Industrial Midwest

2015 Frank Mahoney Award Winner, Jared Paff on achieving success: 'You really have to work for it, you can't get discouraged'

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Jared celebrating his birthday with his nieces and nephews back in Cincinnati.

With a number of aunts, uncles and cousins leading successful careers in commercial real estate in Cincinnati, Ohio, it seemed a foregone conclusion that one day Jared Paff would follow suit. It’s not because anyone ever said it was going to be easy, or a way to get rich fast.

With a number of aunts, uncles and cousins leading successful careers in commercial real estate in Cincinnati, Ohio, it seemed a foregone conclusion that one day Jared Paff would follow suit.  It’s not because anyone ever said it was going to be easy, or a way to get rich fast.

Rather, it seemed to be a good way to merge together a college double major in economics and business management and a career path where family could provide guidance and encouragement, even if he chose to get into real estate in a market bigger than Cincinnati, home to Paff’s beloved Bengals.

In a few short years since starting in commercial real estate, Paff has reached a certain level of success, including being named the winner of the Frank Mahoney Award, presented by the Association of Industrial Real Estate Brokers to a rising star in the industry.

Paff focuses his efforts in the Lake County and Southeast Wisconsin markets with Tom Boyle, a managing director at Transwestern. One of his greatest learning experiences and accomplishments to date was being involved in the 354,000-square-foot build-to-suit and corporate relocation of Kenall Manufacturing from Gurnee, IL to Kenosha, WI.

“It was one of the top deals of the year and gave me the opportunity to be involved in meetings with top developers like Pannattoni, Duke, IDI, etc. to discuss and negotiate the best opportunity and most efficient solution for our client.  This project also allotted me the opportunity to sit down with the states to talk municipal incentives, which currently are a huge topic of discussion in our market,” Paff said. “It was such an incredible learning experience.”

In serving that market, Paff said it’s not uncommon for him to be up in Lake County or Southeast Wisconsin three or more days a week. Under the Transwestern banner, he and Boyle cover a broad spectrum of services representing tenants, landlords, land owners and even developers/landowners with large tracts of land.

His day-to-day work in real estate work is both very similar and vastly different from the work that brought him to a big market from Cincinnati. In 2008 Paff took a position with Career Builder as a recruiting consultant focusing in the Automotive sector in the Northeast part of the US. It was a position that, not unlike his work as a commercial real estate broker, meant “picking up the phone, talking to people and looking for ways to get an in for an appointment.”

In both of those experiences, as well as in canvassing the Lake County and Southeast Wisconsin industrial markets, Paff has learned that nothing comes easy.

“You really have to work for it,” he said. “And you can’t get discouraged, because just when you think it’s easy or all set, you can encounter roadblocks. You need to keep at it and find your way around the obstacles.”

He noted that some of the key bits of advice he’s been given, by family in the business or others within the bigger Transwestern team, are “don’t get discouraged,” and “keep banging the phones.”

While those have been some good words, it has been the unspoken words that have pushed him and inspired him the most.

“My mom and dad are very hardworking people, and they lead by example,” Paff said. “They instilled a strong work ethic and mentality in me. It was a message that said ‘keep your head down and keep working towards your goals’.”

As Paff was about to accept his award celebrating the 25th anniversary of its first presentation, as he saw the names of all of the past winners and had a chance to stand with them, he was struck by the pedigree and history of the award winners.

“What hit me was being part of that unique group of individuals, a stellar group of professionals who have been successful in their work and community life by giving back,” he said.

For Paff, giving back to the community is a little different than for most. His youngest brother, Jonah, is 21 years old and has autism. So Paff and his family have become influential advocates, working with Autism Speaks to raise money for autism research and awareness for the many ways in which people are affected by autism. The majority of the work he does is back in Cincinnati, which gives him a chance to spend time with Jonah as well as with his Mom and Dad who are very involved in Autism Speaks.

“We’re all together trying to help,” Paff said.

As Paff looks at what he’s accomplished, in or outside of the workplace, he truly believes the best is yet to come. One of the best things he believes is yet to come, and something on his bucket list for when it does happen, is to be present when the Cincinnati Bengals win the Super Bowl.

“It will happen,” Paff said. “And when it does, I will be there!”