Each year, Midwest Real Estate News inducts a new class in its Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame. Last year — despite the challenges it brought — was no exception. Here’s a look at one of our newest Hall of Fame members, Aaron Abelson, managing director with the Chicago office of Berkadia.
Since graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1992 and receiving his Juris Doctor from The John Marshall Law School in 2002, Aaron Abelson has been involved in the commercial real estate finance industry. In the seven years he’s been with Berkadia, he has closed in excess of $600 million.
Abelson most enjoys the ability to connect with clients, listen to them and understand their needs to find the best possible financing solution.
“I always look forward to the opportunity to share with clients the different ideas and opportunities that they maybe haven’t considered before,” Abelson said. “Many times, these options prove to be better for the client in the long term.”
That isn’t to say that he hasn’t encountered his fair share of challenges over the course of his career.
“The CRE industry is constantly changing,” said Abelson. “Navigating the various cycles that it goes through over the last 24 years, while trying to be the best advocate for the client, has been challenging but is most rewarding.”
During the last 20-plus years, Abelson has arranged more than $2.5 billion in total loan production. Prior to joining Berkadia, he held the position of Senior Vice President for Alliant Capital, LLC, (ARES Commercial Real Estate) and Senior Vice President at HSBC Bank USA, where he managed the Midwest loan production team with a primary focus on apartment financing.
From 2000 to 2006 he ran the Chicago office for Arbor National Commercial Mortgage, a Fannie Mae DUS lender. Prior to that, he spent six years with Baird & Warner Real Estate Capital, a mortgage banking firm in Chicago.
Some phrases that Abelson lives by in his professional career are to never give up, his word is his bond and reputation is everything. These, he believes, have been the keys to his success.
“These practices have propelled me in the industry. I also think it’s valuable to remember that sometimes delivering the ‘hard message’ is not easy, but it is always the right thing to do,” Abelson said. “Taking the long view in terms of both transactions and client relationships is vital. This scareer path is a marathon, not a sprint!”
Abelson resides in the Chicago area with his wife and three sons.