RE Journals

Future Leaders: Essex Realty Group’s Robert Berman

April 10, 2024

Robert Berman joined Chicago’s Essex Realty Group in 2023 as managing director. He has closed more than $100 million in multifamily transactions. Before his time at Essex, Berman served as a principal at Monarch Realty Partners.

During his career, he has built a reputation as one of the top brokers working on the South and West sides of Chicago.

Working with Michael Anguiano, Berman has sold more than 1,800 apartment units during his career.

Tell us about your background. Where did you grow up? Where did you go to school?
Robert Berman: I grew up in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, a suburb roughly 20 miles northwest of downtown Detroit. I went to Lindenwood University and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance.

How did you get your start in the industry?
Berman: My introduction to commercial real estate was an internship the summer before my senior year at a commercial brokerage firm in St. Louis.

Did you have a mentor who helped you get on your feet, or is there someone you turn to now for support?
Berman: Michael Anguiano. I first met Mike when I joined Monarch Realty Partners in 2018. This was around the same time that I transitioned from an analyst role to a broker. I had some experience underwriting buildings and putting together marketing packages, but Mike helped me set up my business and showed me how to manage a pipeline of clients, demonstrate my value proposition to property owners and problem-solve when issues arise during a deal.

Mike and I continue to work together at Essex Realty Group, and he’s still a valuable resource whenever I need to bounce ideas off someone or talk through a solution to a problem. It’s been a blessing to have learned under such a talented industry veteran.

What does an average day at work look like?
Berman: Most days start with some kind of field assignment, be it property tours, inspections, appraisals or walk-throughs. From there, I’ll head to the office and look over my pipeline. I’ll check up on the deals that are in escrow to see where we are in the contract and if we’re hitting any roadblocks. This usually involves following up with attorneys to see what due diligence information is still outstanding.

Every few days I like to check in with my clients and give them an update on what the activity has been around their deal and what our next steps are. A big part of the day also consists of having conversations with buyers who are active in the market and seeing who would be a good fit for any of the deals I have listed.

Throughout the day I’ll also check in with my team to see where they are and give advice on the challenges they’re facing.

What do you like most about your job?
Berman: Meeting all different kinds of people and helping them achieve their investment objectives has always been my favorite part of the job.

Looking to the future, what do you hope to work on/achieve that you haven’t already?
Berman: My main goal over the next few years of my career is to continue to grow within Essex and expand our market share on the south and west sides. I’m proud of the team we’ve assembled and how we’ve captured the momentum we’ve built over the past few years.

As far as something I’ve never done before, I’d like to start buying some multifamily assets of my own. I’ve started searching recently, but continuing to broker deals is still the top priority.

How do you spend your time away from the office?
Berman: Outside of the office I love to play hockey at some of the local rinks in Chicago. I went to college on a hockey scholarship and have enjoyed being able to continue that hobby after graduating. I also enjoy exploring all the different kinds of amazing restaurants Chicago has to offer.

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Tagged in this post: Robert Berman , Michael Anguiano