While our brokers are busy going about their business of helping clients each day – thinking about the priorities at hand, and where they are expected to be next – we thought it would be fun to stop the action for a moment and highlight one of our brokers. Let’s see just what a typical day is like, and peek inside their “tricks of the trade”!
In this inaugural blog in our “Broker on the Move” series, we sat down with Michael Atienza, and asked him to give us the inside scoop on what it is like to be a commercial real estate broker:
How long have you been a CREB, how did you get started?
I’ve been in involved with Commercial Real Estate about 10 years. I come from an executive sales background, where I learned early on the importance of listening to the customer, and working to meet the needs of individuals for business success. My dad owned apartment buildings in Portland, so I watched how his investments helped build his business, and the impact on our family’s future. I like the idea of owning something that serves a useful purpose, helps other families, and builds an individual’s portfolio at the same time.
What type of car do you drive?
I drive a Chrysler 300C, which is a comfortable-sized sedan. I’m on the road a lot, so it’s my mobile office! I also often drive clients around to look at property, so I want something that is comfortable for passengers. Needing to get where I’m going, no matter the Maine weather also means I need a solid, dependable vehicle.
What items are in your car?
I never know what might happen while I’m out visiting properties, so I have all the likely safety gear. Additionally, I keep sign riders with me to update listings, and I always have zip ties to secure signs. I have a notepad and pen handy to make notes of property information or phone call notes. Of course, I keep my GPS (on my phone) handy at all times!
What paperwork do you have with you at all times?
I keep a large, older briefcase-satchel in my car that holds lots of paperwork so I have what I need for clients at any time. I keep all the necessary disclosures that might be needed such as the Brokerage Relationship Form, Property Disclosures and Listing Agreements, copies of Purchase and Sale Contracts and Leasing Agreements. I also have our Magnusson Balfour company brochure with me, lots of business cards, and my listings sheets. You never know what you might need, and I prefer to have things on hand so I don’t have to make a client wait. With real estate, time is often of the essence!
How many business cards do you hand out in the course of a week?
A lot! I reorder at least 500, two times a year.
Do you attend formal networking events? How do you get out and build your business?
I do attend different networking events, and I know that any public event I attend is an opportunity to network and meet people. I really like being able to help people, and serve as a referral for the needs of their family and friends.
What technology could you not live without? Do you have a favorite App that helps you with your business?
I definitely could not live without my Smart Phone! What did we do without them?! I absolutely could not live without the GPS app on my phone!
How many miles do you travel in your car in a week? What is the farthest you have traveled listing/showing a property?
I travel anywhere from 150 miles a week and up. Last year I put 50,000 miles on my vehicle traveling all over Southern Maine and Downeast as far as Washington County. I live and work a lot in Sagadahoc County, so I’m back and forth between Portland and the Bath area often.
My furthest listing thus far was in Machias. I basically will go where I need to, when the listing makes sense.
How many phone calls, emails and text messages do you receive daily?
For sure dozens! The phone is a key business tool in real estate, between speaking with clients, other brokers, and doing the due diligence necessary for my clients.
What’s your area of specialty or expertise, geographic territory, and why did you choose it?
I’ve become a bit known for my knowledge about the Forest Avenue corridor in Portland. I’ve had both a fair number of listings, as well as helped buyers and tenants find properties along there in the last few years, so I know this market very well.
I live in Bath, so I’m now building my business in Sagadahoc county. I’m a single father, and my kids are very active in school activities and sports in Bath/Woolwich. I have recently closed a downtown brick investment building in the center of Bath.
What is the most important personal attribute that you bring to your job?
I believe I am very driven to be better all the time, and I am very dedicated to my work and clients. I have a desire to grow businesses, and being a commercial real estate broker is a great fit for the entrepreneurial spirit to thrive, I love that.
What are you most excited about in relation to your career this year?
I like to strive to learn and do better all the time, so I’m really excited that my business and client base is growing!
What’s the greatest bit of advice a parent or mentor has given you?
A former mentor has once told me, always told me to set goals that were a stretch – don’t just play it safe or reach for what you know you can attain – really push yourself. I think that was great advice.
What is a professional development goal you have for this year?
I am currently working toward getting my Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designation, which is really important to me. It is a tough program, including completing course work, passing comprehensive exams, and fulfilling a required transaction portfolio to graduate. This designation will further set me apart from other commercial brokers, and give me more tools to assist my clients with. CCIM designees are recognized as leading experts in commercial investment real estate.
How do you prefer to relax after a tough day in real estate?
I love to be doing anything with my kids. I’m known as “Coach Mike”, having coached many of their sports teams, and we have a great time together. I enjoy walks and hikes with my dog, getting out on the water and boating, fast cars, and I enjoy good food at our many fine dining establishments along the coast of Maine.