The American Businessperson
Rich Killian started his first business at age 12 when he created a management system for a paper route job he obtained in his neighborhood with the area’s largest local newspaper. Knowing he could only manage to deliver paper and collect payments in a certain physical radius from his home, Rich always wanted to expand his job.
Through his hard work and dedication to his 5am job before school, Rich was awarded more routes. Rich always wanted to take care of his friends so he brought them in as partners as his routes and workload increased. Running a paper route not only consisted of separately binding the papers and delivering them, it also required collecting the billing from each customer.
Rich created a system where he could bind the papers in an assembly-line fashion, have his friends pick up the packaged papers at a central point, and then assign one individual to handle the billing. This system created a very smooth-running delivery style and bill collecting was much easier due to the organized system. Rich was eventually fired from the newspaper because his manger found out that he wasn’t personally delivering every paper and the manager told Rich that this was not the way they ran their business. Rich’s system never delivered a late paper and collected 100% of the billing on time, every time. The newspaper company eventually went out of business.
Rich took his earnings from his paper route and bought and sold baseball cards while turning profits throughout his high school years. After high school, Rich joined the military and took his baseball card money and bought cars which he could rent to his friends who couldn’t afford a car of their own. He always followed the same principals throughout his adolescent life, “always take care of your friends, and by offering products or services to people for less than the competition, you create new friends”.
After receiving an honorable discharge from the United States Army and graduating college with a civil engineering degree, Rich could not find work as an engineer so he obtained a real estate salesperson’s license and tried to secure a job selling commercial real estate. After four real estate companies denied him employment due to his inexperience, Mr. Killian was awarded a junior position with a broker who appreciated his tenacity. A year after Mr. Killian started his first corporate job, his mentor and broker who hired him had left the company and Mr. Killian was without a job due to management restructuring.
While attending night school for his MBA, Mr. Killian obtained his real estate broker’s license and self-sponsored. He worked as a laborer removing asbestos and performing demolition on construction sites prior to starting his own demolition company with the money he earned from selling real estate. Shortly after incorporating his real estate company and opening his demolition company, Mr. Killian purchased a union demolition company. With the dot com era booming Mr. Killian purchased a small information technology company from a high school friend who needed his help, hired that same friend as a technician, and made the company profitable. By age 28, Mr. Killian had completed his MBA, started two companies, acquired two more, and earned his first million dollars.
In the summer of 2002, the Chicago real estate market started to boom and Mr. Killian wanted to hire real estate agents to his company, Prospect Equities®, to assist with his influx of business. Knowing that experienced agents wouldn’t work for an unknown company with a “young” broker, Mr. Killian designed his business plan to be quite favorable to the agent with regards to commission structure and low fees. By the end of 2002, Prospect Equities® had 18 employees and Mr. Killian pioneered what is now referred to as the “Freedom Concept” of real estate brokerage in Illinois. By the end of 2003, Prospect Equities® hired and retained 67 additional agents. On the advice of one of his attorney’s along with his former MBA professor, Mr. Killian consolidated his corporations and real estate holdings under Infinity Capital Holding (ICH) Corporation and became its Chairman.
With his agents procuring clients and his contractors bidding real estate developers, Mr. Killian started mortgage, insurance, and escrow servicing companies to facilitate in-house clients by offering them additional relevant services at discounted rates. By the end of 2004, Prospect Equities® employed over 200 agents and Mr. Killian had created the most synergistic real estate brokerage concept combined with the most affordable fees and rates in Illinois. Prospect Equities® experienced a growth rate of approximately 100 new agents per year joining the corporate-owned offices and branch locations with an amazing turnover rate of less than one percent per annum.
In the recession of 2008, Mr. Killian redirected some of his companies to assist those in the housing market in need of reform. With many people loosing their homes due to hardship, Mr. Killian offered his company’s services to people in need at deeply reduced fees and in some cases, at no cost. Mr. Killian forewent hundreds of thousands of dollars to aid people in times of need, paid people’s mortgages and rents, and created numerous jobs with other companies he either founded or acquired.
In 2010, Mr. Killian founded The Hardship Home Foundation, which helps people stay in their home with a loss of income or other hardship that may prevent them from having shelter. In the same year, Prospect Equities® became the only real estate franchisor based in Illinois, the only franchise of its kind in the country, and acquired licensing to sell franchises in 37 American states.
In 2011, Mr. Killian launched an Internet talk radio show titled “The American Businessperson” and became its host. The show’s premise brings business people and entrepreneurs in touch with realizing their American Dream and assists, through education, managers at all levels of leadership and corporate development.
Today, Mr. Killian serves as President and CEO for Prospect Equities® and oversees the company’s operations involving its divisions, ancillaries, franchising, and trade name. Mr. Killian holds thirty-three active licenses in the areas of real estate, investment, engineering, insurance, banking, and environmental consulting, is Chairman of the Board for ICH and its twenty-three companies, employs over six hundred personnel, and is responsible for over a half billion dollars in annual sales. Mr. Killian is focused on helping families across America keep their properties through The Hardship Home Foundation and helping leaders and companies succeed as The American Businessperson.