We had the good fortune of connecting with Clay Albers and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Clay, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
The thought process behind starting Clay Albers Properties actually started about five years after the company was founded. For most of my career in commercial real estate, I focused on being a better professional but did not devote much time to working “on my business.” As a result, my income had large swings from year to year.

Two books really helped me be more intentional about my company. The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It and Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business. I recommend them to anyone looking to leave a large firm and go out on their own.
 
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I’m a commercial real estate broker in Houston. More specifically, I help local and national retailers find shopping center locations to lease or property to buy. I’ve worked with big tenants like T-Mobile/Sprint or Family Dollar/Dollar Tree and great local companies like Roostar Vietnamese Grill. I was part of the reason there was a mattress store on every corner a few years ago. Sorry!

Commercial Real Estate Brokerage is a bit of a unique job. There are a wide variety of specialties one could pursue and the deals take months or years, so brokers are afforded a lot of spare time and a lot of options on what to work on. It’s daunting and I’ve not figured it out.

One of the things that has helped has been to direct my energy toward working in situations that line up with my purpose and values. Purpose Blueprint from Proof Leadership really helped here. My purpose is to work in close-knit teams where I can help and be helped. The values important to me are:

Connection – having and showing genuine appreciation

Fun – not taking yourself or the situation too seriously and trying to take a positive spin, when appropriate

Authenticity – while working within the system, being yourself, and not be swayed too much by others or conventions

Resourcefulness – is there a better way to accomplish the “why behind the why”?

Thoroughness – hard work, face conflict/resistance/discomfort head-on, follow through to completion

When I work in situations that line up with my values, I’m lucky enough to sometimes experience “flow” and the tough times still suck, but they are manageable.

Thanks for listening to me ramble. Working with clients and on projects that line up with my purpose and values has helped me and hopefully there will be a nugget that helps you.
  
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I’d head over to the Greater East End.

Start the day with coffee at Coral Sword
East End Barber is next door – you need to go
Houston Botanic Garden
The Esplanade at Navigation – cool stores that operate in retrofitted storage containers in the esplanade of Navigation Blvd near Ninfas
Roostar Vietnamese Grill – boss food
Cochinita & Co. – great food and local goods available in their market
Street Art and murals – use Houston Mural Map online for a guide
Dynamo/Dash match
Tiny Champions – pizza
How to Survive – wine
 
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to give a shoutout to Traci Holman. She’s one of the best commercial real estate brokers in Houston and was an absolute joy to work with at Baker Katz.

By example, she pushed me to be a better broker and helps make her company a special place to work. Absolute pro.

Website: https://www.albers-re.com/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/clayalbers/

Twitter: @clay_albers

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