After being in the Army following college I got a job selling elevators in Cleveland. During by tenure as an elevator salesman I got to know quite a few real estate brokers through my prospecting in many the same publications and organizations. I became fascinated with the real state industry and met Dennis Hiffman while selling him elevators for one of his office developments. After spending time with him I knew I wanted to go into real estate sales and leasing and apply my sales and construction knowledge in a way that I could develop lasting client relationships. And it has turned out just as I hoped it would. Many of my clients have become friends and helping friends is the most rewarding things that we can do.
The brokerage business is not for everyone but it is for me. Friendly competition is what excites me whether it is competing for a listing or a tenant representation assignment or getting the best deal for my client the challenge of competing and winning is the fuel that feeds me. I have completed 4 triathlons always trying to beat my previous year’s time. And my other outside interests are just as exciting: motorcycle riding, boating on Green Bay and downhill skiing.
“Lead, follow or get out of the way. Progress waits for no one.”
Professional Background & Experience
J. Michael (“Mike”) Van Zandt is Executive Vice President of the Office Services Group. During his 35-year tenure in commercial real estate, Mike has focused his efforts on the leasing and selling of office space, office buildings and land for office development, primarily in suburban Chicago. He represents landlords, tenants, buyers and sellers, which gives him the knowledge to structure unique and creative deals taking into account his clients’ immediate, as well as long-term needs and goals. Many of his clients have worked with him time after time over the course of his career, one specific relationship has been ongoing for 29 years.
Some of the companies he has completed transactions with include: Northern Trust Bank, Principal Financial Group, Harris Bank, Waste Management, General Services Administration, Mutual Trust Insurance, Travelers Insurance, Eby Brown, Principal Insurance, and Veolia, and many more high profile clients in his office brokerage career. Mike has authored articles for Northern Illinois Real Estate Magazine, Illinois Real Estate Journal, and has been quoted in Midwest Real Estate News regarding the state of the suburban Chicago office market.
Professional Affiliations & Designations
- Real Estate Broker, Illinois
- Oak Brook Area Chamber of Commerce
- Economic Development Council
- NAI National Office Council
- CCIM Candidate
American Realty Capital | EMC | Great Point Energy | General Growth Properties | John Deere | OSI | Professional Service Industries | Travelers Insurance| UBS | Warburg | Veolia | Waste Management