May 8, 2019 Maria Verdin

AIR CREators: Tim Hayes on the Virtues of Personal & Professional Commitment

Tim Hayes is the Executive Director of AIR CRE, having served since 1998. Tim has worked in the commercial real estate industry since 1984 gaining valuable experience for this post by serving both as a broker and as a corporate real estate director, as well as being a devoted family man as a father of eleven.

Q. Do you have a particular business or life motto?

A: Whether in business or personal life, always tell the truth and, when you make a mistake, admit it. People respect that.

Q. What would you say is your biggest professional accomplishment?

A. When I became the Executive Director of AIR CRE in 1999, there were 850 members and 190 member offices. The only data we were delivering was industrial listings and comps. We had no data to speak of outside L.A. County.

Today, the organization operates across the counties of L.A., Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura.

We have almost 1,700 members and 500 member offices and we continue to deliver listing and comp information, but now across all commercial property types. We are also delivering owner, tenant, and demographic information. The Research and Data System we rolled-out in 2018 is a great piece of technology that we are continually improving. As the organization has grown, we’ve done a nice job of creating and delivering technology that helps our members operate efficiently.

Q. At what moment did you know you achieved career success in the industry?

A. I don’t think in terms of “career success”. I look at what I am doing as a continuum…in other words, every day we are trying to get better at what we do as an organization. I’m constantly looking for ways to improve the value we offer our members and the CRE industry as a whole.

What is most challenging and rewarding about running AIR CRE is that nothing is constant. There has never been a time when I’ve felt like we’ve been on cruise control. There is always another goal to pursue.

Q. What are some misconceptions about your profession?

A. Today, I think some of our members, especially younger members, view AIR CRE as just another data provider. Nothing could be further from the truth.

We provide our members so much more than just excellent data. In order to better connect with our young members, we have started AIR CRE > Next; a new service that will provide our young members with networking, education and mentorship opportunities. It is my goal to make sure that every member has the knowledge, the network and the resources to become industry leaders.

Q. Where do you imagine yourself in five years’ time?

A. Professionally, I look forward to AIR CRE’s continued growth and expansion. Our membership will continue to grow in the coming years, especially when we complete the office and retail data sets. My vision is that five years down the line, AIR CRE’s Contracts will be used in all major markets across the country, and AIR CRE > Next will be a dynamic, industry-leading network of AIR CRE members.

From a personal standpoint, I’m looking forward to what the future holds for my kids as they move through the different phases of life. My wife, Consuelo, and I have eleven children: six boys and five girls, ranging in age from 30 to our 13-year-old identical twin girls. We just celebrated our 31st wedding anniversary. Being married and raising our kids has been a blast. Our oldest is an attorney, two of our daughters are dental hygienists, one son is a commercial real estate broker and another is a computer programmer. We have two in college, two in high school and two in eighth grade.

My eldest daughter was recently married, so our family is still growing. I can’t wait to see what’s next.

Q. What do you think you do better than 90% of people in your field?

A. Our COO, Joy Pomeroy, and I have made excellent decisions when hiring managers. Once hired, I don’t micro-manage. Micro-managing reminds me of coaches who put a player into a game and then pull them out as soon as they make a mistake. It isn’t long before the player is so afraid of making a mistake, they end up doing exactly that.

The other night I was watching an NBA playoff game and at the start of the 2nd half, Gregg Popovich, the coach of the San Antonio Spurs and one of the most successful coaches in sports history, was asked by the sideline reporter how he was going to get his players to play better defense in the 2nd half. He responded, “they’re all professionals, they’ll figure it out.” That response struck a chord with me because that’s how I feel. I work with a team of great professionals. They always figure it out.

Q. What’s your favorite simple pleasure?

A. Every Sunday morning my family and I go to St. John Vianney in Hacienda Heights for 6:30am Mass. Afterward, my sons and I play nine holes at a nearby pitch and putt and then I prepare a big, champagne brunch. Usually there are 15 or so family and friends enjoying the meal and hanging out…lots of laughs. My breakfast burritos are a favorite — the secret component being, “Tim Hayes’ World Famous Peach Salsa.”

Q. What sage advice would you have for anyone starting out in the industry?

A. Being successful in any profession or hobby requires one to first learn the basics.

As a CRE broker, that means setting up a farm, learning to cold-call and disciplining yourself to do it — learning the economics of deals, finding a mentor or coach, working long hours, and most importantly, building relationships with both potential clients and other brokers.

Networking is a must.

Attending industry events and staying educated is vital.

I took up golf in my late 40’s. The best advice I ever received was from a 90-year-old neighbor who played his entire life. I was anxious to purchase a new set of clubs and I asked for his guidance. His response: don’t waste your money on clubs – if you are going to spend money on golf, especially starting out, find a good teacher and spend your money on lessons. Learn the basics first and you give yourself the best chance to succeed.

Q. What does a typical work day look like for you?

A. I am up at 5:15am and I’m out of the house by 6:15am. I start my day by going to Mass. One of the great things about being Catholic is that no matter where I am, I can always find a church that has an early Mass. I typically have meetings and conference calls; either at our member firms, with AIR CRE staff, or with Board members.

During the past six months, I have probably visited over 50 of our member offices to bring our members up-to-speed on everything AIR CRE is currently doing and what we have planned for the future. Interacting with our members is, by far, the most enjoyable aspect of my job.

I typically get home at 6:30pm, get in a quick work-out, have something to eat, hang out with my wife and kids and, while watching whatever sports are on TV, answer emails and prep for the next day.

Q. Other than your cell phone or computer, what technology could you absolutely not live without?

A. Podcasts. I am in my car a lot commuting to our offices in Glendale or Orange, as well as to meetings from Ventura to south Orange County to the Inland Empire. When I am not on the phone, I listen to all different types of podcasts. One of my favorites is The Real Market with Chris Rising. I’m also fascinated by True Crime podcasts…Sword & Scale is a good one.

Contact: Tim Hayes