PROFILE: Harold Rider of Realty Mortgage Company
Harold Rider sits down with us to share his secrets of running a successful, family owned business. RANDALL PENTIUK
Harold Rider, Co-President of Realty & Mortgage Company, is no stranger to the Midwest. Mr. Rider grew up in the Chicago suburbs, and then headed east to attend Colby College, where he graduated in 1988. From there he moved to Wilmington, Delaware where he worked for JMB properties, which was the largest real estate company in the world at that time. Mr. Rider went through JMB’s training program and worked in their office group for a few years before he moved back to Chicago and started working at Realty Mortgage Company.
Realty Mortgage Company was founded in 1906, and is a family run business. Mr. Rider’s grandfather got involved in the 1920s when he purchased the company and ran it until the late 1960s, when Mr. Rider’s father took over the firm’s operations. Mr. Rider started working with the firm in 1991. Since then two more of Mr. Rider’s brothers have also joined the company. Unsurprisingly, Mr. Rider cites his parents as the biggest influence in his life. They taught him to work hard, be honest, and make sure you put your best effort in. As for Mr. Rider, when asked what his biggest success in life was, he responded with “My kids.” He has three children, and they love to spend time together going skiing, watching his kid’s sports games, music and dance recitals.
Mr. Rider first got involved in housing cooperatives through Realty Mortgage Company. Since they manage pretty much every residential building there is, they became interested in working with housing cooperatives to round out their management portfolio.
Managing housing cooperatives became a natural extension of their business, and allows them to offer efficiencies created by their firm to Cooperatives throughout the City of Chicago and entire Midwest Region.
When asked what some of the goals for Realty Mortgage were, Mr. Rider responded that they hope to grow their management business throughout the region in all sectors of the business. Right now the company manages buildings in the Midwest area, including Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin. They intend to achieve their growth goals by working hard to meet their customer’s objectives, whether it is an institution, a private owner, or a cooperative.
Having done business in Chicago since the days of dirt roads, Realty & Mortgage Co. is deeply invested in Chicago and the Midwest. Their business survived the Great Depression, the Great Recession, and many ups and downs in between. The firm’s guiding principles of working hard, remaining fiscally conservative, and providing depth of operations to its customers has served them well. Additionally, being a mid-sized firm with 6,000 units under management, Realty Mortgage Co. can offer the resources of a larger firm with the accessibility offered by a boutique firm, thereby increasing overall customer satisfaction.
When asked what he would like to say to the members of MAHC, Mr. Rider stated “Anyone who is a future or current customer of ours, first and foremost our game plan is to take everybody’s goals in mind and let them articulate them and present them to us. Then we incorporate them into the management plan that best fits their corporation. We work hard with coops and ownership entities to implement those plans. We really always look at ourselves as being a partner as opposed to a vendor. We want our customers to be successful. If they’re successful, we’re going to be successful.”