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, Robert Walker, senior director and certified supply chain professional with Cushman & Wakefield|Commercial Kentucky in Louisville.
You could say Robert Walker had bad timing. Just five years after he became an industrial broker, the United States fell into the 2008 Great Recession, an economic downturn that had a destabilizing effect on the industrial real estate market until about 2014.
But Walker doesn’t view it that way. Instead, he looks at the challenges from those years as helping him develop the resiliency, work ethic and determination that have since led to him building a thriving industrial career in his home market of Louisville.
Throughout those sluggish years, Walker managed to close deals. He also forged relationships with some of his most loyal clients. And now? Those relationships and Walker’s work are paying off as the industrial sector continues to boom.
“I continue to tell myself that if I could make it through the Great Recession, I can make it through anything,” Walker said.
Today, Walker serves a long list of big-name clients. This includes end users such as Corporex, The Opus Group, General Electric, UPS, Mattress Firm and Exeter Property Group.
He’s also helped close some of the biggest industrial transactions in the Louisville market. This includes serving as the tenant rep on AEL SPAN, LLC’s purchase of 574,075 square feet of industrial space and as buyer representative of Exeter Group’s purchase of 502,000 square feet of industrial space.
Walker also served as landlord representative when The Opus Group purchased 426,450 square feet of industrial space and landlord rep when Hollingsworth Capital Partners closed its purchase of 497,000 square feet of industrial space.
“It is important to me to do a good job, and I pay attention to the details and will put in the time to make sure the job is done well,” Walker said. “Also, I think I am a genuine person. I can’t suggest a client do something that I don’t believe. I think my clients can tell I am genuine and have their best interest in mind. Lastly, it is not always a good thing, but I am very competitive. That competitive nature makes me work hard for my clients.”
Throughout his career, Walker has benefitted from observing the steps that talented senior brokers have taken to grow and maintain their businesses. He also put in the time to earn his CCIM and SIOR designations.
“I also put processes in place to become more efficient and so things did not fall through the cracks,” Walker said.
Despite the demands of his busy career, Walker does find time to spend with his family. He has two young sons, 10 and 6, who keep him extremely busy. Walker coaches both their soccer and basketball teams.
He and his wife also like to take their sons hiking and to the lake in the summer months. And if Walker finds any additional free time? He enjoys spending it playing golf with his friends.