Each month, ICBR honors one of its members as Member of the Month. This month, we recognize ICBR District 6 member, David Harstad. David is a Senior Vice President & Managing Broker at Summit Realty Group’s Bloomington office.
ICBR: Why are you an ICBR member? What do you look to gain out of your membership?
Harstad: This may sound a bit hokey, but I’m extremely proud to be a REALTOR®. ICBR is more than a well-run trade group. I’m passionate about real property and genuinely enjoy the company of people in our profession. So, joining ICBR was a no-brainer.
ICBR: What designations, awards or recognition have you received?
Harstad: Right now I chair the City of Bloomington Historic Preservation Commission, and next year I’ll be President of the Bloomington Board of REALTORS®.
ICBR: Hoe did you start your career in commercial real estate?
Harstad: I was a junior associate real estate attorney, and learned that it’s more fun to be a deal maker than a note taker.
ICBR: Do you have any mentors? If so, who? How has he/she inspired you?
Harstad: David Gogol and Mac McNaught.
I worked with David in Washington, D.C. He was the Washington lobbyist for the City of Indianapolis. Amazing guy, incredibly creative, smart and funny. He did things his own way, and only lobbied for initiatives he really believed in. To do both those things in Washington, D.C. is exceedingly difficult.
I also worked for Mac at Denison Properties, a land development firm. Mac is best known for his sterling reputation, but his real gift is his vision. He can look at an aerial photo of a large tract of vacant land and instantly tell you exactly where the infrastructure should go. And he also has the vision of how to work with people to get stuff done.
ICBR: What is the most important thing you have learned by working in commercial real estate?
Harstad: You have to be so observant of people and places in order to do well in real estate. You have to be detail oriented, and detail observant. Almost always the best way to do that is to meet face-to-face and get your boots on the ground.
ICBR: What are your current professional goals?
Harstad: My goal is to be an “agent” in the true sense of the word and not simply do deals. That requires really getting to know your clients, their needs, and what’s going on in the market. So my goal is to constantly work on building relationships and gathering information that matters.
ICBR: What is you most recent accomplishment?
Harstad: In Bloomington you do a little bit of everything in commercial real estate, and that variety is fun. So I get to help clients open restaurants, move into office space, buy apartment buildings, develop land, etc. I’m proud of all my client relationships in their own way.
ICBR: Do you have any special skills, interests or hobbies?
Harstad: I love cycling and spend a lot of time on my bikes, training for triathlons, etc. Related to that, I coach a women’s team for IU’s Little 500 bike race. Bloomington has an amazing cycling community so it’s fun to be a part of that.
Also my wife and I love “preservation tourism.” That is, we love visiting new places, staying in B&Bs or grand old hotels, getting architectural tours and just walking. We particularly love city centers and Civil War sites. We just walked over 50 miles in Manhattan looking at building and neighborhoods, taking building and “street” pictures, etc. It was so much fun.