As part of our series, CRE Future Leaders, we caught up with Jimmy Goodman, partner at The Boulder Group, a boutique investment real estate service firm specializing in net-lease properties. The firm provides a full range of brokerage, advisory and financing services nationwide to a substantial and diversified client base, which includes high net worth individuals, developers, REITs, partnerships and institutional investment funds.
Tell us about your background. Where did you grow up, where did you go to school?
I grew up in the northern suburbs of Chicago and attended the University of Illinois where I received a bachelor’s degree in finance.
When you were young, what did you aspire to be?
I still do not know what I want to be when I grow up…But when I was a kid, like so many, I always aspired to be a professional athlete. But being 5’9″ did not particularly help that dream.
How did you get your start in the industry?
At a young age I learned the importance of building an extensive network. I originally started my career at PricewaterhouseCoopers, but it lacked the opportunity to truly connect with people, which is a strength of mine. So, I took my father’s Palm Pilot (circa 2002) and started going through all the names in his contacts and realized many were in the real estate industry. One-by-one, I started meeting with these individuals and started building my own network to create opportunities for myself. Eventually, I got my first chance at a top Midwest retail investment sales firm as a financial analyst which provided me with the necessary skills, education and insights. My real estate path evolved through the years and paved the way for me to achieve my potential as a top level net lease broker.
Did you have a mentor who helped you get on your feet, or is there someone you turn to now for support?
Despite the fact that he is not in real estate, my father has always been my main mentor providing me with guidance, support and an understanding on how to be a professional. I am fortunate that my real estate mentor in my career is now my business partner. Randy Blankstein has stuck by me and guided me since I was in college. He taught me the ins and outs of the real estate industry for close to two decades.
What does a day in the life of Jimmy Goodman look like?
I am an early riser, waking up at 5:15 am and heading right to the gym or Peloton before going straight to the office with coffee in hand. Typically, I like the early morning hours of 7-9 am to clear out all email before the phone starts ringing and the day gets going in all sorts of different directions.
The routine for Friday is a little bit different than the typical work day. I appreciate those who offered me guidance early in my career, so I look to do the same for individuals seeking opportunities in real estate. On Friday mornings I try to make a point of having coffee with people who are just starting out, providing the same type of guidance and support that were shown to me when I was trying to get progress.
What do you like most about your job?
The people I get to work with at my firm and within the industry is most satisfying. My job allows me to collaborate and make deals happen with interesting people I get to learn from regularly. It’s important to understand that one can always be learning and improving. You do that by taking notice of what other people are doing and sharing information and perspectives.
Looking to the future, what do you hope to achieve/work on that you haven’t already?
Everyone in this business wants to have a better year this year than the year before and to complete bigger deals, etc. But I look more at the bigger picture of improving on the level of service and commitment. Accordingly, my goals every day include delivering the highest level of service and insight to clients for navigating the upcoming changes in the real estate market, furthering The Boulder Group’s brand and recognition among institutional and private investors and maintaining a devoted work ethic for my clients.
How do you spend your time away from the office?
I spend that time with family, going to the gym, traveling and following Chicago sports teams, especially the Chicago Bulls.
What is your favorite place that you have traveled to? Where do you hope to go next?
Israel and Greece have been among my favorite travel spots. Another one, which is far less exotic and/or culturally significant, is an annual summer trip we take to my former summer camp in Eagle River, Wisconsin. This trip provides a real chance to connect with my family and appreciate the simplicity it provides.
Who would you like to see answer these questions?