress for the day. I’ll end the day making dinner and cheering on whatever Chicago Sports team is playing, or my beloved Hoosiers.
What do you like most about your job?
I love the fact that you get out what you put in. You have to work hard for everything you get in this business. All the successful people I’ve met in the industry have earned it. There are really no shortcuts, and if you want it bad enough, you’ll find a way to make it happen. I also love being able to make my own schedule and the flexibility aspect, too.
Looking to the future, what do you hope to achieve/work on that you have not already?
Just to continue the success of my personal brokerage business and be part of the Birk | Sklar team’s overall success. It’s been an amazing ride so far being part of such a successful team that’s sold nearly 70 buildings this year. Hopefully next year we can make it 100. Also, I think it’d be pretty cool to be awarded broker of the year. That award signifies that all of your hard work has paid off.
What kind of changes do you hope to see in the industry in the near future?
I hope to see more people consider investing in multifamily real estate to diversify their investment portfolios.
How do you spend your time away from the office?
I love all sports and am a big fan of the Chicago Bears, Cubs, and Bulls. I like to read and also watch a good movie. Playing with my dog, Tux is also at the top of the list as well as traveling and trying new restaurants with friends.
What are you looking forward to most in 2022?
I’m looking forward to owning my first multifamily property. I’ve been a renter thus far in my life just saving up looking for the right opportunity. Things are falling into place, and I think 2022 will finally be the year I’m an owner of an investment property.