Alex Ruggieri

Alex Ruggieri is a senior advisor for SVN-Ramshaw Real Estate.
Area of Focus: Investment property sales
Years in Real Estate: Over 40
Transaction Volume: Over $500 million
Professional Designations: S.E.C., CRE, CCIM, CIPS and FIABCI, NCE
Formal Education: MBA from the University of Illinois
Residence: Tuscola, Illinois

Alex has been with his wife, Sylvia, for almost 50 years. In Alex’s words, they started “going steady” in high school. Alex has 5 children and 14 grandchildren.

Family:

Alex has 4 sons and 1 daughter.
His daughter, America, and her husband live in Africa.
Raphael is a surgeon.
Noah is in business with Alex and attends S.E.C. meetings.
Adam manages and runs a local print shop.
Alex (his son), is an attorney. He is also in the Illinois National Guard, served in Afghanistan, and earned the Bronze Star.
All of Alex’s boys were Boy Scouts, and three achieved Eagle Scout.
He has instilled in his children to “follow their bliss.”
Alex is especially happy that his 4 sons and 11 of his grandchildren live within 25 minutes of him. 

Interesting facts about Alex:

  • At the end of his senior year in high school, Alex managed a touring rock and roll band and was a true “roadie.”
  • Alex, along with his son Noah, recently published the book The Executive’s Guide to Buying Commercial Property: How to Avoid Common Pitfalls When Buying a Building.
  • Alex hosted a TV show interviewing local business executives for five years.
  • Alex still hosts a local radio show and podcast that reaches 30 counties with the same focus of his TV show.
  • Areas of concern to Alex: the national acceptance of people attacking and belittling each other versus working and coming together as a nation.
  • He attends the MIPIM international conference in France each year to build international real estate relationships.
  • For fun, Alex enjoys writing poetry. He posts a poem each Saturday on Facebook.
  • Alex plays guitar and writes songs.
  • Alex frequently contributes to Illinois Realtor magazine with his own column, “Commercial Corner.”
  • He has authored commercial real estate articles for regional and national real estate trade publications, including Units magazine, Mid-West Real Estate News, Heartland Real Estate Business, and Illinois Realtor

Professional Awards:

  • Appointed to the International Foundation for the National Association of Realtors IHC Global
  • State of Illinois Chairman of the Global Business Council
  • Realtor of the Year
  • Sperry Van Ness Partnership Circle Award. Out of 1,600 agents, Alex has consistently been in the top 20 in sales. This is the sixth time he has won Partnership Circle, even though he is from a small Midwest town.

What would today’s Alex say to his 20-year-old self?
Be more determined and believe in yourself.

Alex’s greatest focuses in his life:

His wife.
His family.
His church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS).
Alex swims most days to start his day.

Alex’s unique path to the LDS as his path of faith:

Alex was born and raised Catholic. When he was 19, he was reading a lot about different religions. Alex was, and remains, always curious and learning focused. Alex studied many of the world’s major religions and read many religious texts, including studies of Islam, Hinduism, and Daoism. He also took a course on “Cosmic Consciousness” by Dr. Richard Maurice Bucke and studied the Jehovah’s Witnesses and more. Eventually, he began visiting with Mormons, and that began his path at age 19 to his faith in the Mormon Church.What advice do you give to someone who wants to start a real estate career?

How you treat people and your network is everything. Get out and meet people. Don’t stay in the office. Go to Chamber meetings, go to after-hours meetings. Let people start seeing you. Have a long-term focus, and don’t quit.

Why did Alex get started in the S.E.C.?

Alex wanted to broaden his network nationally, beyond his local area. He realized he was spending between $15,000–20,000 on national meetings, including the S.E.C. The first and second year, he didn’t make any money. At the end of his tenth year, Alex sat down and added up all his transactions. He stopped counting at $1,000,000—a tremendous return on his money. He has been coming to S.E.C. meetings for over 10 years. What matters most to him about the S.E.C. is the people. It is family to him.

Greatest Challenges:

When Alex was 29 years old, in the late 1980s, he had a bad partner. Alex and Sylvia had to start all over again. Regardless, Sylvia was always supportive, the children always had what they needed, and everyone always ate. Even in the worse years, he made a good living.

The day Alex jumped eight lanes of traffic, breaking both of his wrists:

When he was in high school, his then-sweetheart Sylvia’s grandfather died. Sylvia’s whole family, along with Alex, drove from Illinois to Arizona to attend his funeral. At the time, Alex was interested in geology and planned on collecting rocks while in Arizona.

Alex saw a cliffside that looked like it had a streak of copper in it. Being a teenager, the logical thing to do was to run across eight lanes of a divided highway to get over to the cliff side to gather rocks for his collection.

Alex made it halfway across when he came to the dividing barrier. It was tall enough that he couldn’t see what was on the other side, and Alex assumed it was merely a divider for the eight lanes of traffic. He decided to jump the concrete embankment. Midway through his jump is when reality took over: Alex looked down, and, as if he was in a slow-motion movie, he realized the embankment was to protect vehicles from the 15’ foot vertical drop into a spillway.Alex remembers turning around mid-air and “feeling like one of those Bugs Bunny or Road Runner cartoons” as he fell—straight down. His wrists took the brunt of the fall, and they both broke. His doctor told him how lucky he was: if his wrists had not taken the impact, he would have broken his back.

Sylvia saw the whole event, as did her brother. Sylvia’s brother had been in the Navy and was run over by an airplane while serving on the Midway. He had just gotten out of the hospital and was on metal leg braces. With braces on, he came down to help Alex climb out. The combination of Alex crawling up on his elbows with his shattered wrists and his future brother-in-law pushing while wearing metal leg braces got Alex out the ditch and eventually to care. Sylvia stayed calm the entire time—and, to this day, Alex still admires this feature of his wife.

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