Who: Gary L. Smith
Company: Marcus & Millichap

Gary Smith of Marcus & Millichap, a real estate investment and management firm, is one of the most powerful players in the Detroit real estate market. He brings over 30 years of property, finance and business development experience to the urban arena and his highly respected company specializes in the acquisition, development and repositioning of income-producing, multifamily properties. But what distinguishes the veteran realtor from the garden-variety broker — other than his remarkable expertise and wealth of knowledge — is his reputation for attention to detail and his tenacious approach to every negotiation. Smith is known for going the extra mile and being relentless in his pursuit of the close, even in — or especially in — the current real estate space.  Rolling out spoke with Smith about his work, the challenges and what it takes to succeed. –roz edward

What service do you provide your clients?
I specialize in helping my clients create and preserve wealth by providing them with the best real estate investment sales, financing, research and advisory services available. By dedicating all of my focus, resources and training to real estate investment services, I am able to offer my clients an unmatched level of experience and expertise. My clients like Walgreens, CVS, Family Dollar, Auto Zone, etc.  rely on my expertise to provide them with the very best investment opportunities available.

How do you stay ahead of the competition?
By creating a competitive environment of a large pool of qualified buyers who are committed and capable of closing in the shortest amount of time, resulting in multiple offers at the highest price the market will bear.

What are the three keys to your success?
1.) Passion. I love real estate. No two deals are the same, and every day is an adventure. 2.)Discipline. I get the opportunity to work 12 plus hours a day. Most of that time is spent on business development, meeting and talking with people about real estate. 3.) Putting clients first.

Are there any championship moments or victories that stand out that you’d like to share?
My championship moment was joining the real estate investment services firm of Marcus & Millichap. Last year, we did over 4,300 transactions to the tune of $13 billion.

Are there any special challenges to being an African American entrepreneur in your line of work?
Yes. Getting in the game is probably the toughest hurdle. You must be mentally tough to be in commercial real estate. You absolutely cannot be afraid of failure. Lastly, you must be tenacious, determined and disciplined.