Here, then, are stories of five outstanding
individuals – your SIOR colleagues. We hope
you enjoy them as much as we enjoyed getting to know these amazing people.
This SIOR Sees
Perseverance as Key to
What is it that helps ensure success across
any career? “Overcoming adversity for
sure – perseverance,” asserts Keenan
J.S. Sue, SIOR, Senior Vice President of
Jones Lang LaSalle in Honolulu. “I’ve been
knocked down many times in sports and
aviation. It’s pretty cliché, but you just get
back up and do it again.”
Sue played baseball in college, while selling
life insurance at the same time. After college he had the opportunity to play pro ball
in the Northern League, an independent
league “for has-beens and never-will-bee’s” as a shortstop. “We made like $700 a
month,” he recalls. After the season ended
he decided he wanted to coach, but there
were only two universities in Hawaii with
baseball coaches. So, inspired by the movie “Top Gun,” he went into civilian aviation. “I
didn’t have the right psyche for the military;
I probably would have washed out for insubordination,” he concedes.
What does it take to earn an SIOR designation? Of course, we’re all familiar with
the formal requirements – experience,
production, endorsements, ethics, and
education. But as the following stories will
show you, these SIORs are not just real
estate superstars; they are extraordinary
individuals who can spell “success” in a
number of ways.
You see, all of these SIORs had outstanding
careers before they even began pursuing
opportunities in real estate. One was an
NFL running back; another was a symphony
musician; a third was a professional baseball player and commercial airline pilot;
still another was a ski action photographer
and a political fundraiser; and one was a
law enforcement professional and member of a SWAT team.
But while their backgrounds have been
diverse, their thoughts on what it takes to
be a success are strikingly similar. Above
all they credit their success to teamwork.
Beyond that they cite competitiveness,
people skills, being a self-starter, commitment, tenacity, perseverance, being in top
physical and mental shape, discipline, and
having a commitment to continuous learning. Another thing they have in common?
A sense of pride and gratitude for their
membership in SIOR.
So he went to civilian flight school in
Minnesota and became a flight instructor.
Then he worked for a small commuter
airline in Denver and another in Hawaii,
eventually working his way up to Aloha
Airlines. Unfortunately, the airline went
out of business in 2008. So he “scrambled,’
trying the minor leagues, and hauling
boxes for a small company. Then he was
hired by Air Pacific Fiji. “I lived down there
in a hotel and flew to Australia and New
Zealand,” he recalls. He was able to spend
his free time surfing and playing golf, but
he had just gotten married and his wife
lived in Hawaii.
Then his life took a major turn; he got laid
off along with several “ex-pats” friends.
“We came to Hawaii with really no game
plan,” he says. He was offered jobs in
Korea and the Middle East but decided he
couldn’t leave his family. “Getting out of
aviation, which I love, was a hard decision,
but I put my family first,” he shares.
Sue knew a few friends who were “just
killing it” in real estate and who he did
not consider to be any more talented
than he was. “If they could do it, I knew
I could,” he says. So he joined Colliers in
2009 doing office leasing, and got his big
break when he picked up a 2 million sq. ft.
landlord portfolio. “Real estate ended up
SIORs share their stories, extraordinary
accomplishments, and unforgettable memories. By Steve Lewis