Home > About Our Firm > Global Offices > U.S. Offices > Chicago > Professional Profiles Detail

Professional Profiles

Karin Kraai

Senior Managing Director, Landlord Advisory Services

Karin Kraai joined Newmark Knight Frank's landlord advisory division as a senior managing director in 2011. An accomplished landlord representative, Ms. Kraai leads the strategic growth of the office agency practice in Chicago, with a primary focus on the CBD. Ms. Kraai brings 25 years of experience representing real estate owners, users and investors, with expertise across the entire spectrum of asset management, leasing and marketing services, such as repositioning, value-add and long-term hold strategies. Widely recognized for her success with managing and increasing portfolio values, Ms. Kraai is credited for growing portfolios valued in excess of $2.1 billion. 

Ms. Kraai's prior experience includes a strong track record with Jones Lang LaSalle, Lincoln Property Company and Vornado Realty Trust. As regional leasing director at Jones Lang LaSalle, Ms. Kraai managed the Chicago leasing team, exceeded production goals for the region and was key in winning several additional new assignments.  At Vornado Realty Trust, as a player/coach for the Merchandise Mart Properties Division, Ms. Kraai managed the leasing teams in Chicago, Washington D.C., and Boston.  The strategy she initiated increased occupancy from 84% to 98% and increased portfolio value 163%.

As an entrepreneur, Ms. Kraai created Forest Partners Real Estate LLC, with a focus on strategic team partnering to manage and execute the marketing, leasing and disposition process for portfolios that needed to be repositioned and leased for a hold or disposition strategy. Clients included advisory groups working on receivership and sublease portfolios, niche building owners with unique office leasing challenges, understaffed corporate real estate departments and banks with REO office assets.

Select clients include BDT Capital, GE Capital, Bank of America, Ernst & Young, Citigroup, BFGImmoinvest, Overseas Partners Capital Corporation, Equitable Real Estate, Lend Lease, Harris Bank, Unitrin, Dorchester Corporation, Lincoln Property Company, WPP, and Publicis.

Ms. Kraai has served on the board for the Goldie Wolfe Miller Women Leaders in Real Estate Initiative for the past seven years and was elected president of the board for 2015-2017.  The Goldie Initiative is a 501c3 that provides scholarship funds to selected candidates who exhibit ability and leadership potential. The contenders are then mentored and monitored as they work through their program toward receiving a Masters in Business Administration/Real Estate or a Masters of Science in Real Estate degree.

Ms. Kraai was on the board for the City of Hope annual REACH fundraiser for 10 years. She is a member of CREW and COLBA, and a past member of the Greater Chicago Food Depository steering committee. Ms. Kraai is a past nominee for Crain's Leasing Broker of the Year.


Ms. Kraai holds an MBA in finance and economics from Loyola University, Chicago, and an undergraduate degree in marketing and economics from Eastern Illinois University.  Ms. Kraai holds a managing broker's license in the State of Illinois.

Karin Kraai
Karin Kraai
Senior Managing Director, Landlord Advisory Services
500 W Monroe Street
Suite 2900
Chicago, IL 60661
United States
T  312.224.3167

Download vCard
Areas of Specialization
  • Landlord Representation
  • Asset Management
  • Marketing and Repositioning Strategies

Years of Experience
25 years