Business Q & A

March 24, 2013

A conversation with Brad Saville

Commercial real estate runs deep for broker Brad Saville.

Commercial real estate runs deep for broker Brad Saville.

It’s what his dad, Ken Saville, did.

It was where Brad Saville, 42, started his professional career, even before going out on his own and starting Landmark Commercial Real Estate, which is now more than two decades old.

Saville, president of Landmark, recently completed his term as president of the Kansas Chapter Certified Commercial Investment Member.

Born in Iowa and raised in Wichita, Saville and his wife, Tiffany, have five children ranging in age from 18 to 1 month.

How did you get into the commercial real estate business?

I grew up around commercial real estate as my father (Ken Saville) was in commercial property management.

What prompted you to go out on your own and start Landmark?

I formed Landmark Commercial Real Estate to pursue restaurant and retail tenant site selection services.

Did the thought of starting your own business ever scare you?

Not really. You are a lot braver when you are young and single with no kids.

What firm or company did you work for prior to starting Landmark?

I worked with Transamerican Management in 1991 and 1992.

How many employees does Landmark have and how many did you start out with?

I started with only myself and an assistant. We now have approximately 18 people between our brokerage, management and accounting services combined.

What are some of your company’s notable deals/projects since its inception?

We have been fortunate to be part of many developments at 21st and Maize, including Lowe’s and Chick-fil-A. In addition, we are very proud of the Cabela’s project.

Why do you consider those projects important?

Cabela’s we’re proud of because we were able to attract a national tenant that’s a regional tourist draw and it’s a unique tenant that most can’t cite they have. The 21st and Maize projects we’re proud of because it was previously federally protected wetlands and we worked on a public-private partnership to get that project done. It took a lot of hard work to get it done.

What are some of the things your firm is working on right now?

Our office is now working to secure other tenants for the Regency Lakes project anchored by Cabela’s and Target. And our office is assisting with the Whole Foods retail project at the Waterfront.

What kind of year are you expecting for Landmark in 2013?

Better than the previous four years. Interest rates will remain low and investors are getting off of the sidelines.

How was 2012 for Landmark?

There was a lot of good activity in the fourth quarter for our agents, related to the election and fear of tax law changes.

In what ways has the commercial real estate business changed since you started?

It has certainly become more complex. To be successful, you must form a good team of attorneys, accountants, civil engineers, title agents and bankers to work each transaction through from start to finish.

What’s the most challenging part of your job?

Commercial real estate transactions take many months to complete, sometimes even years. You have to be in the business for the long run, so perseverance and patience are essential.

Likewise, what do you enjoy most about it?

The people. Our Wichita commercial real estate community is kind of like a big family, many of which have become very close friends.

What advice would you give a young commercial Realtor on how to excel in this business?

Get in working side-by-side with a veteran broker and learn the business for three to five years. There are approximately 1,500 residential agents in the Wichita MSA and only 30 to 35 commercial real estate agents, so this is not an easy business to get into.

If you had or wanted to do something different as a career, what would it be?

Easy. Farming and ranching. But I would have a hard time supporting my family doing that.

What is one thing most people don’t know about you?

I have a lot to be thankful for what we have been able to accomplish in the past 23 years. Having a strong faith in God, a very supportive wife and family that I am very proud of, are most important to me.

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