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Midwest Commercial Real Estate HOF: Colliers' Paul Choukourian

Midwest Commercial Real Estate HOF: Colliers' Paul Choukourian,ph01

Each year, Midwest Real Estate News runs its Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame isuse. This year, we are also running these profiles online. Today, we look at the thriving career of Paul Choukourian, executive managing director with the Southfield, Michigan, office of Colliers International.

Years in the business: 24

A builder: Colliers International hired Paul Choukourian to rebuild the company’s Southeast Michigan office. The results? They’ve been outstanding. Since joining Colliers in 2011, Choukourian has recruited more than 35 CRE pros to the office and increased its revenue by 216 percent. Choukourian has also expanded and added new service lines that have helped the office grow.

An award-winner: During his long real estate career, Choukourian has picked up several key industry honors. Crain’s Detroit Business named Choukourian to its 40 under 40 list in 2012. The same publication listed him as one of its 50 Names to Know in Real Estate in 2016. And in 2014, Choukourian was named to the Elevate Executive Leadership program of Colliers International.

No two days are the same: “I love that every day is different and that every deal is different,” Choukourian said. “I also enjoy the bricks-and-mortar aspect, beautiful architecture and seeing people’s lives improved by cool work environments.”

Interpersonal skills: Forging a successful career in commercial real estate does not come without challenges. Choukourian says that this industry is a complicated one, and those who succeed in it need market knowledge, an understanding of real estate law, a grasp of the basics of commercial finance and, most importantly, strong interpersonal skills.

“You have to understand people and their personalities and motivations to be successful in commercial real estate,” Choukourian said. “This business is not for the weak or docile. You need to be a great problem-solver because you have to fix every problem imaginable during a transaction.”

Caring about clients: Choukourian cares for his clients, and works hard so that they get the best possible results. His clients see this, and this care brings them back.

But Choukourian also cares about his co-workers. This has helped build loyalty at the Colliers office he manages.

“I care about the clients who put their trust in me and I care about the people I work with,” Choukourian said. “I know that my success is predicated on the success of everyone around me. I have been very fortunate to be surrounded by great people. Together, we have created an amazing culture here.”

Being competitive has helped Choukourian to succeed, too.

“I want to be the best at whatever I do, and that keeps me focused on working hard and having a plan to improve daily,” he said. “I live by the mantra, ‘work hard, play hard.’ Although the older I get, the more I work and the less I play.”

Out-of-office hours: Choukourian says that his four sons keep him plenty busy. His hobby and passion outside of work, though, is classic cars. He is currently restoring a 1968 Mustang Convertible that he has owned since he was 17.