Bob Martin

So how did you get your start in the commercial real estate business?

In 1974, when I was in Houston, I saw Coldwell Banker's billboard on the I-10.  I went in to their office and said, "I want to be in commercial real estate."  Since I had no experience, but they still wanted to hire me, they started me in on residential, and I ended up having a 5-year career as a residential broker.  I worked my way up through the ranks there in managerial positions.  I switched to a commercial real estate firm after that and realized that that was the side of the industry I really enjoyed.  I came to Decatur around 1987, met Lee Barran during this time and joined him, and have worked here ever since.

What drew you to Gateway over any other company?

Seeing what Lee Barran had here in Decatur, and the fact that he was established and was successful, the location and territory was a major draw and I knew it was the right choice for me.

What do you like most about your job in commercial real estate?

My business turns out to be a lot of work on the phone and I enjoy that.  I've listed shopping centers through the phone and fax, not meeting the clients until later on in the process.  A lot of the clients I made 30 years ago I still have, because I provide them a service and they are trusting of me.  I do like the adventure of meeting new people, and the challenge of putting a transaction together.  It's a complex situation putting all the facets together, but I like it.

Would you say you have a niche market you work within?

I got into shopping center management because it does provide a little bit of steady income.  I enjoy the management aspect, but I also like leasing and working with owners.  I'm a sales person and I want to help the buyer and seller the best I can.  I do like industrial buildings as well, and have had many properties in that market that I have sold.

What would your advice be for someone looking into a career in commercial real estate?

I am a lister...I like working for owners and getting listings.  Some people like buyers and tenants.  In commercial real estate, there are so many sections and factors, a person needs to decide what their strengths are and narrow down their area of focus.  You need to dissect the business and see what you are well-suited for.

Highlighted Transactions:

Affordable Care Dentures - Client was looking for specific location; build-to-suit negotiation with multiple renewals and lease extensions
Tallman Building (Decatur) - Leasing; property management; listing and selling of property
Shopping centers in Huntsville - Leasing; property management; listing and selling of property
Key West Inn - Franchise desired Decatur location on Beltline Road; found location and sold property
Pizza Hut, Subway (multiple locations)

For more information on Bob, you can read his full agent profile here

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