Like many great businessmen, Julius I. Kislak started with a dream. In 1906, at age 19, the Ukrainian immigrant began his foray into real estate brokerage from a tiny rented room in Hoboken, New Jersey. Despite his youth and inexperience, he was determined to succeed. His business plan was simple: hat in hand, he went door-to-door asking homeowners if they would be willing to sell. Many were, and his keen instincts, strong will and optimism ultimately helped turn his vision into a reality. His one-man enterprise firmly planted the roots of what would become a billion-dollar real estate empire.
By 1922, Julius had carved a solid niche for himself in the real estate market and opened the first Kislak office. Over the next 30 years, the company flourished, added a workforce, and led the way in real estate, mortgage financing, and insurance, all while weathering the Great Depression and World War II. In 1953, under the leadership of Julius’ son Jay, the Kislak Organization expanded to Florida.
Jay Kislak became involved in banking in the 1960s, eventually establishing Kislak National Bank in Miami. With its strong focus on serving small business owners, condominium associations and residential borrowers, the bank met with great success and through the years grew throughout South Florida.
By the 1990s, J.I. Kislak Mortgage Corporation had grown from six employees to more than 1,000, and the Kislak Organization included The Kislak Company, J.I. Kislak Mortgage Corporation, J.I. Kislak Insurance Agency, and Kislak National Bank, which were later sold, and a host of affiliates.
Today, more than a century after Julius Kislak closed his first deal, the Kislak Organization has employees in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida. Its primary lines of business include real estate investments, asset management, and commercial and investment real estate brokerage. The organization’s primary groups – The Kislak Company, Inc.; Kislak Commercial Real Estate Services, Inc.; and J.I. Kislak, Inc. – consistently generate revenue for clients and investors alike.
Embracing the ideals of its founder – integrity, hard work, perseverance, courage, resourcefulness and a dedication to fulfilling clients’ needs – Kislak continues to realize the American dream.