Redefining Perceptions

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Going, Going, Gone but Not Forgotten

Michael A. Fine, CCIM, CAI, AARE, is Principal - Managing Broker of Fine and Co. LLC in Deerfield, IL. Fine has personally participated in real estate auction programs for a wide array of companies including Pritzker Realty, Hartz Mountain Industries, Alcoa and financial institutions including The Northern Trust Co., Wells Fargo, Citicorp, Bank of America-LaSalle, and many others. I entered the commercial real estate brokerage industry in 1987. My first deal was to sell a 5,000-square-foot retail building on Irving Park Road in Chicago, which had been converted into office and warehouse. The sale took a lot of the handholding and guidance that I have learned is typical in the brokerage business. At the closing, the buyer’s broker took me aside and gave me a gift, a Montblanc fountain pen, and thanked me for making the deal happen. The buyer’s broker had no idea that it was my first sale and what a nice memory that I still have in my desk today. At the time, I was with a commercial brokerage company in Chicago, which was pioneering the use of real estate auctions for non-distressed real estate. I quickly became the head of operations for the firm. I sold my interest in that firm after 20 years. I was the CEO of a national start-up - Hilco Real Estate Auctions, and now principal of my own company. The first building that I sold at auction and really take credit for on my own was in Kansas City, MO, called the Mainmark Building. It's a very ornate building about 10 stories tall and illuminated at night. My first auction and it was most successful in selling the building to a real estate investor in New York. The area surrounding that building has changed so much over the years. It was pretty much an island coming from downtown at that time. I smile when I am in KC and drive by and see my first auction lit up like a trophy.

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