Landmark Commercial Real Estate’s newest broker admits with a chuckle that he enjoys torturing himself.
Craig Simon, 56, a lifelong Wichitan, joined Brad Saville’s brokerage in late November as an associate broker, the latest stop in a varied career in Wichita business.
So he’s clearly not afraid to try something new, like a 100-mile trail race.
“Over the last 16 years, I’ve been a huge marathoner,” Simon said. “Six years ago, when I turned 50, I got a wild hair to do more than marathons, so I started doing ultra-marathons.”
With emphasis on the “ultra” – races from 30 to 100 miles. That is, until a runner’s reality struck – knee surgery.
“That stopped that,” Simon said, chuckling. “I’ve just started in the fall walking and running with my wife.”
Simon and his wife, Kayelyn, have four kids.
Why did you choose Landmark Commercial Real Estate?
“I’ve had a long-term relationship with Brad and Nick Esterline. I think their style of commercial real estate is pretty comfortable to me. I got to know Brad when we bought Transamerica (a property management firm) from Ken Saville, and there’s just a natural connection there with Brad. I liked where Landmark is going and the company’s personality.”
A year ago, you helped form Simon Palmer Properties, a property management firm. What has become of that business?
“It still exists. I signed my stock over to Troy Palmer, my partner, and he owns Simon Palmer 100 percent. He’s going to retain the name.”
Why did you decide to leave Simon Palmer Properties?
“Basically, when we formed the company Troy had R.E. Black and we created Simon Palmer. We intended to bring it all together with R.E. Black, but when Troy took a stand against (client) Real Development for its failure to pay its bills and take care of its buildings, they fired him from managing their buildings. That affected our income – mine from Simon Palmer and his from R.E. Black, and we couldn’t afford to fund both incomes. I’d do better leasing and selling, and he’d derive his income from property management.
“After a month or so, I asked people in the commercial industry like Jerry Jones, Morrie Sheets, Doug Malone at Weigand and others if it made sense for me to operate as a one-man operation. All of them said I’d be better off associating with a good commercial person, especially in this market where things are tough. And two of those folks said I should talk to Brad Saville.”
Talk about your prior association with Saville and Landmark.
“Part of the deal when we started Simon Palmer was to formulate an association with Landmark. We’d already done some mutual work together and it was a natural fit. We talked about coming over and being a pseudo-Landmark broker for Simon Palmer, but Brad wanted more of a defined company presence.”
What is the lure for you in commercial real estate?
“It goes back to everything I’ve done. I love the relationship element of it. I love building business relationships, friendships, social and political relationships in the community. This is just another avenue to use that skill set.
“It’s not so much the property and doing the deals as it is the people.”