Dan Gabbard is a broker associate with Fort Wayne, Indiana-based The Zacher Company. Gabbard joined the firm in 2018 and has already made an impact, closing several office, industrial and retail deals in the Fort Wayne market. In 2020, he was named a 40 Under 40 award winner by Fort Wayne Business Weekly.
During his still young career, Gabbard helped close the sale of the 12,856-square-foot Legacy Office Park in Auburn, Indiana; the sale of the 11,048-square-foot Dayton Progress Factor in Portland, Indiana; and the sale of Jack’s Wholesale Windows Building in Fort Wayne. He served as the buyer’s representative for 22 Commerce LLC, a sale of a 12,000-square-foot industrial property.
Gabbard has found time to give back to his community, too. He is the local coordinator for the Indiana University Real Estate Alumni Network, serves as a board member for Headwaters Counseling and is a member of the Downtown Fort Wayne Rotary Group. Gabbard also volunteers for the Emerging Leaders Alliance of Northeast Indiana and serves as a mentor for the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization.
We spoke to this emerging CRE leader about his career, what led him to commercial real estate and his goals for the future. Here is some of what he had to say.
Tell us about your background. Where did you grow up and where did you go to school?
I grew up in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and graduated from Indiana University-Bloomington with a degree in business management along with a minor in urban planning and community development. I also studied abroad at King’s College in London for a summer.
How did you get your start in the industry?
I started in the commercial real estate industry directly out of college as a broker, gaining my license while doing business development work for my original firm. I always knew I was destined to work in the business world and connect with people in some form. From a fairly young age, I felt I had a realistic grasp on the power of positive interactions and connections.
Did you have a mentor who helped you get on your feet, or is there someone you turn to now for support?
I have had several mentors to whom I owe a great deal of my professional and personal advancement to, so it is hard for me to pick just one. That being said, Steve Zacher, who is my original and now current managing broker, stands out as the most influential thus far in terms of my career. From a personal standpoint, my dad has always been my role model. I learned invaluable lessons from watching his work ethic as an entrepreneur growing up and constantly aiming to positively impact those around him.
What does an average day at work look like?
Organized chaos. I usually have a mixture of property tours and meetings, prospecting and marketing efforts, listing presentations, contract negotiations and high-level brainstorming or site selecting on behalf of a client.
What do you like most about your job?
The ability to assist a large variety of different companies and investors in a vital aspect to their overall business functions. I also enjoy the entrepreneurial nature of being a broker, and the constant need to avoid complacency and seek continuous improvement.
Looking to the future, what do you hope to achieve/work on that you have not already?
I hope to continue to serve the local community here in Northeast Indiana, while expanding my brokerage reach and network to include current connections in Chicago and throughout the Midwest.
How do you spend your time away from the office?
I enjoy spending my time away from the office with friends and family. This consists mostly of golfing, skiing, concerts, Cubs games and reading.