Brendan’s story of hard work, fairness, and integrity in real estate, shaping communities that thrive on equality and inclusion.

I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Brendan Barone and talk real estate with him. He shared his insightful story of the challenges in the real estate world and how he works through them. Read on for his intuitive reflection.

Theme: how do you and your office actively work to understand and serve the unique needs of the community?

Now, shift the scene to Trace on the Parkway, a mixed-use development in Edwardsville.
Brendan’s role here is like a maestro orchestrating a symphony of community enhancement.
He’s not just about leasing spaces; he’s about creating a thriving, vibrant community.

This project boasts everything from apartment units and retail centers to a dozen restaurants. It’s a place where life’s conveniences are just a stroll away, catering to a diverse crowd from young professionals to empty nesters. Brendan’s vision is to create a quality of life that’s more than just four walls and a roof.

But It’s not all smooth sailing. Brendan has a keen eye for business viability, a skill honed from
tough lessons. He recounts the story of a hopeful business owner, underprepared for the
financial demands of a new venture.

Brendan’s advice is candid, and rooted in experience: secure enough funds to cover the initial rocky period. He’s seen the pitfalls of inadequate planning, and businesses folding under the weight of unmet expectations. It’s a sobering reminder of the realities of entrepreneurship.

Yet, Brendan’s not just a gatekeeper; he’s a guide. He’s the go-to guy for start-ups, offering a
helping hand, from finding the right space to connecting them with essential services like
insurance agents, attorneys, and lenders.

He believes in giving chances, sometimes even financially supporting causes he believes in, like the mentorship program for young fathers coming out of prison. It’s a risky move, often without immediate rewards, but Brendan’s driven by a sense of community and hope.

There are setbacks, though. Take the story of the couple he helped, where things went south
due to financial mismanagement. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but it doesn’t deter Brendan from his mission to support budding entrepreneurs.

Brendan’s journey in commercial real estate is a tapestry of community building, hard-earned
wisdom, and a relentless pursuit of creating spaces that are not just profitable, but meaningful.
It’s about balancing the ledger of business with the richness of human experience, a challenge
he embraces with open arms.

Can you tell us about any particular project initiative where you’re proud of your office?

In the ever-evolving world of real estate, it’s not just about the bricks and mortar; it’s about the
people and their stories. Brendan takes pride in a particular aspect of his work:
alleviating the burdens of property ownership.

Imagine owning a building that serves no purpose – it’s like carrying a weight you can’t put down. Taxes, insurance, maintenance – the costs pile up, and the building, without care, slowly crumbles away.

Brendan tells a story that hits close to home. A building inspector local business owner,
doubling as a treasurer for his church, found himself unexpectedly shouldering the burden of the property the church had operated in before closing.

The financial strain was immense, eating away a significant chunk of his income. Brendan stepped in, not just as a broker, but as a problem-solver, liberating this man from a heavy financial and emotional burden. Moments like these bring a sense of purpose and pride to their work.

How does Brendan stay ahead in the dynamic real estate market, especially attuned to the local community’s needs? It’s about having a finger on the pulse of both local and global trends.

Brendan taps into various resources – from the International Council of Shopping Centers for broader market insights to local mortgage lenders and residential agents for the ground-level view. It’s a blend of macro and micro perspectives.

One trend Brendan keenly observed is the evolving landscape of dining options, a crucial
aspect of local entertainment and lifestyle. Take, for instance, the rising popularity of Asian
restaurants specializing in soup dumplings – a culinary delight that’s more than just food; it’s an experience.

By staying attuned to these trends, Brendan’s introduced a unique and exciting dining option to the area, enhancing the local dining scene and keeping the
community’s dollars within its borders.

These soup dumplings, Brendan explains, are not your average potstickers. They’re a compelling fusion of dumplings and soup, a dish that requires a spoon for the experience. It’s a
small detail, but in the world of commercial real estate and community development, such
nuances can make a big difference.

Brendan’s enthusiasm is palpable; he’s not just talking about a new restaurant tenant. He’s talking about bringing a slice of the wider world into the local community, enriching it in the process.

This is the essence of Brendan’s approach – it’s more than leasing spaces; it’s about
understanding and catering to the needs and desires of the community, bringing in new
experiences, and enriching the local culture. It’s a balancing act of being both a visionary and a
realist, a role Brendan embraces with vigor and pride.

Theme: How are you moving into the future?

In the dynamic landscape of real estate, staying ahead of the curve is akin to navigating a ship
through ever-shifting seas. Brendan, ever the captain of his ship, zeroes in on a critical aspect
of this journey: the importance of market share and reputation.

In a field where your name and your work speak volumes, maintaining a sterling reputation is not just good practice; it’s essential for survival and success.

Brendan reflects on the lessons from his mentor, who is a beacon of fairness and hard work. These principles are not just words; they’re the foundation of their approach to business.

Cutting corners or choosing the easy path is not an option in a market that thrives on fairness and consistency. It’s about the long game, building a legacy of reliability and integrity. This mindset has become Brendan’s guiding star – working hard, being fair to everyone, and not playing favorites. It’s a level playing field in Brendan’s world.

When it comes to tenant selection, Brendan’s approach is meticulous yet equitable. It’s not just
about finding a tenant; it’s about finding the right tenant. This process involves presenting each
contender in their best light, weighing their strengths, and tipping the scale based on merit.

Brendan’s commitment to fairness goes beyond just business dealings; it’s a stand against the
biases and prejudices that have historically skewed the industry. He recognizes how these
injustices have shaped income inequality and strives to be a force for change.

Brendan’s philosophy is simple yet profound: give everyone an opportunity. He understands the
impact his decisions have, not just on his business but on the broader community.

This sense of responsibility guides his actions, leading him to sometimes part ways with clients whose values don’t align with his own. For Brendan, real estate is more than transactions and properties; it’s about building a community that’s inclusive, diverse, and fair.

In a nutshell, Brendan’s strategy for staying ahead in the real estate market is rooted in hard
work, fairness, and a deep commitment to equality. It’s a holistic approach that values people
and relationships over quick wins, a testament to the power of integrity in a world that’s
constantly evolving.


We hope you are enjoying these articles and are willing to continue to follow along as we share our adventures of learning about life in southern Illinois, This is an exciting area and we are so happy to be part of this area. Our lives are being fulfilled by the people we are meeting. Bruce & Karen.

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We’re Bruce and Karen Carlson. We recently moved to the Metro East area of Illinois. This area is east of St. Louis from the Mississippi River north to Alton, east to Carlyle, back south to Waterloo and the Mississippi River, finally north to Columbia. The center is Fairview Heights, Swansea, Belleville, Shiloh, and O'Fallon. Not to be forgotten is Southern Illinois University (SIU) in Edwardsville. It’s a whole new world out there. Our goal with this website is to share our exploration of the Metro East area. As we find businesses and services we use in our daily lives, we’ll share how these businesses and services have helped make our lives better and easier to live.

We’re calling our move to the Metro East area retirement, but we’re not quite sure what that means. By sharing our story with you, we hope you too will gain a better sense of what the Metro East area has to offer and how their businesses and services can improve your lives and build a better community.