Part Two: Six JLL Executives Named to Midwest Real Estate News Annual CRE Hall of Fame

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By: JC Pelusi, Market Leader, Managing Director, JLL

In part one of our two-part series on Midwest Real Estate News’ Annual CRE Hall of Fame, we shared more about three of our six Great Lakes Region honorees and what they enjoy most about the industry.

In part two of our two-part series, learn more about the final three honorees from our Ohio markets and how they’ve remained successful in the commercial real estate industry.

Editor’s Note: Originally published in Midwest Real Estate News’ Hall of Fame issue.

Collin Wheeler, JLL Columbus

A numbers fan: Wheeler doesn’t just study the Columbus CRE market—he analyzes it.

“I learned very early in my career that the ability to understand the underwriting and economic impacts of a real estate transaction would be a tremendous value to clients and potential clients,” Wheeler said.

It’s true that Wheeler’s peers might tease him a bit over his interest in Microsoft Excel, but it’s also true that embracing the numbers has led to the best results for Wheeler’s clients.

Not afraid of the challenges: “I believe one of the greatest challenges is also one of the most enjoyable, understanding macroeconomic fundamentals and how they might apply to the office market, for me in my hometown of Columbus,” Wheeler said. “I’ve challenged myself, especially early on when changing markets from D.C. to Central Ohio, to know the region, not just the buildings.”

A competitive spirit: Wheeler points to many reasons for his career successes, including his own father as a mentor. Wheeler is also a competitive spirit, one who’s not afraid to fight for business.

“In order to compete with the best, you need to be open to constantly evolving with your market and your clients, while keeping a thirst for learning,” Wheeler said.

Joe Messina, JLL Cleveland

Making an impact: How important has JLL’s Joe Messina been to the Cleveland commercial real estate market? During his career of more than 15 years, Messina has closed more than $800 million in real estate transactions for his clients. And these clients often boast the biggest names. Messina’s list of clients includes McDonald’s, AT&T, Kellogg’s, Lubrizol Corporation and Beltmann Group.

An award-winning career:  Messina has landed some of the biggest industry honors during his career and been recognized multiple times as a JLL Top Producer, CoStar Power Broker and NAIOP Deal of the Year honoree. The secrets to his success? He works hard every day, puts in long hours and listens closely to his clients so that he clearly understands their goals. This is an old-fashioned formula, but it has worked for Messina.

When asked what he finds most rewarding about commercial real estate, he said, “Helping clients with strategy and problem-solving related to their occupied global real estate portfolios.”

Doing the right thing: Messina says that there is little secret to keeping clients happy. And when clients are happy? That equals a successful real estate career, Messina said.

“I was told early in my career that if you always do the right thing for the client and put them first, success will come,” Messina said. “This has been 110 percent fact.”

Bill Poffenberger, JLL Cincinnati

Highly qualified: For nearly three decades, Bill Poffenberger has been a leader in the Cincinnati commercial real estate market. He ranks as the only SIOR in this market who is qualified for both office and industrial transactions. And, for the last seven years, Poffenberger has served as the managing director of JLL’s Cincinnati office, where he is responsible for developing and overseeing the sales strategies for its office and industrial teams.

A business builder: Poffenberger is a fourth-generation Cincinnatian who loves his city. After a 10-year run with Duke Associates, he joined Cincinnati Capital Properties as a partner. The boutique firm quickly grew into the leading Class A agency firm in Cincinnati before being acquired by JLL 12 years later.

Poffenberger has now been with JLL for seven years. Since he joined the office, revenue has quadrupled and business has soared.

The thrill of competition: Poffenberger thrives on the competition and competitiveness of the business, and enjoys the fact that no two days are the same in the commercial industry.

Poffenberger attributes his success to hard work and “connecting the dots.” If you can figure out how you “connect” to the client—through mutual friends, hobbies or charities—you’ll have a much better chance breaking the ice and earning their trust, he says.