Sean Conlon has become one of real estate’s leading entrepreneurs.
Before immigrating to America in 1990, Sean attended the College of Marketing and Design in Dublin and worked as a credit analyst for Middle East Bank in London. Upon his arrival in America, Sean found work as a janitor. While working in various buildings within the city, he learned that there was an immense opportunity in real estate.
In 1993, he joined Koenig & Strey and within a few years, Sean became recognized as one of the leading sellers of residential real estate in the U.S., while still only in his 20’s. His relentless work ethic (he regularly worked 100-hour weeks), led to sales volumes that grew exponentially each year. Sean set yearly sales records nationally among real estate agents that exceeded $170 million.
Sean applied the same energy that had propelled his sales career to pursuing prime locations and turning those opportunities into successful real estate ventures. In January 2000, he formed Sussex & Reilly (“Sussex”), an Illinois-based real estate brokerage firm. Sussex began with a 10-person staff and quickly became a major player in Chicago residential real estate. Sussex grew to over 300 employees and annual brokerage sales volume in excess of $1 billion, Sean subsequently sold Sussex in 2006.
Also in 2000, Sean formed Conlon & Co: A Real Estate Merchant Bank to provide real estate consulting and financial services to clients within the many facets of the industry. With this endeavor, he held steadfast to his belief that success is the result of both a hands-on approach and hard work.
Conlon & Co also consults to high net worth individuals; he provides these clients with advice, asset evaluation, acquisition support and portfolio management. His current clients are investing upwards of $100MM in real estate throughout the U.S.
In 2004, Sean, in partnership, acquired Near North National Title ("Near North"). Near North, a national real estate title company established in 1988, handles up to $5 billion in real estate transactions annually across the U.S. He subsequently sold Near North in February 2010.
He continued his entrepreneurial venture and, in 2005, launched Connaught Real Estate Finance (“Connaught”) which has approximately $100 million dollars under management and provides mezzanine financing for large residential development projects throughout the United States. Sean is Chairman and co-owner of Connaught and his responsibilities include growing the origination platform, business strategy and investor relations.
In 2007, Sean Conlon launched his newest business, Conlon & Co Ireland in his native country in association with Investor First; a successful Dublin based Real Estate & Development Company. Conlon & Co Ireland provides a unique opportunity for Irish investors to profit from Sean Conlon’s experience and real estate acumen. In early 2008, Conlon & Co Ireland raised a Real Estate Opportunities Fund with an institutional Irish investor to invest $50 million in US real estate.
In Conlon’s latest venture, he has opened Conlon: A Real Estate Company (“CRE”). Once again, Sean Conlon has utilized his one-of-a-kind ability to connect with people to share with the world the joy and importance of home ownership. By instilling his principles and expertise in every Conlon agent, he has formed solid bedrock based on customer-oriented service, creating a personal experience for every client. Conlon brings to CRE his contrarian investment style, which has been at the root of his success.
Sean is also co-owner of Van and Conlon, a development company that builds vacation homes in the Midwest.
In less than a decade, Mr. Conlon has become recognized as one of the top real estate experts in the country. He is often the “voice of real estate“ for journalists and reporters; he has been interviewed by CNN, CNBC, New York Times, Forbes, Crain’s and the Wall Street Journal to discuss the market and trends within the real estate industry.
In 2006, he was featured in the 60-minute RTÉ Irish Television "Made in America" documentary highlighting his triumphant business successes. The “Made in America” documentary brought Sean Conlon’s story of aggressive work ethic, ambition and astonishing accomplishments to millions of viewers.
Sean Conlon presides over an extensive real estate business; he and his companies have made an indelible mark on the way real estate sales are performed and transactions are executed. He has been recognized as one of the top real estate experts in the U.S.; being featured in Crain’s “40 under 40”; awarded Irish America’s Business 100 profile four years running; and has spoken at The Wharton School of Business on entrepreneurship and leadership in 2006 and at Cornell and DePaul Universities in 2009.
With his humble beginnings in mind, Sean Conlon graciously takes pride in his many accomplishments - not only those that furthered his own career, but that created a wealth of opportunity for his many clients and associates alike. He continues to be an innovator in the real estate industry in order to provide the most knowledgeable and fitting consultation to his clients. During the past two recessions in the mid-90’s and more recently in 2001/2002, Conlon managed to thrive and grow his real estate empire and will continue to do so.
Sean is also a passionate fly fisher and loves to travel the world. He splits his time between his home in Chicago and his beach home in Malibu.