Investment is a concept that transcends the commercial real estate arena for Jordan Weidner, CCIM, LEED AP, vice president and principal of Cassidy Turley in Cincinnati. Not only does Weidner invest his skill and expertise in negotiating office deals for corporate real estate clients, but he also invests his time and energy to improve the greater Cincinnati business community. For these and other accomplishments, Weidner was selected as one of the Cincinnati Business Courier's 2014 Forty Under 40, which recognizes the “next generation of leaders and innovators who have already made a positive impact” in the local market. Commercial Investment Real Estate asked Weidner to share his motivation to excel in both his career and community.
CIRE: What major trends are you seeing in the Cincinnati office market right now?
Weidner: There has been continued resurgence in Cincinnati's downtown office market and overall central business district. The vacancy rate for class A space fell below 16 percent in 2Q14 - the lowest level since mid-2011. Office investment activity in the market is also at a pace not seen since before the recession.
CIRE: Why are corporations attracted to Cincinnati?
Weidner: Companies such as dunnhumby and General Electric have planted roots Cincinnati's CBD and have helped to solidify the city's core as a major business hub. Cincinnati also has a packaging and design backbone thanks to Procter & Gamble's headquarters, which is located in the city. These firms continue to push creative and work-friendly environments that are shaping the way our region does business and attracts top talent in the workforce.
CIRE: What factors drove your decision to pursue a career in commercial real estate?
Weidner: I minored in entrepreneurship at Miami University and learned that a career in commercial real estate encompasses many of the entrepreneurial attributes that I find appealing. I like the fast-paced nature of the commercial real estate industry, the art of the deal, and the risk/reward aspects of going out every day and working hard.
I was fortunate to begin my career with a great team at Cassidy Turley right out of college and I have been with them for more than eight years. I have experienced some major ups and downs in the market and having great mentors throughout those times has allowed me to learn best practices and how to put the client first. Now, as a partner, I thoroughly understand and foster the team approach that was instilled in me from the very beginning of my career.
CIRE: How has the CCIM educationand your affiliation with the organization enhanced your career?
Weidner: My goal is to always be a student of the industry. I pursued the CCIM designation because I believed then - and still believe now - that continuing my education would result in quicker career advancement. It was truly an honor to be pinned by the chairman of our local office after passing the CCIM comprehensive exam. There's value in connecting with fellow CCIM designees because we all share a common goal - to be the best we can be for our clients.
CIRE: How can young CCIMs maximize the value of professional networks?
Weidner: The best advice I can offer is to meet people and use the resources made available by professional industry organizations.CCIM hosts a variety of events that provide opportunities to network with other professionals in your market. These opportunities are a valuable way to make connections to further your business.
CIRE: What drives your passion for being involved in your local business community?
Weidner: Chamber of Commerce leadership training is a great way to get energized about your city and community. A few years ago I participated in and graduated from C-Change, a year-long leadership development program for young professionals offered by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber. This year, I'm honored to be part of the inaugural class of Leadership Action, a select group of local business leaders and entrepreneurs who will collaborate on driving change in our community. These types of programs offer an opportunity to acquire leadership skills that can be used in every aspect of your life.
Jennifer Norbut is senior editor of Commercial Investment Real Estate. If you have a story worth sharing in CCIM Q&A, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.