Describe what you do in one sentence: I am the co-founder and chief operating officer of TurboAppeal, a big data and technology company in the real estate space.
What makes your market unique? Chicago is unlike anywhere I have ever been. I love the layout of the city with the benefit of the lakefront. Also, growing up in Pittsburgh helped me appreciate the character of all the different ethnic Chicago neighborhoods and all that goes with it (food, music, culture, etc.).
What’s your favorite thing about working in your community? TurboAppeal was founded with the idea of helping promote our community. We hope to be a community brand and be involved with everything from Family Days to sponsoring this year’s Chicago Marathon.
What’s your favorite classic piece of literature and why? “The Old Man and the Sea” by Ernest Hemingway. I enjoy this book for many reasons. Specifically, I appreciate Hemingway’s approach toward internal struggles.
Are you the first entrepreneur in your family? Yes. I am the first entrepreneur in my immediate family.
Why’d you decide to join your company? We founded this company with the idea of building a great culture and changing the world by always trying to do the right thing.
Describe a time when you felt particularly insecure about the future of your company. How did you bounce back? I believe that insecurity comes with the territory when developing a startup. You must bounce back every day, which keeps things interesting.
What would you describe as your company’s biggest victory since you joined it? TurboAppeal’s biggest victory has been our ability to work with incredible strategic investors and channel partners. These relationships will help us achieve our aggressive goals.
What’s your favorite activity outside of work and why? I am an avid outdoorsman. There is nothing better than spending time with friends and family fishing, hiking, camping, biking or kayaking.
What’s been the biggest obstacle your business has encountered, and how have you dealt with it? Thus far, our obstacles have revolved around the need to grow and expand quickly, which is generally better than the alternative. We have dealt with this obstacle by hiring the best talent possible. Our team continues to grow and I am excited for the future.
What puzzles you most about the industry? I am constantly puzzled by the lack of education homeowners possess regarding property taxes. I may be biased, as I tend to encounter this issue on a daily basis.
What is the most important lesson you’ve learned about building a business? I have learned that “you don’t know what you don’t know.” A wise person once told me this old saying and it took me a while to figure out what it meant. After starting this business a few months ago, I now identify with this saying, as every day brings new unforeseen challenges.
What’s the most overrated real estate technology? Great question. It’s great because I do not have a good answer. Technology helps, but it is only as important as those who use it.
How will the role of the real estate agent change over the next five years? I believe the role of the real estate agent will remain consistent. However, different technologies will help agents become even more indispensable to their clients. Agents will continue to become an “all-in-one” resource for their clients.
Have you ever worked in another city/metro? If so, how did you end up where you are working now? A few years ago I worked in southern California for approximately two years. I enjoyed my time in SoCal and have some of my closest friends and colleagues out there. Ultimately and like a lot of other people I know, I moved back to Chicago to be closer to my family. I recognized that Chicago is my home.
Is there an area of your community in which you specialize? We specialize in property taxes. Not only do we provide a service for property owners’ to ensure that they are paying their fair share, but we also provide education so that homeowner’s are equipped with the information that they need to understand the property tax appeal process.
What motivates you more: power or money? Neither. I am motivated by the idea of working with a great team on an interesting and progressive project.
What is your biggest professional fear? My biggest professional fear is becoming complacent. Too often I find myself talking with friends and colleagues who are happy just being comfortable. I enjoy being outside of my element and working on new and innovative products/services.
What is your biggest personal fear? My biggest personal fear is not living every moment to its fullest potential. This keeps me very busy.
Whom do you respect most in the industry? I respect the hardworking agents and brokers who help people find properties. It is a very competitive space to be in.
Degree, school (if applicable): B.A. in communication/political science from Purdue University (2002); J.D. from DePaul University College of Law (2005)
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Social media: LinkedIn, Twitter
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