SPOTLIGHT ON: NICK MINER, CCIM – JUST THE TICKET interview by Central AZ CCIM Chapter

Here is a recent interview with the Central AZ CCIM Chapter:

picWhat is your area of expertise? I focus on retail and office investment sales, but often lately find myself helping clients solve difficult problems relating to redevelopment of assets.

When did you know you wanted to make commercial real estate your career? It really started back in college. One of my fraternity brothers asked me to take an Intro to Real Estate and Economics class with him. I had it my head that I was going to be a CPA or something along those lines. After taking that first class, Dr. Roger Sindt convinced me that I should at least consider commercial real estate and take a few more classes, which I did. That led to several internships--one was with a residential appraisal company, another with Cox Communications (in the accounting department) and finally with The Mega Company, which later became a partner office to CB Richard Ellis. The people I had the opportunity to work with at CBRE/Mega are what ultimately made me actively pursue commercial brokerage.

Why ORION? I've been in the commercial real estate business for 17 years. I came to ORION in late 2012. The owner of the company, Ari Spiro, has been a longtime friend of mine. He left Sperry in 2009 to begin ORION and has done a great job building a brand of a boutique investment real estate firm. It was a natural fit for me given my investment background.

How did you get involved with CCIM? This goes back to college and Dr. Sindt again. I was the recipient of two scholarships, one was the CCIM Foundation scholarship to take CI101 and the other was the Nebraska CCIM Chapter scholarship. Because of the scholarships, I took my first class in Scottsdale, AZ, and met future business partners, Dave Verwer, CCIM and Sean Bishop, CCIM. The class, the people and the location are what drove me to pursue the Designation and ultimately my relocation to the area. When I got my pin in May 2003 in Washington, DC, I had the opportunity to have dinner with the chapter leaders at that time (Dave Miller, Murray Gares, Bette Jenkins) as well as Tim Hatlestad. Tim's advice at dinner that stuck with me was simple, "Get involved."

How do you benefit from your involvement with CCIM? When I first started in the business, it provided me credibility with clients. Being in my early 20s and dealing with a much older clientele, it was challenging to convince clients of the value of their assets. Once I obtained my Designation, it absolutely helped with those conversations about value.pic2

I have been blessed to be involved both locally and nationally. Locally, it has opened doors to some of the top producers in our market to not only get a return phone call but also to have meaningful conversations with them. Nationally, it has absolutely helped me when I am involved in a transaction outside of our local market. Whenever a client has a need out of state, there is a high probability that I already personally know a CCIM in that market from attending all of the national conferences and being involved in the committees and boards. When I don't personally know a CCIM, it is easy for me to find a CCIM, call them, and get a valid opinion of what is going on to assist my clients.

What transaction (or transactions) stand out as significant? Every transaction has a story and/or challenges. Recently, it seems that the "not your typical" property assignment has ended up with me working on it to solve a problem. I am a problem solver and really like the challenges.One recent transaction that took additional creative ways to solve it was a little owner/user building I was selling in Tempe. There was a tenant in the property for over 20 years and I have stayed in touch with the owner over the past 10 years. Out of the blue, I received a call from the owner saying the tenant was going to terminate its lease early and the owner needed to sell the property. So far, nothing out of the ordinary. A buyer for the property was found relatively quickly, but the challenge began when the buyer ran into financing issues. Structuring an "early occupancy" payment until the buyer was able to finalize its loan solved the problem and the transaction closed. This was a win-win solution for both the buyer and the seller instead of letting the escrow terminate.

What would you say is your proudest moment? I have had several! The Top 3: First, being the first person from my immediate family to graduate from college...Magna Cum Laude! Second, Tiffany saying "Are you serious? YES!" when I asked her to be my bride. Third, being blessed with Jacob, our five-year old son.

Did (do) you have a mentor? And what was the best advice you received? I have several mentors and they probably don't realize they are! I have always been a sponge and appreciate meeting with lots of different people to gather input on many out of the ordinary types of situations. Early in my career, one of the owners of the company said, "Always be the first one in the office and make sure you return a call promptly." That worked really well back in Omaha because the office had "agent duty" which basically meant you got the calls that the receptionist couldn't figure out what to do with. I was able to get a few good leads from that!

One of the DBs I worked for said to never work with buyers. Obviously, he was wrong. Half of my business includes working with buyers and the other half with sellers. It definitely takes more patience and a better understanding of the buyer's true motivations but it is clearly worth it - it allows you to build a long lasting relationship with them.

pic 3You are running for CCIM's First Vice President. Why do you want that position? I was lucky enough to have Tim Hatlestad, CCIM get me involved at the Institute level very early after obtaining my designation. I have served on a number of different committees and leadership roles throughout the Institute. In my current role on the Executive Committee, Ward Center, and the Operating Committee for CCIM Tech, I have been keenly aware of issues facing CCIM and want to help with the solutions. We have a great strategic plan and it would be my honor to help support our staff in carrying out the strategic plan.


What is your definition of success?
Short answer, having more income than expenses! Ha ha! At the end of the day, I want to be known as the person that was devoted to his faith, family and friends. Everything else is just a bonus.

Tell me a little about your personal life. I have been married to Tiffany since January, 2007. We have one wonderful son, Jacob, age 5 - yes ma'am! I was born in Wichita, KS and moved to Omaha, NE between my sophomore and junior years of high school. I graduated in 2000 from the University of Nebraska-Omaha with a double major - Accounting and Real Estate & Land Use Economics. I used to be a runner (2 half-marathons and 1 full) and I like to ride my Harley on the weekends. Now, with my son, I am all about being super-dad.

What do you do to "re-charge your batteries"? Depends on the day! I would love to say a good night sleep but sometimes that just isn't enough. Getting the ability to drive around and look a properties, read a book, or watch a football game on TV are all good things that allow my mind to rest and wander. Meeting up for a happy hour or two always helps, too!

What makes you happiest?  

Without a doubt, being with my family and friends.

If you weren't a commercial real estate broker, what would you be doing?  I probably would have stayed focused on the accounting field with a thought of dealing in the mergers and acquisitions of companies. Tiffany keeps telling me that I should, however, go back and obtain my law degree because "you already know it all."

Nick Miner, CCIM pursues his goals every day with a passion to hold fast to his motto "TICKET" - Trust. Integrity. Credibility. Knowledge. Enthusiasm. Track Record. He is definitely the TICKET!

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