Each year, Midwest Real Estate News inducts new members into its Midwest Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame. We also run these profiles online. Today, we look at the busy career of Brad Despot, managing director for agency leasing with the Chicago office of JLL.
Honesty and integrity. Those are the two key ingredients that have helped Brad Despot, managing director at JLL in Chicago, build a thriving commercial real estate career of more than 26 years.
Those two traits have helped Despot develop long-standing relationships, the key to any CRE career. These relationships have turned into hundreds of transactions, including those involving the trophy buildings making up Chicago’s skyline.
“I believe the best relationships are built on honesty and integrity,” Despot said. “If you don’t have the answer, be willing to admit it and say, ‘I’ll get back to you,’ and then follow through on it. I’d like to think that’s first and foremost my best quality and what I bring to my clients, along with a tenacity to deliver on their desired result.”
Another key reason for Despot’s success? He works with some of the most talented people in commercial real estate. He also continues to study his market and the commercial real estate business, keeping up with the advancements in this ever-changing industry.
“I make it a point to surround myself with people who I can learn from, who may know more than I do, because in any business or industry there’s always something to learn,” Despot said.
During his long career, Despot has won and been nominated for several industry awards, including Property Representative of the Year at the Greater Chicago Food Depository Commercial Real Estate Awards in 2003. He was again nominated for this award in 2006 and 2019. Three of his major transactions have been finalists in the downtown transaction award of the year from NAIOP: Banker’s Life and Casulty at 600 West, William Wrigley Jr. Co. at 600 West and GE Capital at 500 West Monroe.
When out of the office, Despot prefers spending time with his four children. He also enjoys golfing, attending sporting events or simply relaxing for a nice dinner.
“The commercial real estate industry is a business that for the most part revolves around people, and because of it we are exposed to a world of opportunity to constantly meet new people and build new relationships,” Despot said. “From there, it’s helping companies find the right building and the right space that will enable their business and their people to prosper. That’s when we all win.”