James Burke


James Burke

Vice President
Fifth Third Bank

The way Fifth Third Bank Vice President James Burke tells it, real estate is in his blood. “My family, who emigrated from Ireland, were homebuilders, so I have been around real estate pretty much my whole life,” he says. Burke spent several years selling real estate before transitioning to lending, which he’s been doing for the past 12 years, helping thousands of clients achieve their dreams of owning a home. A member of both the Illinois Mortgage Bankers Association and Northern Illinois Home Builders Association, Burke has a wealth of experience in a number of different loan areas, which has proven to be an invaluable resource for his clients.

Specializing in construction loans, jumbo loans, and 5/3 physician’s loans, Burke takes on some of the most complicated, difficult lending work out there. “I have done a lot of work for high net worth and self-employer borrowers, so I understand complicated tax returns and streamline the process for these borrowers,” he says. Because of the complicated nature of such projects, he uses a consultative approach with his clients, beginning with learning each client’s unique needs, goals, and expectations, then taking the time to educate them on the process. He says, “I feel that by taking the time to understand my clients’ needs, I can help them leverage their real estate into their long-term wealth plan.”

To Burke, mutual understanding between him and his clients is one of the most important aspects of the business, and one that leads to both parties walking away happy and confident. “I love helping people and meeting new Realtors and builders. I find it interesting to learn about what other people do for a living. It’s great to see what makes the world turn,” he says. His passion for his clients is palpable, and Burke clearly sees those he works with not just as clients, but as people.

But Burke’s education-first approach does not just extend to the client relationship – he has also taken it upon himself to help mentor and manage younger and newer loan officers. “I enjoy seeing them have success in this industry,” he says, explaining how rewarding it is to see such relationships pay off for who he mentors. In Burke’s eyes, one of the keys to a great career is cultivating great relationships, a task he has a knack for.

When he is not forging relationships in the real estate world, Burke finds his greatest joy in his family. He’s the father eight-year-old twins, Abby and Eoin, and watching them grow up is his greatest source of satisfaction and pride. He is also an avid traveler.

Thanks to AtWater Apartments for letting us use their beautiful location for our photo shoots.

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