The first thing Jon Chalfie will tell you about himself is that he is a big sports fan. The oldest of three boys, he was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he was a Bengals fan and grew up cheering for the Reds at baseball games each summer. His love of sports drew him to the University of Wisconsin for college, where the Big 10 atmosphere was exciting, and a new state offered him a chance to get away. Jon continued to travel farther from his home state, ending up in San Francisco after he graduated college. It was in California where Jon’s love for live music evolved, particularly the jam music scene and the Grateful Dead. He spent the next several years traveling to concerts and festivals, which gave him the opportunity not to just see his favorite music played live (he estimates he’s seen the Dead play over 70 times!) but to see other cities and national parks across the U.S.
After San Francisco, Jon made the move all the way from the West Coast to the East Coast, stopping in Delaware. There, he started a family and began his career in Property Management. On the side, Jon was still making sure to do things he loved and continued working as a beer vendor at baseball games as he had done in the past (his claim to fame might be his ability to pour three beers into three different cups at one time!). It was a good way to have some fun and balance out the work he was doing at his main, full-time job in Property Management. While he had always known he had wanted to go into real estate, Jon was not sure if his current role was the right option for him and knew for a fact that when he would move into sales, residential real estate was not the direction that inspired him. After seven years in Delaware, things took a turn when Jon and his family relocated to Charleston and he was able to start his commercial real estate career.
At first, Jon wasn’t sure how much he would like it since Charleston isn’t a “big league” sports town. However, the nightlife, festivals (such as Charleston Wine + Food, and Spoleto), and many outdoor activities he could participate in were enough to fill that void. The city also gave him the chance to finally alter the direction of his career. Jon dove in and was able to start meeting with different brokers and firms about his next move. He met with several who were well-known in the Charleston area—including Bob Nuttall from Lee & Associates—until he settled on The Barkley Fraser Company. It was here where Jon made the decision to specialize in Office Commercial Real Estate. When initially making this choice, he was leaning toward retail, however realized that by specializing in office he could work with many local clients who were professional, like-minded and kept him on his toes.
After twelve years with the same firm, Jon sought a change of pace and renewed energy and reconnected with Bob. He saw Lee & Associates as not only a platform to succeed, but a place where his work could continue to be recognized in the Charleston community.
In addition to loving the collaborative environment and energy he has in his work life, Jon enjoys a number of hobbies in the Charleston area. He considers himself a big advocate for public transportation and urban living, and supports movements in the city for expansion of the Bus Rapid Transit system (plans are in place to have buses run from downtown Charleston all the way up to Summerville), and the Lowline, which will be a walking path down the spine of the peninsula where railways used to run. He also became a Paul Harris fellow with the Daniel Island Rotary Club and spent two years as President of the Mount Pleasant Chamber of Commerce.
Jon has several ways he stays connected to sports, too. He coached his daughter’s elementary and middle school basketball teams and cheered his son through travel soccer programs and on to two soccer state championships at Wando High School. His son is now a sophomore at the University of Georgia—which has given him a real fighting interest in the SEC—and his daughter is a sophomore on the Wando High School volleyball team. Jon had the good fortune of returning to Europe with his family this past summer and can’t wait to plan where he will travel to next (Greece and Asia are at the top of his list!).
Whether it is chatting about the World Cup or planning your next move in real estate, Jon is always open to sitting down with a beer and seeing where the next adventure might lead. Despite growing up thinking he would always return to Cincinnati someday, Jon has made a permanent home here in Charleston and looks forward to the years to come in the Lowcountry and with Lee and Associates, working as a team with some of the best in the business.