By way of background, James grew up in Madison, Wisconsin and then Bethesda, Maryland. Fresh out of Colgate University, he joined and ultimately became an integral component of, and partner in Massey Knakal (who in 2014 was acquired by real estate powerhouse Cushman & Wakefield). In addition to being a great guy, James is the happily married father of three boys who when he is not hanging with them jogging on the beach with his rescue dogs, is a Principal and Head of Tri-State Investment Sales in Avison Young’s New York City office. In addition to investment sales, his ever-expanding team also focuses on financing properties, as well as retail leasing and 1031 transactions. Although Larry gets a bit deeper with him as to how he has succeeded in both life and in business, James in part credits his success to a work ethic ingrained in him since his days as captain of his college swim team and more recently as a triathlete. With that all said, let’s dive into the deep end of the swimming pool to see what pearls of wisdom Larry extracts from the Michael Phelps of New York real estate.
At 4:55, James Nelson discusses the Blue Ocean Strategy, perfecting the process and Cirque du Soleil. At 9:15, James informs us how he attained his first job out of college while attending Colgate University - “As the story goes, Bob turns to Paul and says can this guy Nelson fog a mirror?” At 12:30, James explains his take on the importance of giving back and Rising Realty Stars, a charitable initiative started by James and his wife. At 18:03, James notes “putting yourself in a risky negotiation is not having the proper facts and not doing your homework.” At 21:30, in response to Larry’s “You Complete” Jerry Maguire question, James enlightens us on Ray Dalio’s book, “Principles,” his belief in the Jim Collins good to great get the right people on the bus in the right seats theory and why every member of his sales team undergoes an AVA Behavioral Assessment. At 27:32, when asked about how he “weathers the storm,” James references a time when Barbara Corcoran came into the office for a discussion and advised the office on what skill she believes is most important for a salesperson to have success. At 41:58, James offers his thoughts on the state of flux of the investment sales market and the impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. At 47:11, in regards to brokers chasing deals, James discusses the “transaction treadmill” and broker coaching. At 48:50, “Larry’s Last Call” segment with James Nelson begins.