The three most important things to Mike Nelson is macaroni and cheese. Just kidding. What’s important to Nelson, a principal with NelsonHill, is God, family, and friends. In an interview with Chicago Industrial Properties, Nelson shared why he left a major company to launch his own with his brother, his passion for Chicago, as well as his family. Here’s what he had to say.
Mike Nelson has been in the industrial real estate business for 10 years, starting in the summer of 2004. There isn’t a better city to be involved in industrial real estate according to Nelson.
“It is an exciting business with allot of opportunities,” he said. “Chicago has such a big industrial base, and I enjoy calling on CEO’s and CFO’s of companies. It is always interesting to hear how different companies started and how they operate. Industrial brokers are more service providers then salesman. It is really rewarding to find an optimal solution for a client.”
What Nelson least likes about industrial real estate is telling a client that they have been out bid by another buyer, or having to tell a client that a deal has fallen through, especially when the client is very excited and reliant on a deal closing.
Prior to launching NelsonHill in 2010 with his brother Mark (who’s also a principal for the company); Nelson was already established in his career, working for Paine/Wetzel ONCOR International as a broker.
He said launching NelsonHill was important because he and his brother always had a dream to start their own company.
“Mark and I have been best friends for as long as I can remember,” he said. “We both have an advertising/marketing background, and really wanted to translate these skills into a real estate company. We have enjoyed having a platform which is very entrepreneurial and nimble with a philosophy of extracting maximum value for our clients from every deal.”
After only a year of launching NelsonHill, the company was awarded “Broker of the Year 2011″ by SomerCor, which Nelson says was a huge feat.
“We really partnered with SomerCor 504 in helping clients get funding during the recession. The SBA program was a life saver to brokers during that 4 year period. With buyers only having to put 10 percent down, and with unprecedented low interest rates, we were able to get buyers approved and some “would be” tenants ended up purchasing due to the program. Allot of these deals would not have happened with conventional financing.”
When Nelson is not working, due to his love for the outdoors, he can be found biking and swimming at the lakefront.
“Although my favorite thing to do now is spend time with my 15-month old boy,” he said. “Also, a fun fact that people may not know about me is that I am really African-American. I was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan but grew up in Africa.”