Although he now runs one of the most successful Property Management companies in Chicago, initially, Mark Ainley had no interest in that side of the real estate business....continue reading Click Here to download.
GC Realty & Development currently has two offices, one serving the Western Suburbs of Chicago and the other serving Chicago's South Side.
Although he now runs one of the most successful Property Management companies in Chicago, initially, Mark Ainley had no interest in that side of the real estate business. In 2003, I bought my first investment property with my partner at the time. We had a terrible experience with our initial renter and eventually had to evict them. It really turned me off to property management and I decided to get my license and pursue finding and sell-ing properties for investors. We started GC Realty & Development at that point, and quickly became a successful Brokerage. Our clients were always trying to get us to manage their properties, but I was still stuck on that bad experience. I finally agreed to do it with one of our most loyal clients, and it just grew from there. He's still our client 13 years later.
In 2006, tragedy struck when Mark's partner was killed in a car accident. “I grew up fast that day. He was such an amazing leader, I had always happily been the number two, but I knew I had to take his lead and continue to grow what we had both worked so hard on.”
Mark brought on a new partner later that year, someone who perfectly complements him in every way. As their Brokerage business grew, so did their property management business. In 2014, that aspect of their business became the primary focus. “It really grew organically, but at some point we realized it was not only its own thriving income stream, but it was where most of our brokerage business was originating from. It just made sense to go all in on that.”
Currently GC Realty & Development has 15 employees, 27 brokers, and two offices, one serving the Western Suburbs of Chicago and the other serving Chicago’s South Side, managing over 500 properties plus 3 mil-lion sq ft of commercial space between the two locations.
Mark credits the fact that he and his partner are investors as being one of the keys to their success. “We own a lot of properties, and I think that’s why we ended up being so good at the management side of things. Because we’re owners, we know what our clients are thinking. We know how to deliver news so that it’s less of a blow. We deliver solutions, not just what the problem is. We also have a great team of people who have all been with us a long time. Most news you give clients in this business tends to be bad news. So it helps to have a team that really love what they do. It keeps your spirits up. We have a great culture here.”
GC Realty & Development manages over 500 properties plus 3 million sq ft of commercial space.
Giving back is important to Mark. He is President of the Board of Directors for Well Child Center, a nonprofit that focuses on providing uninsured children with primary and preventative medical & dental care. He has also been a board member of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Dundee Township. When he isn’t working, you’ll probably find him playing LEGOs with his young kids.
Mark would like to continue to grow his business, eventually becoming a major brand name in the property management industry, expanding GC Realty & Development’s’ reach, so they can offer their unparalleled services to more even people.
“I love what I do. Every day is different. Real estate is more than my job, it’s my hobby as well. In my off time I’m always looking for more ways to improve my business and to be a better leader. They say if you love what you do, you don’t work a day in your life, and for me, that couldn’t be more true.”