John Birkeland and his family in Iceland
ROCK Employee Spotlight: John Birkeland, CCIM, Brokerage Advisor
WHAT LED YOU TO THIS CAREER? I was staged for a pretty nice promotion in the hotel industry in September 2001, and then 9/11 happened. The resort hospitality industry went dormant, the promotion was tabled, and I had left my job. I had done a little commercial leasing in a mixed-use building as part of a previous position, enjoyed it, so decided to focus my energy learning the business.
WHAT IS THE MOST SATISFYING ASPECT OF YOUR JOB? Helping people establish and grow their businesses. I enjoy seeing the benefits to the families operating the businesses and communities they serve.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO SOMEONE CONSIDERING CRE AS A CAREER? The two most important things in CRE are networking and knowledge. I call them the “2 Ns”. Funnier when you say it.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT WORKING AT ROCK? The people and the culture. It is a pretty tight group that values professionalism and relationships
WHAT BEHAVIOR OR PERSONALITY TRAIT DO YOU MOST ATTRIBUTE YOUR SUCCESS? Resilience. Some days you are the boxer, some days you are the bag. The days you are the punching bag, you have to shake it off, get up the next day, and try again.
WHO HAS INFLUENCED YOU MOST WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR CAREER? I don’t think I can narrow it to just one person. I have been fortunate to meet and surround myself with amazing professionals from different industries that have enlightened me in many ways.
WHAT IS THE BEST PIECE OF PROFESSIONAL ADVICE YOU HAVE RECEIVED? Don’t be an idiot.
WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU WERE GROWING UP? According to my wife I am still growing up.
TELL US ONE THING ON YOUR BUCKET LIST? I enjoy travel and history. I want to visit Machu Picchu, Petra, Giza Pyramids and Parthenon to name a few. I have kids in high school and college, so it is a distant list…
TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF THAT WOULD SURPRISE US? In high school I was a skate rat. It was the 1980s – we listened to punk rock, had ridiculous haircuts, skateboarded everywhere, and wore pretty offensive t-shirts. Still enjoy a little punk rock music now and again.