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Hardworkin' Broker

Updated: May 17

What does it mean to be hardworking these days? Has it really changed over time? More so than previous generations, those in Gen Z are likely to start their own business. My daughter, Halie, started her own business while in college. Although that isn’t my story, I have no regrets on the hardworking years it took me to get where I am now. But starting your own business and doing what needs to be done on a daily basis to be successful, is hard work.

Jeff smiling giving a thumbs up in a CAT wheel loader

It's not a surprise that I modeled CEG after my experiences in the commercial real estate business. It was a “roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty” kind of start, one grounded in the philosophy of “figure it out.” So, how does that play out in my daily hardworkin’ life now? I wear a lot of different hats. Here’s what I mean:

1. My title says owner and broker. Both are big jobs. One is about helping clients meet their business and investment goals through commercial real estate. The other carries a mentoring responsibility. I have people on my team that are experts in their field, but I also bring on people new to the business. It’s about giving back and helping others succeed. It’s a lot to manage, and it’s great to have a solid team to help. Thinking about a captain’s hat reminds me of this video on leadership I’ve shared before.

2. With CEG Management, a property management company for our investments––and depending what’s going on––I sometimes have to fix things myself. I don’t mind. John Allen modeled that for me early. Tenants are your client, your customer. They’re the ones paying your mortgage. It’s good for them to see the owner cares, so sometimes you’ve got to miss football (or whatever 😆) and go fix a toilet. Or something that requires a hard hat.

3. I’ve written about CRE investing multiple times. In Piece of the Pie, I talked about how I got started. Well, that one investment opportunity has turned into many. One morning, I may drive to St. Cloud to look at an industrial park and in the afternoon, check on a local building we own. The investments keep me busy. Building wealth can take time, especially when you start from humble beginnings. I find my CEG baseball hat is a good one to wear to keep the sun out of my eyes and focus on the road (and of course, buildings passing by 😀)

Jeff smiling in front of CEG M while wearing a CEG hat.

4. I’m a member of BNI Absolute Connections (Business Network International), the world's largest business networking and referral organization. We meet every week, and here, I wear my networking hat. It’s a time commitment, but one that is worth it. I’ve made great connections, and it’s energizing to be part of a group of people helping each other.

5. Last, but definitely not least, is family. I’m a dad of two––one eight and one in her twenties. That means I’m up at 5 am, get Levi to school at 7 am, and back in the office for 7:30 yoga. After the office closes up, I may be at Halie’s new old house, fixing something, or on the football practice sidelines with Levi. But I love wearing my dad hat. It’s the coolest.


As I think about my life, I'm grateful for my family, my experiences, and Commercial Equities Group. From managing a real estate business to mentoring, fixing things, and being a dedicated dad, I'm still a hardworkin' broker. I wear may hats, and it suits me.

Smiling Jeff

Jeff Salzbrun is the owner/broker of Commercial Equities Group (CEG). As a veteran-owned real estate brokerage, CEG has been involved in thousands of sale and lease transactions, ranging from single offices to 250,000+ square foot buildings. At CEG, we get your deal done. We know space, and we know the CRE business.

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1 Comment

Todd Rooker
Todd Rooker
Sep 14, 2023

This was a fabulous true to life article. Residential and commercial real estate agents have very little in common with one another. At the upper levels, the Commercial Real Estate sales and broker business can be and, often is, populated by a high brow lineage from one generation to the next. Kind of like, the fourth generation Wall Streeters who showed up in my college finance classes wearing monogramed shirts and solid gold cuff links (can you tell it still pisses me off!) whose positions were waiting for them at levels I could only dream of. Yet in commercial real estate the brokers are many times working with self-made business owners they have little in common with. Jeff is Truel…

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