30 in Their Thirties: Kevin Jappaya // 32



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Kevin Jappaya

Senior Associate, Thomas A. Duke Co., Farmington Hills
Revenue: NA // Employees: 28

Kevin Jappaya grew up in a family that owns and manages hotels, including the Soo Locks Lodge in Sault Ste. Marie, so it’s no surprise that, after graduating from Wayne State University, he would follow a similar path. “I’m passionate about commercial real estate; I live it, breathe it, and I’m still active in the family business,” Jappaya says. “I enjoy helping people find investment opportunities, and (helping) those who are looking to buy or sell properties for their own businesses.” In 2006, after joining Thomas A. Duke Co., a commercial and investment real estate firm in Farmington Hills, the bottom fell out of the real estate market — but Jappaya saw an opportunity in connecting mainly cash buyers who were looking for “steals” with lenders desperate to unload foreclosures and other distressed properties. “When times were tough, I hung in there. That’s what I’m proud of — understanding that situation, adapting, and reaching out to the people who were selling those assets,” he says. In the process, Jappaya compiled an ample Rolodex of clients that serves him well now that the market is rebounding. “In the last few years, you’ve seen businesses expanding and looking for additional space and eager investors,” he says. “The market has improved and we have experienced significant growth. Compared to 2010, our company’s transactions are up 100 percent.” — Tom Beaman

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