First Midwest Bank
Dave Radke always knew that real estate was his life’s calling. His father enjoyed a career as an architectural renderer while his uncle served as the managing partner at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, one of the world’s most highly reputed architecture, interior design and planning firms. No wonder that Radke pursued real estate studies at DePaul University during which he interned at Draper & Kramer, Inc., the leading property and financial services firm whose residential division his uncle created. “That was a great training ground for many of today’s leaders,” he reflects. “I remember my uncle giving me Fannie Mae’s guideline book, which was about 1,000 pages. They really wanted you to learn the industry as a serious profession.”
Now 20 years later, Radke finds that his decades of experience have afforded him the opportunity to be the preferred lender for some of downtown Chicago’s largest buildings. “I’ve always liked new development and condo conversions,” he says, pointing out that his easy temperament and penchant for teamwork have led to a reputation that precedes him. “It’s a fairly small circle that develops and converts buildings, and some of these projects don’t close for over a year, so I have to keep everyone engaged throughout the process,” Radke explains. He adds that his role is to not only provide financing, but, in his opinion, to also help promote the end sale for the Realtors with whom he partners.
Radke’s First Midwest Bank clients included first-time buyers seeking government assistance for their down payment as well as high net worth individuals purchasing a luxury residence. Yet regardless of the client and budget, he and his team maintain close communication with the homebuyer throughout the mortgage process. Moreover, they strive for perfection when it comes to meeting the mortgage contingency and closing dates because they realize that even the slightest delay can create a major upset. This efficiency has earned First Midwest Bank J.D. Power’s customer satisfaction award for the past two years.
“I like being a ‘boots on the ground’ originator,” says Radke when describing his hands-on approach to his work. A member of groups like the Illinois Mortgage Bankers Association and the Chicago Area Homebuilders, he credits his colleagues for his ability to continue to originate loans because of their enduring support and unquestionable talent. “We’re a team that makes closing a loan very efficient,” he says, “and that’s an experience that clients remember for a lifetime.”