How has your work changed since merging Keystone Partners into JLL in 2011?
Keystone was a small private firm with 18 employees. Today, we’re part of a Fortune 500 company with more than 90,000 employees around the globe. The technology advancement in our industry over the last eight years has been absolutely incredible.
When I joined JLL, there were 65 employees working on the Carolinas brokerage team, and today it has 230, making it the largest brokerage business by headcount in the region. With our Corporate Solutions group, we have more than 1,000 employees across the two states. We’ve grown our Raleigh office from 16 employees to 50 and opened a Charleston, S.C., office in 2014 with another 15 employees. We’re one of the few full-service commercial real estate services firms today, and we recently integrated HFF, one of the largest capital-markets firms nationally. Having various business lines to help cultivate relationships with different clients is drastically different from what we were able to do at Keystone Partners.
How did working for Spectrum Properties, Lincoln Harris and Keystone prepare you?
I was able to work closely with really good people, and I was afforded the opportunity to make decisions that were impactful for those organizations. I also learned that a positive culture is key to the long-term success of any organization. I’m a big believer in culture, and we put a lot of time and effort into making sure the JLL Carolinas’ offices provide an environment for people to thrive.
Have you had any important mentors over the years?
My father has been my most valued mentor. He’s the one who really instilled the most important part of my character — treating all people the right way, with respect and gratitude.
What are the keys to success in commercial real estate?
Being a “people person,” because it’s critical to be able to relate to all sorts of people. I also would add strong organizational skills, integrity, energy, customer focus, discipline, diligence and resilience.
What do people not know about you?
I played in the first NCAA Final Four for lacrosse in 1986, the first year that the two semifinal games and the final were played on the same weekend at the same stadium. I was a sophomore at UVA, and our team lost in overtime in the championship game to UNC. It is the worst sports memory of my entire life!