How long have you been a CREB, how did you get started?
I’ve been in commercial real estate for a little over 3 years. I also work part-time for a financial analysis and turnaround company in Auburn, Point to Point Business Specialists, where we help startups, transitions, explosive growth, and turnaround management for businesses. A few years ago, we brought in Craig Church at Magnusson Balfour to assist us on a project. I really enjoyed the process, the perspective Craig brought to the conversation, and decided to get my real estate license.
What type of car do you drive?
A Honda HRV. It’s a smaller sized SUV, it’s roomy, comfortable, and great in all conditions.
What items are in your car?
I rely primarily on my phone, it really has about everything I could need, including a flashlight, and of course the camera and recorder. I do carry a briefcase with me everywhere, and each Friday I go through my current client list and make sure I have their files with me in that briefcase so that I can be ready for the coming week, whenever and wherever I happen to be. I also always have a phone charger, pen and paper, and alternative clothing with me. On the personal side of working on the road a lot, I also carry stuff for the gym, and my dog’s necessities.
What paperwork do you have with you at all times?
I always have our brochure and my business cards. Form 3, the Brokerage Relationships form, of course, that you have to present to everyone. I keep graph paper on hand in case I want to sketch out a floor plan, and a few flash drives so that when I need a company’s paperwork like spreadsheets or QuickBooks files, I can grab them without having to worry about emailing or copying them.
How many business cards do you hand out in the course of a week?
Around 10 per week, unless I’m at a trade show or large event.
Do you attend formal networking events? How do you get out and build your business?
I’m a member of the Lewiston-Auburn Chamber of Commerce and I attend their events. I’m on the Androscoggin County Land Trust Board where I interact with numerous people in the community. I just finished the Chamber’s Androscoggin Leadership Development Institute’s course which is a 60-hour course on developing business leadership skills. It was not only a terrific program, but I met a lot of great business people in the community.
What technology could you not live without? Do you have a favorite App that helps you with your business?
My phone is a crucial part of business during every day. My three email addresses come right into my phone, and my calendar and task lists are at my fingertips, which is so important when juggling clients’ needs.
For apps, I love that the Microsoft Office Suite is now available to operate easily on the phone, and I use a task management app that works really well to maintain my to-do’s.
How many miles do you travel in your car in a week? What is the farthest you have travelled listing/showing a property?
I travel 275 miles on average. I spend most of my time in the Lewiston-Auburn area, but I have clients from Rangeley to Bangor to Portland. With our main office in Portland, I’m there a couple times a week for meetings.
How many phone calls, emails and text messages do you receive daily?
I have 5-10 phone calls, and 20-30 emails on an average day. I don’t generally text, as I prefer more professional communications like email or speaking directly, and the nature of my rural business isn’t conducive to texting with the reception issues.
What’s your area of specialty or expertise, geographic territory, and why did you choose it?
I grew up in Lewiston-Auburn, so I’m most familiar with that community, but I rarely turn anyone away based on their geographic area. I had a client in Rockport last year, and consequently they have referred me to several people in that area. I’m doing some work in the Rangeley area, which is such a beautiful location with a lovely Main Street.
I’m primarily a business broker, and I work with any of the greater Androscoggin area businesses. There are many strong, family-owned businesses needing help with putting a value on their business and either marketing it or transitioning it effectively to a family member or perhaps a key staff member. I love the challenge of this type of work, and helping a business continue on to the next generation.
What is the most important personal attribute that you bring to your job?
I think curiosity has gotten me where I am today – I keep asking questions, keep digging down until I can really understand what is unique about a particular business. Every business has the same key elements in terms of wanting to be profitable and other financial pieces, but every business is also very exceptional. The ability to understand the ways it is different, and how to best serve its needs is very rewarding.
I also have a dual-career since I work for Point to Point doing financial analysis, as well as being a commercial and business broker. I feel this is a great value added to clients because I can help on a larger scale.
What are you most excited about in relation to your job this year?
There is a lot of exciting growth going on in Lewiston-Auburn, a real downtown renaissance. There’s a lot of new construction and restoration going on that hasn’t been happening in a long time, and it’s exciting to be a part of from a real estate perspective. I’ve been taking several real estate broker courses too, and the more I learn the fine art of commercial real estate, the more excited I get about being involved and learning from others. I like to bring as much to the table as I can, I’m very passionate about learning.
What’s the greatest bit of advice a parent or mentor has given you?
There are two pieces of advice that my boss in Auburn repeats to me all the time. The first is, “if you can do it today, you should have done it yesterday.” Meaning, everything in business brokerage is urgent and there’s no room for postponing, so there’s no better time to do something than right now.
The second is, “if it were easy, everyone would do it.” When challenges arise, you need to draw on your experience, and have the tenacity to keep pushing forward and figure things out.
What is a professional development goal you have for this year?
To continue to take more Business Brokerage courses to build that knowledge, and to continue writing. I wrote about six articles last year for Magnusson Balfour’s newsletter and I’d like to continue doing that. I really like explaining topics and helping people understand what is involved in running businesses, how to achieve the greatest value in your business, and other ways to improve your life through business.
How do you prefer to relax after a tough day in real estate?
I love to be outside and go running, it’s so cathartic, and is my relaxation and rejuvenation. Running lets me put the day behind me, and just exist in the moment. I do a lot of trail running at Blackstrap Hill Preserve which is right near my house. My dog is just a year old, but soon she’ll be old enough to start increasing her mileage so she can run with me. My wife and I are also expecting our first child soon, so I expect I’ll be excited to get home to our new baby when that time comes!