Five Questions with Essex Director Jaimie Steinher
October 23, 2020

Welcome to “Five Questions,” a monthly series where Essex Realty Group, Inc. brokers share their observations and experiences gained while working in Chicago’s real estate world. This month we are getting to know Essex Director Jaimie Steinher.

Introduction: Jaimie Steinher joined Essex Realty Group in 2017 as an associate and primarily concentrates on the acquisition and disposition of multi-family and mixed-use investment real estate. She is skilled in asset valuation, market research, transaction analysis, contract negotiation, branding, and marketing. and has been involved in the sale of over $280 million of investment property, including 1,700+ apartment units.

Outside of work, Jaimie volunteers with the Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education Associate Board. She is also a member of the Edgewater Uptown Builders Association (EUBA) and Real Estate Finance Forum (REFF), a Chicago-based professional organization for women involved in real estate finance, development, and deal structure.

Jaimie graduated from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University in Bloomington with a Bachelor of Science in Business degree.

Q: How do you define what you do every day?

Jaimie: My clients and my team. Success for these two groups is my North Star. When I start my morning, I consider what will make the most immediate impact and then focus on executing throughout the day. I make sure to return calls and emails the same day because I respect their time and understand the importance of efficient communication to keep business moving forward.

Q: Why were you interested in starting a career in real estate?

Jaimie: Real estate was something that came about through influences from both sides of my family. My father built his own business that was focused on three dimensional exhibits and display design, and my mom was a full-time litigator for a large law firm. Despite their busy work schedules, they both loved to spend free time working on home projects and this rubbed off on me from an early age. When I knew I wanted to make a career shift towards something more entrepreneurial and creative, real estate immediately jumped out as a logical choice, and multi-family specifically seemed like a great combination of the two.

This segment is one where experience and knowledge not only positively impact how you do your job and serve your clients but can also be immediately carried over to your own personal investment decisions. At a fundamental level, I joined Essex Realty Group because I wanted to develop deep market specific expertise while also eventually managing my own multifamily investments. I have a long entrepreneurial family history that dates back to my grandfather who started a pharmacy design firm;. I plan to invest in my own properties and incorporate my design background into each project, so I guess you could say the apple didn't far from the tree.

Q: Why did you choose Chicago as your home base?

Jaimie: I’m originally from Cincinnati, OH and after graduating from Indiana University, I moved to Chicago for my first job… that ironically, was located over an hour west of the city. While I had to enjoy it from afar during my first year, there are a few key things that always stood out to me about the city right away: the architecture, the lakefront and Riverwalk, the public transit system, and the culture. There are so many ways to experience the city, and each of the four seasons bring a unique set of opportunities. The city has so much to offer residents from sports, art, renowned restaurants, and music venues. I also think it’s a great bargain compared to any other major U.S. city.

Q: If you could teach someone starting as a broker tomorrow just one thing, what would it be?

Jaimie: Buckle up! This job is full of high highs and some occasional low lows – or as Doug Imber would call it, “the entrepreneurial experience.” It’s a fun ride, but it can also feel lengthy. New brokers will benefit from maintaining a long-term perspective. The job requires a mixture of qualities including analytical, strong work ethic, grit and determination. Ensure you aren't scared to cold call, roll up your sleeves and dive into the task at hand, and be prepared to do that using your own determination.

Q: Describe one effect on the industry you see stem from the reaction to COVID-19?

Jaimie: The work of the broker is becoming more complex, with deeper engagement expected by our clients. COVID-19 has caused apprehension and distress in the broader marketplace, and you can see the knock-on effect throughout the real estate industry. With low interest rates, tax code uncertainties, piecemeal bailouts, and rising equities, everyone is vigorously questioning the destination for their next investment. With the economy on a precipice, there are anxious sellers looking to offload assets, while buyers are forced to rely on volatile economic indicators. All of these factors raise expectations that both buyers and sellers have of real estate experts. More than ever, we must contend with changing macro and microeconomic dynamics to help our clients satisfy their objectives and goals. Essex is exceptionally well suited to bring that added degree of local expertise to our clients. Our intense focus on neighborhood specific fundamentals puts us in a unique position to help our clients make informed decisions during these turbulent times.

Since 1990, Essex Realty Group, Inc. has served Chicago's investment real estate market as a top multifamily brokerage firm. Contact us today to learn more about our recent multifamily and mixed-use property sales.

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