Owner and broker, Pearson Commercial Real Estate Services LLC
In August, W.T. Pearson started his own commercial real estate firm. The 28-year-old says it has always been his goal to work for himself.
He grew up in Naples and worked in commercial real estate in Southwest Florida for the past five years.
Pearson says the industry doesn’t have a large demographic of younger professionals but that could lead to its own opportunities. “My industry is very relationship-based, but it’s undeniable that every industry is in the process of changing due to technological advances,” he says. “Change will only increase over the foreseeable future, and to be a millennial … I think we’re a little more receptive to some of those changes.”
Growing up, Pearson had family in the real estate business, but none in commercial real estate. He started to think about the industry as a career path after two experiences.
At the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he studied business, he decided to take a real estate 101 course after he discovered a member of the real estate department was from Naples. “It really kind of hooked me,” he says.
Then he interned at a commercial real estate brokerage in Colorado, which finalized the decision for him. “I absolutely loved it.”
One aspect of his chosen career he particularly appreciates? “It’s an industry where you can be very entrepreneurial,” he says. “People want to do business with you because of who you are and what you stand for.”
Now that he’s moved back to Naples and started his own commercial real estate firm, another goal has crystallized for Pearson. “There’s a lot of value behind being the expert in your market,” he says. “I grew up in Naples, and it’s where a lot of my relationships are. I would love to be the Naples expert.”
— Grier Ferguson
Name: W.T. Pearson
City of residence: Naples
Twitter handle: @WTPearsonCRE
Employer: Pearson Commercial Real Estate Services LLC
Title: Owner and Qualifying Broker
Years on the Gulf Coast: 25
Marital status/children: Unmarried/no children
Alma mater/degree: Graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder where I studied Business Management and Real Estate
Best place to network: CCIM
Messy desk or clean workspace: Clean
Best business lesson ever learned: Time is the only thing we really have. If you aren’t making the most of it, fueling your actions with passion, you are accumulating regret.
Weirdest job you’ve ever had: Manager at a liquor store in college, there was plenty of weird stuff that went on there
A website that makes your job easier: www.stdb.com
App you use the most: Calculator
One thing you do every day: Exercise
Community group you’re most involved with: American Cancer Society
Favorite off-hours activity: Spending time with my family
Two people, dead or alive, you’d like to have dinner with: My grandfather (W.T. Starks) who is now deceased but was had a huge impact on my life, and Gary Vaynerchuk, an entrepreneur I admire
What you would be doing if you could pick another career: Diving and spearfishing instructor/charter
Top item on your bucket list: Swim with a whale shark
Your happy place is: The ocean
Your biggest fear: Regret
Favorite Ted Talk: Simon Sinek – How great leaders inspire action. “People don’t buy what you do they buy why you do it.”
Skill you’d like to learn: Learn how to fly an airplane
Who would play you in a movie about your life: Matt Damon
Describe yourself in three words: Passionate, communicative and ambitious