Kurt Sauer Interview Questions
#1 – How did you get into commercial real estate? How did you transition from a career in the NHL to a career in commercial real estate?
I have been interested in real estate ever since my father purchased a student rental house when I was young. Sports, specifically hockey, were my focus throughout my early life. Once finishing my hockey career, I spoke with a few people involved in the real estate industry. One specifically was my former USHL hockey coach, that is currently a commercial broker. Through a few calls to local brokerages, I was able to start on a commercial team and have not looked back.
#2 – What skills have you learned that have helped get you to where you are now?
I believe hard work and longevity are necessary for success. I don’t believe there is a complex formula. Mentors, coaches, and observing successful people are areas where I received my greatest insights. The old saying goes, “work smarter, not harder” but I believe in doing both.
#3 – What was the turning point in your career? What experiences, setbacks, or challenges have been the most instrumental to your growth?
I wouldn’t say there was a specific turning point in my career. I have had setbacks and challenges along the way. I don’t think my decision-making was spectacular, but I relied more on my perseverance. When faced with adversity, I believe you can run away or run through it. It may not have been the prettiest or easiest, but the challenges have assisted in molding me, and they are now in the rearview mirror. I look back at them as learning experiences that have guided me to where I am today. I am excited about my new opportunity with Matthews™ and what new experiences are to come.
#4 – What are the best lessons you learned from your playing days that have been applicable in your CRE business career?
Enjoy business/life when you are on the top of the mountain! The view is great, but you will catch yourself watching. Remember to work on your weaknesses and play to your strengths continuously. This will help you to get to your next mountain-top experience. Lastly, preparation breeds confidence.
#5 – What are your three best tips for entrepreneurs in commercial real estate?
- Bet on yourself. I believe this is the best way to grow and invest in your future.
- One foot in front of the other. It is easy to get distracted by the end goal. Focus on the disciplines and details of today, and you will get to where you want to go.
- Treasure your relationships. Relationships give us an outlet to give and share with others. The people that appreciate your generosity will be the same people that will become your clients.
#6 – What are some commercial real estate trends to watch heading into 2023?
In 2023 I expect to see real estate moving forward with cautious optimism. Many are looking in 2023 to position themselves for another period of sustained growth and strong returns. This expected cool-down brought on by the rising interest rates to control inflation has many investors wanting hard assets such as commercial real estate. We will see an opportunity with rent increases offsetting the increases in interest rates. It will be essential for investors to partner with commercial real estate experts who understand the market as it ebbs and flows through 2023.
#7 – What makes Minneapolis a great place to invest? Why should an investor consider Minneapolis Real Estate?
Minneapolis is an excellent place for investors to find opportunity and stability. Minneapolis/St. Paul is the 16th largest metro in the US. Minnesota has a steady, diverse economy. Minnesota’s workforce is highly educated. It also has the highest Fortune 500 companies per capita in the USA. Minnesota consistently ranks as one of the best states to start a new business. Lastly, the quality of life is excellent.
#8 – Are there any strategies you can share with the audience on business development? How do you build successful relationships in the industry?
The key to building your business is understanding how to build quality relationships. Relationships start with understanding your primary role. This will set achievable expectations for everyone involved. This is done with effective communication to support and respect all parties involved. Relationships are the key to a successful career in business.
#9 – Do you have any parting words of advice for those looking to switch careers, new graduates, or interns?
I recommend putting yourself in a position to be tested. Then give yourself the grace to improve. Learning isn’t a linear process.