Matt Apter, Cresa Madison

IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features Matt Apter, managing principal, Cresa Madison.

1. What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job and why?

I am a commercial real estate broker who works with tenants and buyers only. This can be challenging because you won’t see my name or logo on a sign on the side of a building, so name recognition among the general public is a little harder to achieve than for a company that represents both sides of a deal. I’m not complaining though because being a tenant-only representative is also the most rewarding aspect of my job. The only concern I have when negotiating on behalf of my clients is what is in their best interest. I don’t have a quota to fill or a landlord to make happy. Everything I do is strictly client focused.

2. Who do you look up to or admire in business and why?

Michael Johnson, CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of Dane County. I admire how Michael works tirelessly every day to bring together people from all across the community to rally around the needs of kids from all backgrounds. He constantly strives to reach consensus toward shared community goals by putting the needs of our children ahead of political and ideological forces that often attempt to divide communities.

3. What has been the high point of your career so far?

Being the first in Wisconsin to open a tenant- or buyer-only representation firm. I worked for Cresa in Washington, D.C. in the early 2000s, so when my wife and I moved back to the Madison area in 2005 I was excited to introduce the concept to the Madison market. I’m very proud of the company we’ve built and to have the opportunity to provide this service to businesses throughout Wisconsin.

4. Thinking back on your career, what advice would you give your 21-year old self?

I would probably tell my 21-year-old self to try a little harder to get hired as a test captain for a luxury yacht manufacturer. Other than that, I’d tell young me to remember to stay humble and grateful, and to surround myself with people who are passionate about what they do. Take care of those people and in turn they will take care of you.



5. What would you say are the best things about living and working in Dane County?

It’s no mistake that we keep getting voted to the top of national “Best of” lists. There’s just so much going on. Most of my favorite things involve all the great activities like boating, waterskiing, fishing, and sailing that the lakes have to offer. It’s even more fun when we can enjoy these activities with our friends and extended family. Having the university here means not only top-notch entrepreneurs and a highly skilled workforce, but great sporting events, as well. I’m a huge fan of UW sports teams and regularly attend games.

6. Do you have any secret talents or abilities that people would be surprised to discover?

I learned how to French braid hair in middle school. Now that I have a little girl of my own she thinks my hair-styling abilities are pretty cool.

7. What are your guilty pleasures?

My guilty pleasure is a long summer boat ride on Lake Mendota with a stop at the Memorial Union Terrace for a brat and a beer. It really doesn’t get much better than that!

Click here to sign up for the free IB ezine – your twice-weekly resource for local business news, analysis, voices, and the names you need to know. If you are not already a subscriber to In Business magazine, be sure to sign up for our monthly print edition here.