Commercial Investment Real Estate March/April 2013 - Page 41

derdale, Fla., values collaboration within a company. “We have a very open and trusting environment in which business opportunities can be discussed freely without the concern of another agent stealing your customer,” he says. T e brokers regularly team up on deals to maximize their ef ectiveness, he adds. A collaborative environment also fosters training opportunities that might not otherwise be available. “Join a f rm that provides the best mentoring, both from the f rm and, if possible, from teaming up with a very experienced broker,” says Bob Rein, CCIM, associate vice president with NAI REOC in Austin, Texas. “You can attend all the classes in the world, but having a mentor and other brokers willing to help is key.” T is was Cabezut’s top priority when she began looking for a company af er her career change. “I wasn’t fresh out of college with years ahead of me,” she says. “I wanted someone who would take me under wing, forego their ego to teach me the ropes, and let me hit the ground running.” Fortunately, she met Richard L. Diller, CCIM, who at the time was the qualifying broker at one of the largest f rms in Albuquerque. He was looking for a partner, and Cabezut got the job. “Because of his reputation and my association with him, many doors were opened for me,” she explains. “By his example, I learned that it was very important to consider everything you are communicating, whether oral, written, or in action; that relationships with both clients and colleagues are to be treated with great respect; and that even the most dire crises can be handled with honor.” “He spoke highly of the education obtained through the Institute,” Phelps says. “Af er looking into it myself and talking with other CCIM professionals, I realized that it was a great networking oppor- tunity and a way to broaden my industry knowledge.” Others are drawn to the designation’s prestige. Early in his com- mercial real estate career, Micah J. McCullough, CCIM, vice presi- dent with UCR Properties in Jackson, Miss., noticed a trend at local industry events: “T e CCIMs were the most successful and respected practitioners in our market,” he says. “I decided then that if I wanted to be taken seriously as a young person or ‘up and comer’ in the busi- ness, then attaining the designation would set me apart.” Paul Z. Matysek, CCIM, president of Matysek Investment Group in Torrance, Calif., also noticed that many of the top investment professionals held the designation when he began working in com- mercial real estate in 2007. “Plus,” he adds, “I thought those letters af er my name would look cool.” And during years when sales are scarce, it pays to have connec- tions, Phelps says. He recently turned to a fellow designee for data on a shopping center property in Evansville, Ind. “I had some questions about the sale in regards to leases, occupancy, and future expecta- tions for the property’s performance,” Phelps explains. “I introduced myself as a fellow CCIM and he told me everything he could about the sale — staying within the ethical guidelines of course. I ended up with some valuable information that led me to a concrete conclusion on my value opinion.” Expand the Network Distinguish Yourself But even the best mentors can’t provide all of the education neces- sary to excel in commercial real estate. Appraiser Christopher J. Phelps, CCIM, MAI, vice president with G. Herbert Pritchett & Associates in Madisonville, Ky., pursued the CCIM designation a few years ago at the urging of his boss, Herb Pritchett, CCIM, MAI. REAL ESTATE’S TOP LEADERSHIP QUALITIES • Relating skills • Acting with honor and character • Being open and receptive What are your strengths and weaknesses as a real estate professional? Visit the CCIM Institute’s Career Center at and take the short skills assess- ment to determine your own leadership potential. Outside the CCIM network, making the right connections at busi- ness functions can be a counterintuitive process. “Show up and lis- ten, whatever the event,” McCullough says. T e leader of a workshop he recently attended explained it this way: Listen 80 percent of the time and talk 20 percent of the time. “T is is a big reason I’ve been successful,” McCullough explains. “I have a genuine interest in what other people have to say and am always trying to learn from what other people have experienced.” Active listening also allows networkers to f nd out how they can be of service to other professionals. “I look for a way to help the other person,” Cabezut says. She created a list of people whom she hoped to connect with in her market, including developers, contractors, lend- ers, government of cials, and brokers. T en she re-examined the list, asking herself, “How can I help this person?” When she implemented this plan, it helped her create relationships with market leaders, and, in turn, generate new business. Messina networks with fellow brokers at real estate events hosted by his CCIM chapter and other organizations to stay current on industry trends, local transactions, and any of -market opportuni- ties that might benef t his clients. But he also belongs to groups such as BNI International and the local Rotary Club, which allow him to March | April | 2013 39