Jim Baker, CCIM, SIOR
Each month, ICBR honors one of its members in a special Member Spotlight. This month we recognize Jim Baker, CCIM, SIOR, with Baker Commercial Real Estate.
ICBR: Why are you an ICBR member? What do you look to gain out of your membership?
Baker: I’m an ICBR member because of the valuable connections and information I receive from this organization. In addition, the statewide and regional events, such as the annual conference, are of great value not only for the CE credits I receive, but also for the great networking opportunities and new ideas I pick up at these events.
ICBR: Describe a time you used an ICBR member benefit, and how it helped you or your company.
Baker: Several times I have called other ICBR broker members across the state to help me with transactions in which I need local expertise. Just this past week I called an ICBR broker 50 miles from me to work jointly on a project to locate a site for an industrial client.
ICBR: What designations/awards/recognition have you received?
- Level III Assessor/Appraiser/Certified Tax Representative
- Realtor of the Year & Past President: Southern Indiana Realtors Association
- Past President: Kentucky CCIM Chapter
- Region 7 RVP and Board of Directors: CCIM Institute
- VP of the South Central Regional Airport Authority: Clark Regional Airport
ICBR: How did you start your career in commercial real estate/development?
Baker: I began my career in real estate in 1977 as a residential sales associate. I had no prior experience in real estate and at that time was a band/orchestra director at Jeffersonville High School and a percussionist with the Louisville Orchestra. In 1987 I became a CCIM candidate and received my designation in 1991. After that I was what I call a “resi-mercial” broker until my wife, Kim, and I started Baker Commercial Real Estate in late 2003 as a commercial only brokerage.
ICBR: Do you have any mentors? If so, who? How has he/she inspired you?
Baker: Early in my career my mentor, and later partner, was the late Charley Reisert of Jeffersonville who was also a “has been” high school teacher. Charley inspired me to set goals and taught me how to focus on getting saleable listings. I have also had several investment partners throughout my career who also helped me learn and experience the inside perspective of investment real estate.
ICBR: What is the most important thing you have learned by working in commercial real estate?
Baker: Patience and persistence. If you don’t have those two qualities you won’t last long in this business. Commercial real estate is like “growing oak trees”. It usually takes months and even years of working with certain individuals, corporations, projects and/or properties to see the results and to benefit from my work. Daily I need to come to work, give my best and not expect an overnight success, closing or paycheck.
ICBR: What is your current professional goal(s)?
Baker: My goal is to expand our company’s brand and market presence over the next five years in the Southern Indiana/Louisville MSA. I am also excited to be nominated as secretary of ICBR and look forward to helping this organization grow and prosper during my tenure on the executive team.
ICBR: What is your most recent accomplishment?
Baker: I received my SIOR designation in 2013 which for me was a huge achievement due to the large volume requirement needed to qualify.
ICBR: Anything to add?
Baker: I need to give the most credit for any success I have to my wife and partner, Kim Baker, CCIM. Without her support and encouragement, I wouldn’t have the opportunities that I have now and our company wouldn’t be experiencing the successes that we have enjoyed the last few years.