Each week, Midwest Real Estate News highlights the careers of one of its newest entrants in its Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame. Today, we look at the busy career of Kevin Armstrong, principal with Armstrong Advisors in Milwaukee.
Kevin Armstrong has long been a big name in the Milwaukee commercial real estate industry. He started his career immediately after graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Business by taking a position with the Polacheck Company in Milwaukee. Here he specialized in office leasing, mostly in the city’s CBD.
This is also where Armstrong began building a reputation for his willingness to work long hours, ability to build long-standing relationships with clients and mastery of the intricacies of even the most complex commercial real estate deals.
Armstrong’s efforts paid off. He closed enough deals that he rose to the position of partner at Polacheck in 1999.
Armstrong closed many transactions during these early days of his career. But one deal stands out: the Godfrey & Kahn law firm lease at Irgens’ 833 E. Michigan property in Milwaukee’s CBD. Armstrong says that Godfrey’s foresight in committing to a new Class-A office building in this location was one of the catalysts for future development in downtown Milwaukee.
“I enjoy the impact our industry has on the community in which we live,” Armstrong said. “Our efforts are visible and important to those we work and live with.”
After Polacheck was sold to CBRE in 2006, Armstrong continued as a broker with the firm until 2012, when he was promoted to managing director for Wisconsin. This tenure was a success, as Armstrong oversaw significant growth of this office for seven busy years. This year, Armstrong took the next step in his career, parting amicably with CBRE to form his own real estate consulting firm, Armstrong Advisors.
What’s behind Armstrong’s success? There is no surprise here; This real estate vet points to hard work.
“Plain and simple, hard work and being surrounded by good people,” Armstrong said. “You have to work hard, be honest and treat people fairly. This will keep your reputation intact, which is one of the more important aspects of success.”
When not working, Armstrong’s passion includes bird hunting with his dog, Rudy. And if home-improvement or automotive project should come up? Armstrong is happy to tinker away.