Beyond the Bio: 16 Questions With Weitzman President And CEO Marshall Mills
This series profiles men and women in commercial real estate who have profoundly transformed our neighborhoods and reshaped our cities, businesses and lifestyles.
Mills joined Weitzman in 1992 and previously served as the company's chief financial officer.
When he isn't focusing on growing the brokerage's retail-focused market share in Texas and overall performance, Mills is dedicated to improving the quality of life for men and women in his local community. He does this by serving on the board of directors and executive committee for Turtle Creek Park and Arlington Hall Conservancy. He formerly was involved in the community-focused program known as the Dallas Police Department's New Life - Prostitute Diversion Initiative, which was designed to provide former sex workers with a second chance at a quality life.
Bisnow: What is your favorite part of your job?
Mills: The people. I enjoy working with smart, hardworking professionals who challenge themselves and others to take on new endeavors and to be the best they can be.
Bisnow: What is the worst job you ever had?
Mills: Being a loader and sorter for UPS in the summer of 1980, at the time the hottest summer in Dallas history with 69 days in a row of temperatures well over 100 degrees.
Bisnow: If you weren’t in commercial real estate, what would you do?
Mills: I would be a homebuilder. I enjoy carpentry, plumbing and electrical jobs.
Bisnow: What deal are you proudest of?
Mills: There are two — marrying my wife and getting hired at Weitzman from a newspaper ad.
Bisnow: What deal do you consider to be your biggest failure?
Mills: In 1994, we made the decision for Weitzman to go public with a real estate investment trust. At that time, capital was scarce and it was a vehicle to grow the company. When we were in a position to go to market, the bond market adversely changed, which prevented us from going public. In hindsight though, this was the best result for the company and its employees because it kept us in control of our destinies.
Bisnow: What is your biggest pet peeve?
Mills: People arriving at meetings late.
Bisnow: What is your greatest extravagance?
Mills: Travel — I love to spend time on adventures with family and friends.
Bisnow: What motivates you?
Mills: I am competitive and want to succeed in everything I do.
Bisnow: What advice do you wish you got when you started in CRE?
Mills: I wish I had received advice on how to better manage my time and delegate more efficiently.
Bisnow: What is the biggest risk you have ever taken?
Mills: Moving from the corporate environment of banking to the entrepreneurial world of commercial real estate.
Bisnow: What keeps you up at night?
Mills: Nothing — I do the best job I can do each day, have great people I work with and have trust in our ability to get the job done.
Bisnow: What is your favorite place to visit?
Mills: Maui, where I went for my honeymoon with my wife, Becky, 28 years ago. For our 25th anniversary, we returned to Maui to renew our vows.
Bisnow: Outside of work, what are you most passionate about?
Mills: My family, and I enjoy working out and playing tennis.
Bisnow: What CRE trend do you think will have the most impact over the next few years?
Mills: For retail, there are key trends that are changing our market for the better. One is the improved retail experience, which is drawing people back to the concepts that offer a value proposition and/or a great experience. Two is the redevelopment of older retail projects, which is helping retailers seeking space in dense, developed markets find quality space. And, three, the trend toward a balanced retail market that no longer has the explosive overbuilding during boom times that leads to higher vacancies during downturns.
Bisnow: What would people be surprised to learn about you?
Mills: I don’t need a lot of sleep, and I love to clean my pool, power wash and cook.
Bisnow: What do you want your legacy to be?
Mills: I am a man of my word who puts God first, family second and work third.
CORRECTION, Sept. 24, 9:39 A.M. CT: A previous version of this article misstated the name of Turtle Creek Park and the timeframe for Marshall's involvement in the New Life Prostitute Initiative. The story has been updated.