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Industry, leadership involvement important at Grubb & Ellis|BRE Commercial

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In the book "Never Eat Alone," author Keith Ferrazzi devotes nearly 300 pages to discussing the importance of building relationships in both your personal and professional life.

"Connecting is a philosophy of life, a worldview," he writes. "Its guiding principle is that people, all people, every person you meet is an opportunity to help and be helped."

This philosophy has been a major component in the successful business practice at Grubb & Ellis|BRE Commercial, where involvement in professional organizations is applauded and supported.

"We feel there are benefits on multiple levels," said company Executive Vice President Marc Doyle. "It helps the individual establish name recognition and credibility within the industry and to also develop leadership skills. Continual interaction among peers and discussion about industry issues helps brokers to be more knowledgeable, which strengthens their abilities to service clients," he continued. "A broker who is more visible and continues to grow their industry knowledge is an attribute to the company and ultimately contributes to our bottom line."

In 2007, numerous brokers will be involved in professional organizations, but this year is significant, as three will hold leadership positions in their respective organizations. Randee Carter will be president of the Association of Commercial Real Estate Executives (ACRE); Kendra Van Note will be president of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) San Diego; and Mike Clark will be chairperson of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) San Diego.

"Professionally, it's a huge competitive advantage," Clark said. "It shows clients and others that I'm committed to the industry. Not that I'm just working in commercial real estate, but that I'm also passionate about it."

For both Carter and Van Note, the organizations' causes were contributing factors to their involvement. ACRE is a nonprofit that raises money for the U.S. Adaptive Recreation Center (USARC) in Big Bear, Calif., which helps those with disabilities maintain active outdoor lifestyles. CREW is a group that supports and elevates women in commercial real estate.

"CREW is an important organization for promoting women in the industry," Van Note said. "I've had the opportunity to learn from others in the industry and now I get the chance to mentor others and also develop leadership skills and learn the business side of running a nonprofit."

Each agrees that their individual involvement helps to establish brand recognition for the company as well.

Clark said his involvement helps in ways that are "immeasurable." For example, he led a panel discussion last month that had over 500 audience members, and feels that he could be contacted by any number of attendees for a deal in the future.

"My presence at the head of the table lets people know there is a reputable Grubb & Ellis|BRE Commercial retail representative in San Diego."

For those in management that need more bottom-line measurement, each has specific examples of referrals and transactions that have resulted from connections made through industry involvement.

"Being involved at this level takes a lot of time - a lot of time out of the office," Carter said. "Having a company that supports and promotes this activity helps me from feeling guilty about devoting so much time to it. They see as much value in my participation as I do."

"To have people in the office constantly applauding and recognizing your leadership role is a great feeling," said Van Note.

Submitted by Grubb & Ellis|BRE Commercial

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