E 31 James Nelson: It's all about specialization

The Massimo Show

15-05-2020 • 23分

On this episode of the Massimo show

Rod sits down with James Nelson – James is Principal and Head of Avison Young’s Tri-State Investment Sales group where he leads a group of three dozen professionals in the sale of multi-family, office, development, and retail properties. In the past, he served as Vice Chairman of Cushman & Wakefield and was a partner and top producer for Massey Knakal for six of their last eight years and was named the company’s youngest partner in 2004.

As a high schooler, James had no idea what his future held for him. He was eventually shipped off to boarding school but he recalls it was one of the best things that ever happened to him. He spent his college years at Colgate University when he was graduating and all his friends we getting jobs with investment banks he thought he might try his had out west at something like scriptwriting. He counselors reminded him he was going to need money to make that happen and that came from getting a job. He saw a posting for a position and applied that day. He was the second of two candidates and even though the other guy was their first pick he fondly remembers Bob Knakal deciding he could use a second associate and James was the guy! He also loves to remind Bob that that other guy fizzled out pretty quickly and look where James is today!

James attributes his 20 + years of success in the industry his mind sent his discipline, and the unique business model Bob and Paul created.

He makes a strong case for an apprenticeship when he notes that he spent the first 5 years of his career sitting in the room with Bob, which was better than an MBA! And his best advice for those looking to excel in their industry can be summed up in just a few key points:

  • Specialize
  • Offer a different value prop
  • Become the expert
  • Have great mentors

Rod and James discuss his family history of tenacity and hard work, the highs and lows of sales-driven jobs, and close the show with his 5 Factors in minutes which include some tips you are not going to want to miss!