VOL. 127 | NO. 75 | Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Awards Just One Facet Of Comm. Council
By Sarah Baker
This year marks a decade of existence for the Memphis Area Association of Realtors’ Commercial Council, the trade organization for the commercial real estate profession and its related sectors.
The council has about 325 members whose professions include commercial developers, brokers, property managers and other related CRE careers. Two of the council’s main events each year are the Commercial Property Forecast Summit, held in February, and the Pinnacle Awards, which honor the highest-producing commercial brokers each spring.
This year’s Pinnacle Awards theme is “More Than a Decade of Excellence, a Society of Top Producers and a Huge Community Impact.” Award recipients will be honored Tuesday, April 24, at the Holiday Inn University of Memphis, 3700 Central Ave.
The Daily News Publishing Co. Inc., parent company of The Daily News and The Memphis News, is again sponsoring the Pinnacle Awards. Winners will be announced in the April 26 issue of The Daily News and the April 28 issue of The Memphis News.
Other sponsors include Grubb & Ellis Memphis, Montgomery Martin Contractors LLC, Dixon Hughes Goodman, Trust One Bank and Bass, Berry & Sims PLC.
“I like to be a part of success and that awards ceremony is about the best in class,” said H. Montgomery Martin, CEO of Montgomery Martin Contractors. “It’s important to me to support excellence in our industry – being real estate, building, design, finance and all of those related fields. It’s my way of saying to MAAR that I like what they’re doing, I want to be a part of it, and am willing to sponsor it year after year.”
Another facet of the Commercial Council is the educational courses it offers to its members. Since a good portion of its membership is designated Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM), Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR) and Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM), the council strives to offer classes outside of those requirements to cut down on cost and redundancy.
“What we try to do is make sure that we offer some courses every year that are specific to commercial real estate, but that are not designation courses, so they’re a lot less expensive and everybody can take them,” said Aubrie Kobernus, director of the Commercial Council. “Especially too, once somebody has their designation, they don’t have to take the designation courses anymore. They’ve achieved what they needed to do, so then there are not a lot of options for them and one thing they hate to do are come and take residential-oriented classes just to get their Continuing Education credit.”
An additional helpful tool is the MAAR Commercial Data Exchange, or CDX. Created in 2008, this service is powered by Xceligent and is similar to the Multiple Listing Service used by residential agents in that it includes listings and sales information valuable to commercial agents.
And even within the council, there are smaller groups that provide a way for members to get more involved. An example of that is the Memphis Young Brokers Alliance, an organization created for real estate professionals with less than five years commercial brokerage experience and/or under the age of 35.
“It’s a group that was formed under the Commercial Council for young brokers to come together, network, participate, schedule events – whether they’re networking-type events or educational-type events – to further increase their knowledge of the Memphis-area real estate market,” said Brad Murchison, YBA chairman. “We get to know each other and learn how we can help each other out with our day-to-day business operations.”
Past events of the YBA include happy hour networking opportunities and tours of the BNSF Railway Co. intermodal facility and Highwoods Properties Inc.’s Triad III LEED office building at Poplar Avenue and Ridgeway Road.
But the council’s scope extends much further than strictly business endeavors. The council hosted its first golf tournament in 2011 and was able to grant the wishes of three children through the Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Mid-South. The second annual tournament benefiting the same charity is scheduled for May 24.
“The real genesis behind the tournament was we have 330 members in the Commercial Council,” said Ron Riley, 2011 Commercial Council president. “We’re all very close-knit simply because it is a big city with a small-town feel. Part of that’s a Southern mentality too. We’re all very cognizant and aware of what’s going on with people outside the general scope of real estate.”
Also, in October, MAAR Commercial Council members and their families volunteered at the Binghampton Development Corp.’s Urban Farms project, which supports healthy eating and supplies fresh and healthy food to the Binghampton community. The council plans on participating in the project again this year.