Company: Cameron Butcher Commercial Real Estate
Years in business: 7
First Client: Gary Bjornstud. Sold him 30 acres of land on Drennan Road.
Most memorable deal: Selling the original Compassion International headquarters and land off Austin Bluffs Parkway to the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs campus. In addition to being a good deal, Compassion International is one of the best clients a broker could ever hope for.
Sound byte: “What I’d like to know, is where does all the money come from? Specifically, to buy all the expensive houses in this area that keep going up in price. I mean, in spite of all the layoffs in the last couple of years, the market keeps growing and new developments are coming out of the ground every day. Thankfully, the commercial market is following suit and we are beginning to see demand, activity and deals close.”
Personal Passions: Family, church and golf.
The commercial real estate market in Colorado Springs has been struggling for years to make a name for itself and people like Sam Cameron are glad for the recent changes.
“I got my degree in agricultural management from Clinterty Agricultural School in Aberdeen, Scotland,” he said. “My intentions were to manage my family’s farms, which I did for a few years.” In 1982, after being married less than a year, Sam and his wife Helen moved from Scotland to Atlanta, Ga. The move prompted him to start his own company in 1983. Perimeter Solutions worked with commercial real estate companies, commercial property management firms and several large fast food franchises. “The company did quite well for itself, and I ended up selling it in 1997,” he said.
Cameron and Helen (who also is a commercial real estate broker) wanted a change in life for their three girls, so they moved to Colorado Springs, that same year. “Helen and I believe that God has a plan for our lives and after much prayer and seeking we truly believe God led us here and ordained our steps,” he said.
The next step was only logical to Cameron. Having worked with commercial real estate brokers in Georgia, “I wanted independence. Commercial real estate brokerage has given me that opportunity.”
He started his career with the London Group Inc. Because of philosophical reasons, Cameron and his partner Kevin Butcher sold their two-thirds interest in the company and headed out on their own. Cameron Butcher Commercial Real Estate opened in February 2004.
“Put your clients’ needs before your own,” Cameron said. “Your customers are your best success.” That is a philosophy that works for Cameron and made him Realtors Commercial Industrial Society (RCIS) Broker of the Year. Their company specializes in brokerage, investment group syndications and development. They have a select group of clients and have an ownership interest in most of the properties and developments they represent.
Cameron’s advice for anyone looking to break into the commercial brokerage business: “Don’t expect overnight success. Be patient, work hard and diligent. The long term payoffs will be well worth it.”
He also said that you should “plan ahead and keep yourself well-funded. It’s important that you’ve saved enough to live off the first and second year. It’s very important for long term planning.”
When Cameron first broke into the business, he got the best advice he could get. It came from Keith Ketelsen, who at the time was the managing broker for Palmer-McAllister. Cameron claims it works every time. What was the advice? “Bottom line, look after clients first. Their needs are more important than the bottom line. Yours will come. Use this as theory, instead of working for commission.”
Cameron’s success just goes to show that if you “provide exceptional service to your customers you’ll have more business than you can handle.” That’s Cameron’s motto and it seems to be working for him.
– Catherine Sportsman