Each month, ICBR honors one of its members as Member of the Month. This month, we recognize ICREX Committee Chair John Caffray. John is the Vice President of Brokerage at NAI Harding Dahm in Fort Wayne, Ind.
ICBR: Why are you an ICBR member? What do you look to gain out of your membership?
Caffray: I chose to be an ICBR member because I see a vibrant organization trying to create benefits for its members every day. Being part of ICBR has allowed me to conduct business around the state and grow those relationships with other firms and brokers. I have noticed that ICBR members are the brokers that do the majority of the commercial real estate business around the state and it is helpful being part of an organization with like-minded professionals that are trying to better themselves, their firms and the commercial real estate profession.
ICBR: What designations/awards/recognition have you received?
Caffray: I have been an ICBR member since I started my second career back in 2001. Since that time I have been a District 2 Representative and worked on the ICREX Committee. In 2012, I accepted the position of Committee Chair of the ICREX Committee and continue to hold that position.
ICBR: How did you start your career in commercial real estate?
Caffray: In 1998 I transitioned out of the printing business, which I was in for almost 20 years. I ended up with all of the real estate and sold the business. This allowed me to manage, lease and sell the properties I owned personally. I met Dan Dickey and Stan Phillips from NAI Harding Dahm and they invited me to join the firm – and I have been there ever since.
ICBR: Do you have any mentors? If so, who? How has he/she inspired you?
Caffray: I have had many mentors over the years. It began with my mom and dad in our family business. My parents started this business in 1969 and grew it to the 5th largest quick printing company in the country. They taught me many lessons that I could use in any business. Since I have been in the real estate profession there have been a couple of people who have taken me under their wing and kept me focused on learning how to make this profession my second successful career. Mike Dahm, the founder of Harding Dahm and his successors, Dan Dickey and Stan Phillips, have all taken time with me. I have realized that mentors come from many places. They can be peers, competitors and clients. I try to learn from everyone I have the opportunity to work with in this business.
ICBR: What is the most important thing you have learned by working in commercial real estate?
Caffray: I have learned that this is not an easy business, and no two projects are the same. There are many things that can wrong every transaction so having relationships with attorneys, appraisers, bankers, title companies and even competitors can give you a sounding board so you avoid problems. Respect, honesty, fairness and hard work go a long way to keeping a full pipeline of deals flowing your way.
ICBR: What is your current professional goal?
Caffray: I have a personal goal to achiever my SIOR and CCIM designations. As far as ICBR goals, I would like to continue working with the dedicated members that make up the ICREX Committee to continue improving our CIE to be the best platform from promoting commercial real estate and connecting with other professionals from across the state. I would like to accomplish an adoption rate across the state like we have in District 2 of 100 percent. With all members loading their listings and using ICREX as their primary database for listings, comps and property information.
ICBR: What is your most recent accomplishment?
Caffray: My most recent accomplishment is being promoted to VP of Brokerage for NAI Harding Dahm.
ICBR: Do you have any special skills, interests or hobbies?
Caffray: My special skill is the ability to ride a unicycle. It doesn’t help with my real estate work, but I guess I could always get a job with the circus? My special interests are my three daughters. They are 10,12 and 15 years old. Since we live in the country we have plenty of opportunity to do things in the great outdoors. Fishing, four-wheeling and hunting are on the top of the list things we do together as a family.