For Steve Atherton, in order for us to build our clients’ trust, we need to always do the right thing for the right reason, and put the clients’ interests first. Even in a difficult situation, he tries to always stay positive by focusing on solving clients’ problems and identifying solutions.
How long have you been in the real estate industry? How did you get involved in the industry?
I have been in the real estate industry for 37 years and I started directly out of college, where I attended UCLA. Several of my friends entered the commercial real estate business all at the same time in the US. Actually, the reason I followed them into the real estate industry was because one of my friends made a lot of money in his first year, and I thought if he can do it so can I. My first job was working for one of the largest commercial estate companies in downtown Los Angeles in 1983, and I have been working in this business until now.
Currently my role is a department head for Capital Market & Investment Services. I lead the team in helping clients to either sell their land or building, or create joint venture partnership that benefit all parties.
You have been working in the industry for more than 37 years. What do you like most about your job?
I like the people in this industry, I like the hard work effect, and ultimately I like being in this creative process where we help create a new physical building, spaces, use of land, and financial outcomes where developers, investors and the end users can all be winners.
You know real estate market is not always at its peak point, how do you stay positive when it's at a low point?
I have tried to always stay positive by focusing on solving clients’ problems and identifying solutions, even in the worst of times. It takes thinking outside of the box, creativity and hard work, but it can be very satisfying to have a successful project, especially at a difficult time.
And I would say COVID-19 has been the hardest and most damaging time, economically and health-wise, that I have experienced in my 37 years of working.
Most memorable experience the Capital Markets & Investment Services team faced during the pandemic?
Despite everything that happened, this pandemic brought us together as a team, as never before. The pandemic forced us to communicate and collaborate more, and work as a team and less individually, even though we’ve not met face to face even once. It’s all been through video call Zoom, but the frequency and the amount of time we’ve spent together has increased like five times, compared to pre-COVID.
Do you have any professional advice for anyone who has just started his or her professional career?
My advice is to be inquisitive, work hard, and start your project with the end goal in your mind. Don’t be a non-thinker, like a robot that doesn’t know why it’s doing certain work, but be very inquisitive.
What do you think is the most effective way to develop your clients’ trust in you, and in Colliers?
For me, to build our clients’ trust, we need to always do the right thing for the right reason and put the clients’ interests first. Act as if their money was actually your own money in terms of protecting it, preserving it and risk and reward.
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