Doug Ayers: Mourning the loss of a real estate industry leader

Doug Ayers

Before I began writing about commercial real estate for Midwest Real Estate News, I covered the residential housing market for Midwest’s sister publication, Metro Chicago Real Estate. It was first during the go-go days of the housing boom that I interviewed Doug Ayers.

Back then, Ayers was leading Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Chicago and Milwaukee. I remember talking to him about the amazing housing market. He counseled calm, though, telling me — and, in effect, our readers — to be careful; no boom market lasts forever, he said.

Years later, when he was serving as president and chief executive officer of Koenig & Strey Real Living, Ayers sat on the brokers panel of a residential conference that Metro Chicago Real Estate Magazine sponsored. Then, the housing industry was stuck in the earliest days of its current slump. Ayers told the audience the same thing, in reverse, that he told me a few years earlier: “Be calm. This market won’t last forever.”

I didn’t know Ayers well. But I’ll always remember his calm demeanor. No matter the subject of our interviews he always preached patience, hard work, ethics and, of course, the benefits of remaining cool in even the most challenging of markets. I think these are valuable lessons.

Ayers passed away June 10 after a long battle with cancer. He was only 50 years old, far too young.

And even though we at Midwest Real Estate News didn’t know him well, we knew him well enough to know that he will be missed.

— Dan Rafter


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