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Brokers respond: Who do you admire most in this industry, and why?

Nov 30, 2017

man-suit-coffee-064577-edited.jpgWhether it’s a mentor, an older colleague, or even a competitor, chances are you’ve looked at a person you admire and said, “Wow, how do they do that? I’d love to get to their level.”

We asked a few brokers about those people in the industry who’ve stood out most to them—and why—and here’s what we found out. Here’s three cheers for the people who inspire us to do better and be better on a daily basis.

Turning projects nobody wants into opportunities everyone benefits from

“The one person who stands out to me and I would like to get to his level is Ross Perot, Jr. with Hillwood Properties. His projects to clean up environmental wastelands around the world to create new development projects is an inspiration to make a difference,” says Pam Goodwin, author, speaker, and CEO of Goodwin Commercial. “Mr. Perot takes on projects that no one else wants to work on and finds a way to make them happen. I’d love to get to his level!"


Handling tough situations with moral clarity and fairness

"There are many brokers that I look up to in my market,” says Mathew Laborde, president and CEO of Elifin Elite Financial Realty. "We have a small, tight community among our commercial brokers and I see many of the other brokers as big brothers and sisters."

"One in particular stands out: Branon Pesnell. Branon is a former colleague (and now a competitor since I started my own firm) that I have always admired him a great deal. Branon is a fellow commercial broker in my market, Baton Rouge, LA, and he is consistently the #1 top producer at my former firm. What makes Branon stand out is not only his consistent success, but more so his constant integrity and professionalism."

"As brokers, I think we’ve all been put in positions that have tested our ethics and character. I have seen Branon put in similar tough situations, and he has handled them with a level of moral clarity and commitment to fairness that is very rare. I look up to him as a shining example that good guys also finish first."

Doing it all with passion and perseverance

"I most admire Deborah VanAmerongen, who is a strategic policy advisor in Nixon Peabody’s Affordable Housing group,” says Heidi Burkhart, president and owner of Dane Real Estate.

"She is a beautiful person inside and out. She is an amazing leader in getting people to work together to accomplish a goal, and so many people will tell you that she is an amazing speaker which translates to her empowering us to do more and be more. Her perseverance to always strive for more and her passion for affordable housing is unwavering. Without her support I wouldn’t be where I am today. I just love her."

Inspiring us all, every day

Who do YOU admire most in the CRE industry? We would love to know about the people who inspire you daily, whether they’re your colleagues, your competitors, or your fondest mentors. Let us know in the comments who inspires you most, and why.


Next: Mentoring a millennial broker--what you need to know

Topics: Interviews

Irena Ashcraft

Written by Irena Ashcraft

Irena is a freelance writer who works with innovators, educators, explorers, and changemakers. From brave nonprofits to frontier-straddling startups, she helps clients connect with their biggest fans through writing that's fresh, relatable, and fun.

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