Each year, Midwest Real Estate News runs its Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame edition. This year, we are also running these profiles online. Today, we highlight the career of Ed Fleming, executive vice president of Colliers International in Omaha, Nebraska.
Strong performance, stronger ethics: Ed Fleming is one of the busiest commercial brokers in the Omaha market. During his career of more than 16 years, he has completed more than $850 million in transactions. As of the writing of this profile, he was on pace to once again close more than $100 million in CRE deals.
But what’s just as impressive? Fleming’s reputation.
Fleming’s peers say that this CRE veteran has earned respect within the industry because of his hard work, knowledge of his market, commitment to his clients and honesty. His peers use the phrase “superior ethics and dedication” when describing Fleming.
An award-winning career: It’s little surprise, then, that Fleming has racked up a string of some of the industry’s top awards during his career. That combination of results and commitment is difficult to beat.
Fleming has been recognized as top broker within the Colliers network for six years in a row and eight years overall. He has also been named nine times as a Power Broker by CoStar.
Despite how busy he is, Fleming also volunteers for his community. He is a member of Rotary International and is president of the Yale Club of the Midlands.
Success stories: Fleming has closed several big transactions during his career. Notable recent deals include the sale of the five-property, $48 million APRO II downtown Omaha apartment portfolio; the sale of the six-property, $47 million MAXX apartment portfolio; the $33 million sale of One Pacific Place office building; and the $20 million Pacific Life headquarters lease.
Omaha roots: Fleming is fortunate in that he works, and thrives, in his hometown. He grew up in Omaha before graduating Cum Laude from Yale University with a degree in economics. He began his career in New York City, where he worked for eight years at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. First Union Bank then recruited him to Charlotte, North Carolina.
When Fleming’s oldest daughter was ready to begin school, he and his wife returned to Omaha, where Fleming could pursue his passion for commercial real estate full-time.
The winning traits: “Commercial real estate is a business where you need to be strong in a variety of skill sets to be successful,” Fleming said. “You have to be highly organized, big-picture-oriented, attentive to details, a good communicator and a strong negotiator to be successful. Many people can be strong in some of those characteristics, but few are strong in all.”
An old-fashioned approach: What has led Fleming to such success in this competitive industry? He points to an old-fashioned formula.
“Good old-fashioned hard work and a true passion for commercial real estate,” Fleming said. “That may sound a bit corny, but those two items drive quite a bit of business.”
Out-of-office time: When not working, Fleming enjoys spending time with his wife and three daughters. He also likes watching sports, reading and thinking about business matters not related to real estate.
“There are always lessons to be learned,” he said. “And similarities from the rest of the business world can apply to real estate.”