Stars to Watch 2014: Brian Whitmer

Senior Director, Cushman & Wakefield Inc.

Greatest Accomplishments: A Trapshooting Hall of Fame inductee with two world titles, Whitmer was involved in more than $1 billion worth of multi-family, office and mixed-use transactions in 2013. His office’s multi-family specialist, he has completed $2.2 billion worth of property sales to date and has twice been involved in a record-setting multi-family sale in the state of New Jersey. Cushman & Wakefield appointed him as its representative for the National Multi-Housing Council’s Emerging Leaders Group in 2012.

Best Advice Received: From a college professor: “Don’t worry so much about your first deal being the perfect deal. Just go do deals.”

Secrets to Success: Relationships, reputation, patience and perseverance.

Greatest Challenges: Living through the cycles. As he neared the end of his college career, Whitmer watched friends get six-figure jobs right out of school—jobs that evaporated when the tech bubble burst. After he moved to New Jersey, from 2005-2007, his office closed a deal a week. Then everything came to a standstill. “We all buckled down, stuck around, and then when the market started to come back, we all looked at each other and said: ‘Wow, we survived. We made it.’”

Advice to Others: “Work as hard as you can and see as much deal flow as you can. One of my downfalls is putting too much on my plate sometimes. But that benefited me when I was younger, because from each deal you learn something different. The more you can do that, the older you get, it really builds a nice knowledge base.”

What Others Say About Him:  “Brian is the complete package; he works hard and smart, has great business acumen, an ebullient personality, the highest integrity, under-promises and over-delivers, and is a great family man to boot!” observed Jim Jones, founder & managing principal of the Penford Group.

—Leah Etling

More details on the accomplishments of CPE’s 2014 Stars to Watch appeared in the January 2014 issue.