I grew up in a real estate family; father, brothers, uncle, cousins, etc. My fathers idea of a great Sunday was to drive around industrial business parks with all six of us packed in the station wagon looking at land sites and buildings. Our reward for patience was an ice cream sundae afterwards. The discussions around the dinner table were about real estate and we played many contentious games of Monopoly in our household. Despite vowing to never get in the business (having something to do with boring car rides) here I am 30+ years later not regretting a moment of having made a career out of the business. I started out as an office broker with Scribcor, Inc at the very tail end of the booming 1980’s only to quickly experience what a downturn in the market can do to your ego. The early 90’s were a struggle in the office leasing market so I asked my father if I could join him as an industrial broker at Nicolson, Porter & List, Inc. He was nearing the end of his career and I figured that I would rather spend my time learning from him while I had the opportunity. The market started to rebound in 1993 and has ebbed and flowed ever since. I enjoy the individuality of the business and NAI Hiffman allows us the opportunity to conduct our business in this manner. I am really intrigued by the intricacies of each deal. Every one of them seems to take on its own life form. No two deals and no two days are ever the same. I enjoy that aspect of our business as I am not one to sit around pushing paper from 9:00 – 5:00. Getting out in the field to tour buildings and put the puzzle pieces together is how I function best. NAI Hiffman’s research and support services are a tremendous tool for us to have as brokers. They enable me to get out and broaden my exposure to the market. Whether that is institutional ownership, large corporations or individual business owners. I am able to service all equally and with great confidence in my experience and knowledge; not only as a broker, but as a real estate investor.
I grew up in the Western Suburbs of Chicago and have lived and worked there throughout my life. I spent some time in Milwaukee by attending and graduating from Marquette University. I started my own lawn mowing/snow shoveling business when I was eight years old and have never stopped working. I enjoy earning money and realizing the value of saving. From there, I spent five years caddying at a local Country Club sometimes carrying for 45 holes in a day. I grew up golfing and enjoyed helping others as their playing assistant on the course. As a teenager, you learn a lot about people/adults from their behaviors on a golf course. Both personal and professional. Having played all sports as a kid, I gravitated towards golf because I only had myself to blame if I wasn’t performing well. If you put in the time and practice, good results follow. I think that the same applies in real estate. Work hard, put in the time, do your research, show up and you will most likely be successful.
I am happily married to Maureen Shinners and we have two wonderful children together, Haley and Jackson. Haley recently graduated from and Jackson is currently studying at my Alma Mater, Marquette University. We enjoy visiting them and attending the Marquette basketball games. In addition, I enjoy golfing, reading (anything), playing platform tennis, working out, biking, cooking, red wine and traveling to Caribbean Islands. And, I am a life long Cubs fan.
“Don't put off until tomorrow that which can be done today. Do it right, or don't bother.”
Professional Background & Experience
John joined NAI Hiffman in April 2019, following a merger with Nicolson, Porter & List, Inc. a longtime (100+ year old firm) independent firm in the Chicago Industrial market. John spent 26 years with NP&L, specializing in industrial representation of Landlords and Tenants. NP&L also put together partnerships to develop and purchase buildings, mostly on a speculative basis and John participated in ownership of many of these projects. This has allowed John to develop or more well-rounded knowledge of the business from both an ownership perspective as well as a broker’s perspective.
Clients over the years range from small, independent owners of buildings and/or businesses to large developers and institutional owners…over his career the local industrial market has evolved from small, local owners to large institutional ownership and REITS. With this, a new affiliation with NAI Hiffman will allow John to better serve his clients with a terrific support team by his side.
Professional Affiliations & Designations
- SIOR Member
- AIRE Member
- NAIOP Member
- NICAR Member
- Illinois Licensed Real Estate Broker
- Thermoflex Corporation – 120,000 SF
- Diamond Marketing Solutions – 95,000 SF
- Switchboard Apparatus, Inc. – 92,000 SF
- Diamond Marketing – multiple
- Follett Corporation – multiple
- UBS Realty Advisors – multiple
- Victor Envelope Company – multiple