Each year, Midwest Real Estate News elects a new class to its Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame. Here’s a look at one of our new inductees, Marc Barlow, vice president with the Louisville office of CBRE.
A miscast accountant. That’s how Marc Barlow with the Louisville, Kentucky, office of CBRE described himself after he graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1981. Fortunately for Barlow, now one of the most successful CRE professionals in the Louisville market, he didn’t remain in that role for long.
After a short stint at PriceWaterhouse Coopers, Barlow went to work for a client bank and ultimately became responsible for the institution’s REO portfolio. His financial and lending background served him well when he was recruited by a local developer as the leasing agent for a sizeable office portfolio. Barlow got his taste of brokerage and never looked back.
In 2000, Barlow moved to CBRE. This allowed him to continue to develop his skills while enjoying a career that never felt like work.
But Barlow didn’t truly fall in love with the commercial real estate industry until a peer recommended that he pursue his CCIM designation. Once he learned even more about the fundamentals of commercial real estate and the difference that it could make in his clients’ lives, Barlow knew that he had truly found his passion.
“I appreciate the relationships I’ve developed with my clients. I’m grateful for the vision and courage my developer clients have demonstrated to the benefit of my career in commercial real estate,” Barlow said. “I’m still excited by the prospects of each new deal and meeting the people that make it happen. My approach has been to treat every deal as a diamond; some are just bigger than others.”
With three decades in the industry, Barlow has seen the best and worst of the market. From the dot-com bust to the mortgage bubble and then the pandemic reset, he has worked hard to make a positive difference for his clients.
“While we are all in this business for the peaks, the valleys have made me a more resilient professional,” Barlow said.
One of the secrets to this real estate pro’s success? He’s been surrounded by strong mentors during his entire career. Recognizing how important these mentors have been, Barlow now pays it back by mentoring CRE pros just beginning their careers.
“Returning the favor by counselling young people new to this business has been my greatest reward,” Barlow said. “New talent is the lifeblood of a successful practice, and their energy and enthusiasm are contagious, benefitting the entire team.”
While work is important, Barlow says that his greatest joy is his family. He and his wife recently celebrated 40 years of marriage and are looking forward to their first grandchild in February. Barlow is also a fan of golf, thanks to his knees becoming too creaky for tennis, and has a daughter that shares his passion for the game and now pursues golf as a professional near Orlando, Florida.