November 30, 2017
Next up in our employee Q&A series is Cooper Smith.
Cooper joined J.H. Berry in the summer of 2014 as a leasing and brokerage associate for office, retail and health care properties. In this role, Cooper assists clients with the acquisition, disposition and the leasing of commercial properties throughout Birmingham.
In 2016, Cooper was named to the Birmingham Business Journal’s Rising Stars of Real Estate. He followed up that honor by earning the prestigious Chad Thomas Hagwood Scholarship to the Alabama CCIM Chapter in 2017. Cooper has also been a member of the International Conference of Shopping Centers since 2015.
Cooper graduated from The University of Alabama with a Bachelor of Science degree in commerce and business administration with a concentration in real estate.
How would you describe your approach to commercial real estate brokerage?
Two things that really drive my day to day approach to commercial real estate brokerage are first, growing up in Birmingham, I have seen the changes over the years in each submarket. I try to find properties within certain trade areas that I feel may not be to their highest and best use. Second, I cold call, cold call, cold call. I exhaust every avenue possible to initiate contact with a potential tenant representative, prospect or property owner.
What made you want to pursue a career in commercial real estate?
I grew up in a family where real estate deals were the subject of most dinner table conversations. I guess you could say it’s in my blood. I truly enjoy the pursuit of a real estate deal on all sides of the transaction.
What is your proudest accomplishment while at J.H. Berry?
My proudest moment to date is being named a Rising Star of Real Estate by the BBJ only two years removed from The University of Alabama Culverhouse College of Commerce.
What is your favorite part about living and working in Birmingham?
Birmingham is an amazing place to live and work, especially for someone in their 20s, with the cost of living dramatically lower than the larger metropolitans in the Southeast. The convenience of Birmingham in the form of travelling to other large metropolitans and high-end vacation destinations is also a positive. The growth Birmingham has experienced over the last decade is being noticed not only regionally but on a national level, which is an indication that more opportunities are on the horizon.
What advice would you give to someone interested in pursuing a career in commercial real estate?
I would recommend meeting with anyone and everyone in the real estate business that will share their knowledge and advice. Pursue all contacts and relationships you have within the industry, from property managers to developers. Each professional will give you a sense of what it takes to succeed in the industry.
What are some of your hobbies?
Since a young age I have had a passion for music, especially live music. Birmingham has incredible venues for live music, which brings great bands to the city.