CRE Midwest

Distribution Realty Group's James Love talks career change, having faith and his biggest accomplishment

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James (left) with friends at Big Star in Bucktown

Prior to founding Distribution Realty Group LLC in 2013, James Love had his mind set on a different profession.

Prior to founding Distribution Realty Group LLC in 2013, James Love had his mind set on a different profession. He wanted to be a teacher. But upon his graduation from the University of Mississippi in 2007, Loves' plans changed quickly after being exposed to real estate through his uncle. Now working in the acquisition and development of  industrial properties, Love opens up and shares his most memorable experiences in a Q&A with Illinois Real Estate Journal.

Illinois Real Estate Journal: What are your responsibilities at work?

James Love: We’re a small firm today, so generally speaking my partner and I are responsible for everything from acquisitions and development to investor relations, asset management, leasing, accounting, reporting, buying office supplies, and occasional janitorial services.

IREJ: What sparked your interest in real estate?

Love: My uncle was a Panattoni partner in 2007 when I graduated from college. Building warehouses looked like a lot more fun than a desk job, so I took a position as an industrial leasing broker to learn the business.

IREJ: Name a time or experience that personally stands out: 

Love: I was recently named one of NAIOP’s Developing Leaders of the Year at the national conference in Toronto alongside my buddy John Drachman of Stillwater Investment Group. John and I started our firms at about the same time and cheer for one another from across the country.

IREJ: What is something working in this industry has taught you?

Love: You can’t do it alone. We couldn’t be successful without great partners like F. Greek Development, Exeter, Pearlmark, and CenterSquare. We value our relationships with firms like Jacob and Hefner and Arco Murray, and guys like Adam Roth and Joe Bronson of NAI Hiffman. We have a fantastic network of friends and family who have helped us along the way. We are very grateful for all of them and look forward to building new partnerships as we continue to grow.

IREJ: Any words do you live by?

Love: Everything in life happens for a specific reason at exactly the right time. And it usually doesn’t make sense when it’s happening. You have to have faith that you’re standing exactly where you’re supposed to be right now.

IREJ: What do you like to do outside of work?

Love: I play golf with my friends and go hunting with my dad and my uncle. For better or worse I’m an avid Ole Miss Rebels and Tennessee Titans football fan. I love old things – houses, books, cars, and historic places. I’m also the proud best friend of an 8-year-old Labrador retriever named Cache.

IREJ: What was your career aspiration before settling into real estate?

Love: I was an English major in college and thought I would be a writer and spend my twilight years as a teacher. Instead I’m writing emails and investment memos.

IREJ: What's something about you not many people would know?

Love: My parents own the finest cheeseburger dive in Nashville, Tennessee – Brown’s Diner. It’s housed inside a turn of the century trolley car that has been stuck on decommissioned tracks since 1927.

IREJ: Most proudest moment?

Love: When I served as president of our senior class at Ole Miss we were able to raise enough money to endow a scholarship as our class gift. It’s given to a deserving incoming freshman each year who would otherwise not be able to afford tuition.

IREJ: Looking ahead, what is something you can’t wait for?

Love: Raise healthy and happy kids. I can’t wait to be a dad.