The Real Deal Chicago

Forget firefighters, these Chicago brokers aim to heat up 2019 with swimsuit calendar

Twelve “Men of Chicago Real Estate” had the guts — and abs — to bare (almost) all for charity
By John O’Brien | August 23, 2018 08:00AM

From left: Joe Howard, Eric Casper, Jordan Pyle, Ray Melencio, Tony Mattar, and Zach Koran

Here’s one thing hotter than the Chicago industrial market: The first swimsuit calendar featuring Chicago brokers.

Joe Howard, aka “Mr. July,” said his wife was fully on board when he decided to pose. “She said she will pimp me out to get more business and exposure,” the Keller Williams broker said with a laugh. “So I think she’s fine with it.”

In fact, it was Kim Howard who suggested her husband and fellow broker/founder of Howard Homes take part in the new “2019 Men of Chicago Real Estate,” a charity endeavor and the brainchild of Tony Mattar.

Mattar, 28 and a fellow broker at Keller Williams Chicago Lincoln Park, said he came up with the idea over the winter after joining a gym.

“There are a lot of guys in my office who are in good shape and work out and I thought it would be fun,” Mattar said. And he said, a way to give back. After working out the costs of producing 10,000 calendars and figuring out how much to charge, Mattar calculated he could raise upward of $250,000. That’s provided all the calendars are sold.

“I was kind of flabbergasted,” he said. So Mattar, “Mr. May,” started recruiting other brokers.

He said he wasn’t just looking for attractive guys but also those who are “well respected in the industry,” said, “operate businesses with integrity and have a heart for giving back to their community.”

Finding willing participants wasn’t difficult, he said. “It’s not salacious in any way, shape or form,” Mattar said. “It’s really cute and fun and people are going to be really impressed with the photos.”

Compass broker Zach Koran, “Mr. February,” said he didn’t hesitate.

“I love Tony’s vision,” said the 41-year-old former personal trainer, who realized he was going to have to whip his “dad bod” into shape.

Koran spent more than a month preparing, cutting back on sugar, getting more sleep and drinking more water.

Howard, who is “Mr. July,” researched how bodybuilders prepare for shows and spent two months prepping for his closeup. The 32-year-old ended up dropping 20 pounds and reducing his body fat 6 percentage points.

“I’ve always been interested in getting in the best shape possible, and it was nice to have a reason to do it,” he said. Part of that reason was because proceeds from the calendar will go charity.

Mattar said he set up a nonprofit and plans to distribute the money every year (yes, he’s already thinking about a 2020 calendar) to a different charity. This year it’s the Chicago House & Social Service Agency, which provides permanent housing and other assistance to the HIV/AIDS and LGBTQ community.

The finished product goes on sale Thursday for $29.99 at menofchicagorealestate.com.

“Most people will probably be impressed and surprised,” Howard said.

And his family?

“My mom already said she’s buying it for all her friends.”