CCIM Feature

CCIM Spotlight: Partners' Potential

A CCIM evolves his business using this networking strategy.

While evolution usually brings scientific theory to mind, sometimes it also can apply to business. Through the use of networking strategies, Jim Nowak, CCIM, president of Site Systems in Seattle, helped his commercial real estate company evolve into a success. This business strategy worked so well that it earned him the CCIM Partners Deal Maker of the Year award at the October 2005 CCIM conference in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Using networking to create and expand business channels is the model for Nowak's company. Working solely on assignments from a select group of institutional investors, Nowak and his team facilitate complex tenancy-in-

common transactions while interacting directly with corporate real estate professionals. By treating them as future business partners, Nowak has established a network of brokers and owners nationwide.

Nowak stresses that he "always has a huge welcome mat out for brokers and institutions" whether he is working with them or not. He believes a good transaction business model is based on gleaning strategies from other commercial real estate professionals' successful deals. It all boils down to creating and sharing opportunities with others who can benefit from his company, he says.

In addition, being a CCIM has created many benefits that he was not aware of when he first earned the designation in 1988. "Because my work has generally been evolutionary and not static, my CCIM education gave me a basis of knowledge ... a foundation on which I have been able to improvise. Like a piano student, I would never have been able to participate in a jam session had I not at least learned the scales and practiced. The CCIM program is the most focused and efficient way that I have yet discovered to do this," he says.

Nowak also credits the CCIM Institute for helping him be at the forefront of technology. He has used the CCIM broadcast e-mail system to find qualified CCIMs from various business backgrounds around the country and has worked with them on several business deals.

Nowak achieved the CCIM Partners award through a series of transactions totaling more than $100 million that he negotiated with several other CCIM Partners throughout the United States. Similar to his own business model, Nowak sees the CCIM Partners network as a valuable professional strategy and a place to generate new business. In 2005, Nowak worked with another CCIM to close three transactions totaling more than $28 million in Colorado. He also helped another member in Knoxville, Tenn., leverage his local contacts into a $41 million high-rise office building sale.

In the future, Nowak expects to broaden his business to include international real estate. Globalization is another trend that cannot be overlooked, he says. So far, he has been working with a large Los Angeles-based TIC buyer who wants to establish offices throughout Asia. No doubt the CCIM Partners network will be a crucial link in his business' continuing evolution.

Photo credit: Chuck Pefley

Stephanie Bell

“I went through the [recession in the] 1980s and purposely set out a market plan that would not have the boom-and-bust [nature] that comes with real estate cycles.” — Joe W. Milkes, CCIM, Milkes Realty Valuation, Dallas“We were anticipating a slowdown in the market and wanted to develop an avenue of business that would create a steady stream of income.” — Yvonne Jones, CCIM, CPM, Zifkin Realty Management LLC, Chicago“I help struggling companies rethink their business models, which includes determining the most profitable use of their real estate.” — Audie Cashion, CCIM, Alpha World Properties LLC, High Point, N.C.Stephanie Bell is associate editor of Commercial Investment Real Estate.

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