San Diego’s James Brechlin is the senior vice president of commercial real estate company, ABI Multifamily. “I specialize in the sale of multi-family/land properties with a focus on consulting with private money investors and their real estate strategy.” Learn about James Brechlin…
Hometown: San Diego, CA
First job: In-N-Out. I remember my dad getting me a job application that summer and saying, “Son, get to work.” I must have been 14 or 15 years old. I worked every summer in high school and college.
Favorite ways to spend your free time in CA: I’ve been taking up a lot of golf lately, and I usually try and play with clients when I do. I recently bought a couple of clubs for my two-and-a-half-year-old daughter, so I will occasionally take her with me so she can get some energy out. She is very athletic.
Your biggest accomplishment and why: Within my first 24 months of the business, I secured a $30 million-dollar multifamily listing in west Los Angeles. It was a very desirable property because the property was non-rent-controlled and within walking distance of Beverly Hills and West Hollywood. I really built a friendship with the client who was 80 years old. On the weekends, I would pick him up and take him to Souplantation for lunch — that was his favorite restaurant. When it was time for him to sell, my team competed against 10 other brokerage firms and we won the business. It’s a relationship business!
The biggest obstacle you overcame: Staying afloat my first 12 to 18 months in commercial real estate and trying to make ends meet with rent and bills. Most brokers early on in the industry get weeded out, because most start out at 100 percent commission. But through hard work and a little luck, I secured a listing in the first six months, which gave me a little cushion.
Someone who inspires you and why: My dad. His parents divorced at a young age and his mother didn’t have a lot of money. His dad remarried and really didn’t have a relationship with his son. So, my dad had to work his way through college (USC) and pay for tuition. He was a serial entrepreneur, so after college he had three or four businesses going, and found his passion in real estate investing.
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Get a good team and find a good mentor. Make a ton of cold calls and get in front of as many clients as possible. In addition to being a relationship business, this business is also a listings business!
Favorite quote: “Play by the rules but be ferocious.” –Phil Knight
Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: A couple years ago, I ran two half marathons without training. I can’t say I could do the same for a full marathon!
What makes someone fabulous: Being yourself.