In 1980, Joel began his real estate career as a salesperson, purchasing a partnership in Landmark Real Estate in 1983. As president and managing broker of Landmark, Joel wrote and taught an extensive in-house training syllabus for real estate salespersons, as well as teaching the Pre-licensing Real Estate Salesperson course. Also during this period of time, Joel did consulting work for Educational Testing Service in connection with the Illinois Salesperson and Broker exams.
Joel joined the faculty of the Real Estate Brokerage Council of the National Association of REALTORS in 1986 and traveled across the country teaching classes in financial management for real estate brokers.
Joel founded Joel Ward Real Estate Appraisals in 1994, providing independent fee appraisal services to individuals and mortgage lenders in East-central Illinois. He is a member of the part-time teaching faculty at Parkland Community College, teaching Residential Appraisal Report Writing as needed. Joel is also one of the few instructors in downstate Illinois certified by the Appraisal Foundation to teach the National USPAP courses.
In 2004, Joel Ward moved into new offices at 3115 Village Office Place, Champaign. This new facility has been designed to include an attractive and modern classroom. This "Smart Classroom" is fully equipped with digital projection for Power Point presentations as well as high speed Internet access.
Joel has two sons, Nick and David. Joel and his family enjoy skiing, golf and "big boat" sailing.