CRE Midwest

Colliers' Lynn Reich: Celebrating the body of work and the road she traveled

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Lynn and her husband celebrate Lord Stanley.

Lynn Reich, an executive vice president with Colliers in Chicago, has been part of the real estate industry in Chicago for more than 35 years. During those years, in addition to serving clients across Illinois and all over the country, she has been about as involved in the industry as you possibly can be.

Lynn Reich, an executive vice president with Colliers in Chicago, has been part of the real estate industry in Chicago for more than 35 years. During those years, in addition to serving clients across Illinois and all over the country, she has been about as involved in the industry as you possibly can be.

Years ago in a magazine profile before becoming National President of SIOR the joke was made about how much of the alphabet (acronyms) appears after Reich’s name and on her resume—SIOR, AIRE, CCIM, FRCIS, IWIRE and others.

Last week, she was given a Lifetime Achievement Award by CREW Chicago. Chicago Industrial Properties got a chance to catch up with Reich, who also just returned home after winning a Top Producers trip to Jamaica with Colliers.

Chicago Industrial Properties: Tell me about your role with Colliers and in the industry?

Lynn Reich: I am a commercial real estate broker, and executive vice president at Colliers, advising and guiding clients in Chicago and across the country. While I don’t have a management role at Colliers, at this point in my career, I’m focusing on mentoring the younger women in the firm and outside of the firm.

I am involved in the Goldie B. Wolfe Miller initiative at Roosevelt – helping female graduate students in real estate.  My mentee now has a position in our property management group.  I’m proud of that.  I also serve on the Advisory Board of IWIRE (Industrial Women in Real Estate). This group represent our next, up and coming women leaders in the industrial real estate world.

CIP: What was it about CRE that made you want to work in the industry?

Reich: Working in the industrial group at Arthur Rubloff & Co. in the mid ‘70s I watched how the brokers interacted, the fun they had, the challenges they faced as well as the risks and rewards before them. I realized it might be my calling and had the right mentor, Joseph Dillon, to go forward. In an earlier life pre brokerage, I experienced a short stint in public accounting. That was not the path for me!

CIP: What CRE experience has been most memorable to you?

Reich: Asking me to select my most memorable experience in real estate is like asking, where should we eat in Chicago? There are so many stories, events and experiences that could apply. At this point in my career, I’d like to say that it is the entire body of work over 37 years, not just one thing.

CIP: What do you like to do for fun outside of work?

Reich: Travel, music, entertaining – combine all three and I am in heaven.

CIP: As a traveler, what's been your favorite city you have visited?

Reich: Again, very difficult to select just one. As an active member nationally of SIOR—at the executive board level—I had a great opportunity to travel nationally and internationally. At the top of my list of favorite destinations are some of the obvious ones:

  • London. I have been there on business several times and for the Olympics – a priceless experience.
  • Paris – have friends who reside there now and I attended a wedding there.  It is magical there.
  • Sydney, Australia – the people and country are amazing.
  • Some of the not-so-obvious include Tallinn, Estonia and Brugges, Brussels. These cities embody old world Europe and could not be more charming.

CIP: What is something people may be surprised to know about you?

Reich: I am a frustrated rock and roll singer.

CIP: What’s a great piece of advice that has stuck with you?

Reich: The best advice that was ever given to me was given by my dad who said, “Don’t expect people to give you anything – you must earn it.”

That’s a great piece of advice for anyone, and something as a commissioned commercial real estate broker I have come to appreciate very much.

CIP: What's your greatest accomplishment outside the industry?

Reich: In spring 2012, I was part of a group of 11 women active in the commercial real estate industry that participated in and finished the 39-mile Avon Breast Cancer Walk. We called ourselves “Industrial Strength for the Cure.”

It is right up there as one of the great accomplishments, and while it was a bunch of women in real estate, it was personal, and special. Collectively we raised $60,000 to help fight cancer—the fifth highest fundraising team in the event. The group included Susan Bergdoll, Duke Realty; Ann Dee, Duke Realty; Kim Adams, JP Morgan; Collete English-Dixon, Prudential Real Estate Investors; Anne Dempsey, Colliers; Suzanne Serino, then with Avison Young; Stephanie Park, CBRE; Cindy McSherry, ULI/NAIOP; Cathy Ellenbogen, formerly of CMD Realty; and Brenda Crisp, JLL.