Name: Brenden Graves
Title: Director of Client Relations and Sales
Company: Xceligent – Las Vegas
# of years in the industry: 8
1. I am a NAIOP Member because…
I came to the first couple meetings for business purposes, but I am a member now because I wanted to get involved in committees, give back to the community with friends and clients, and I want to support the NAIOP mission both locally and nationally.
2. How has NAIOP helped develop new business?
It started with my first meeting! I went to meet like-minded individuals and I was interested in the panel. The group was welcoming and I felt like I was surrounded by clients and potential friends. Since then, I have used NAIOP to meet industry professionals, forge business and personal relationships, and be a part of a group that was relevant to my business.
3. How did you get into the industry?
After leaving the Marine Corps, I started a business washing cars in Orange County, targeting high end vehicles and focusing on the customer experience. While I grew that business from the ground up, I was going to school at night for my Bachelors and then my MBA. I have always been intrigued by marketing: specifically buying patterns and relationships between technology and retail (This has led me to pursue commercial real estate as it related to technology and information). One day, I had a customer for my mobile wash service ask me to fix the interior of his Maserati. He had gone to the beach with his family after getting a detail on his car from a well-known car wash business. They put too much oil on the leather, and while leaving the beach he and his family got back in the car in their bathing suits. The body oils had sunk into the leather and turned what was once beautiful beige leather… in a $200k car… into a used doormat. I didn’t make any promises, but after two days of using product and hard work I restored his car to “pre-beach” shape. He asked what he could tip me and said, “open check book son, don’t mess it up” and I answered with, “your time.” This man lived on the water in Newport Beach, CA with a yacht (not a boat) in front of his home and I wanted to know how he got there. After meeting every week for six months I learned about how he got to where he was and his involvement in commercial real estate. When the lunches were done, he introduced me to the creators of a company called auction.com and I started as a transaction coordinator…the rest is history!
4. What do you like to do when you aren’t working?
I have a wife of 10 years and three girls; 3, 6 and 9 years old. I love spending time with my family and we do a variety of activities from hiking, watching movies, and enjoy family game night. When I’m not working or hanging with my girls, I play basketball! I’ve loved basketball since I can remember. My favorite player was and still is Kobe Bryant and I’m a huge Laker’s fan. I was excited to go to the 2 pre-season games held in Vegas at the T-Mobile Arena last year. Our family moved to Las Vegas last March, and it has been a process getting acquainted with the city, but we love it. I recently joined a men’s basketball league with some other members of NAIOP.
5. What person, living or dead, would you most like to meet?
I have no interest in talking about people I have no chance of meeting. Three people I would love to meet today are Mark Cuban, Grant Cardone, and Jordan Belfort. These guys came from nothing building empires all in their own way. I love their stories and would be intrigued by what they had to say in a private meeting about their journeys.