Welcome to our team, Jason Kleiman and Anwar Ali

welcome

MB Real Estate is pleased to welcome Jason Kleiman and Anwar Ali to our Corporate Services team. While new to MBRE, Kleiman and Ali are no strangers to the commercial real estate market. We recently sat down with the “dynamic duo” to see what makes them tick.

Jason Kleiman
Senior Vice President, 312.558.3851, JKleiman@mbres.com

How did you get your start in commercial real estate?

I actually began my career in sales with an office equipment company. Then, during the dot-com era, like many other eager professionals I moved to LA and worked for a tech startup. It was here where I had my first taste of commercial real estate and assisted with an office lease transaction.  As I became more familiar with commercial real estate, I decided to take my new found knowledge back to Chicago and the rest as they say is history.   I’ve now been in commercial real estate for more than 12 years!

What’s the most interesting deal you have done?

The most interesting deal I worked on was both large scale and challenging. I worked on a national portfolio for a company after a merger.  They had offices in 250 markets and my group was tasked to  consolidate offices in 100 of those markets.  The biggest challenge…the financial terms of the merger required the deals to be completed within 12 months.  It was a process of determining whether to combine offices, sublease spaces, lease a new space, expand, or some combination thereof.  It was like playing Tetris on a national scale…with a time limit!

Why did you choose to join MB Real Estate?

I’ve known the MB Real Estate team for over a decade and it was the professionals that initially attracted me to the company. It’s a very team oriented environment where everyone comes together to  help each other succeed.  I couldn’t wait to join a team like that.

Tell us about yourself.

I’m a wannabe athlete from a family of super athletes.  My first language was French and I lived in Paris until I was 7 years old while my dad studied music composition.  I play the trombone – although not very well.  I love living in the city with my wife.  We are expecting our second child any day now!

What advice would you have to a new broker? How have you been successful?

The brokerage world can be tough.  I have found my success by teaming up with the right people as well as being patient and positive.  The value of relationships should never be undervalued. Building relationships with my clients is the thing I enjoy most about my job and the reason I’m still in the game today.

Anwar Ali
Senior Associate, 312.558.3854, AAli@mbres.com

How did you get your start in commercial real estate?

I began my career at a boutique tenant rep firm in Chicago in 2008. It was probably about the worst time to enter the business due to the sinking economy and real estate crisis. I’m not afraid of a challenge though,  and in that environment, I learned pretty quickly about the value of hard work and tenacity, so I’m grateful for the experience. It certainly framed my professional philosophies and values.

Tell us about your outlook on work.

Positivity and persistence are key.  I’ve learned that the outlook you maintain directly affects the outcome, so for me, optimism is a huge factor in success.  I strive to be consistently optimistic and confident…I’m not afraid of a good challenge.

Any interesting facts about you? What makes you unique?

I’m probably about the only person in this city actually choosing to live in a fourth floor walkup. It is great exercise at least! As for other interesting facts, well, I went to the Czech Republic and Poland to play hockey when I was 12 years old.  The opposing team was about 4 years older than me, so it was another one of those challenging experiences.

Tell us about a challenging project you worked on.

I worked on a deal last year for a client that could no longer afford the space they had leased.  The transaction involved a lot of moving parts, some creative negotiation and great timing.  Ultimately I secured them a space in the same building and significantly reduce their costs.  It all goes back to having the drive to work through and around the challenges that come your way.

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