TUCSON, AZ, March 24, 2023 -- Isaac Figueroa, CCIM, was awarded the Best-in-Class Award by Trend Report last year for his work in Tucson retail. We asked Isaac to tell us about his successes and how he got to where he is today in the competitive business of commercial retail sales.
This is what Isaac had to say:
Tell us how you began in CRE.
Mike Hammond at Picor gave me my first chance by bringing me on as a broker without any CRE experience. Before that, I had only been in residential. Through mentorship with Hammond and other senior brokers at the firm, I established myself as a dealmaker in the office sector and in investment sales. From there, I had a short stint at BFL Ventures, working on construction and development. I ultimately landed where I am now at Larsen Baker, doing what I do best, putting together deals and solving complex real estate problems.
How long have you been doing what you’re doing?
I have been in CRE officially since 2014 and in real estate in general since 2012.
What tips do you suggest to someone just starting out in your business?
Seek mentors, invest in yourself through personal/professional development via books, podcasts, etc., pick a path/niche and stick to it, never be afraid to be rejected, and show up.
What has been the biggest factor in your success?
Besides having the right attitude and commitment to my goals, being willing to take the time to help others. You can get what you want if you help enough other people get what they want.
What can you tell us about winners in your field?
What is working for me in the Tucson market is answering my phone and returning leasing/sales calls. For some reason, just being responsive has given me an advantage in getting exposure to deals the following through to get them done.
Tell us about a teacher/mentor who affected you or set you on your present path.
Mike Hammond from Picor was a great mentor of mine when I started in brokerage. George Larsen and Melissa Lal at Larsen Baker are my current mentors as we work together on all our amazing deals. Most importantly, my father-in-law Bill Krame, helped send me on this path into CRE in the first place and has continued guiding me since then.
What is your greatest career accomplishment?
Breaking brokerage records for leasing/sales volume at Larsen Baker two consecutive years in a row, each year breaking the previous record.
What was your most recent biggest challenge faced that you overcame?
I consider every real estate deal I work on a formidable challenge that requires focus and attention to ensure all parties involved leave with a favorable outcome.
What are your views on trends or pitfalls in the current CRE marketplace?
My views about the CRE trends are really about the Tucson economy, as that is what directly impacts how the different sectors of CRE respond. In general, Tucson still needs much help from an industry perspective. We need more basic jobs to help support our local ecosystem, and we need our local municipalities/elected officials to get on the same page as the community they serve and work towards the same goals to help make Tucson the best it can possibly be.
What is the most important question to ask a Buyer or Seller today? What do you ask Lenders?
Today the first question is why they are buying or selling, and the next is their expectations. Between those two we can figure out if there is a path forward and what it will look like.
Where do you see the Market going this year?
I am preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.
What is the most common type of client you typically work with?
Someone decisive yet flexible. Knowing the goal to help navigate the market most effectively and being nimble enough to meet the market where it is, helps to execute when the opportunity is there.
Tell us what makes you successful.
A positive attitude, persistence, and a great family and circle of friends and colleagues.
What are you passionate about? What motivates you the most?
I am passionate about sustainability, helping improve the community by breaking the cycle of poverty through education, raising awareness for mental health, and advocating for better governance through local politics.
Is there one deal that stands out in your mind from last year that you would like to do again? And why?
Taking Silverbell Flex Center from 0% occupancy to 80% occupancy in three months. It was much work, but it was very satisfying to have been able to help the owner/our client turn a languishing property into a thriving asset.
Thank you, Isaac.
This is the first in a series of interviews with our best commercial real estate leaders. All Trend Report’s Best-in-Class Broker Awards were based exclusively on sales volume transaction data from the RED Comps commercial real estate database, the most accurate, independently researched database of commercial real estate property sales information available for Southern Arizona.