Meet James McCombs, sales and leasing agent at Guiderock Commercial Realty, LLC.
Tell us a little about your business. – Guiderock is a commercial real estate firm providing services for business owners and investors. We aim to build stronger businesses and communities through sound commercial real estate practices and advocacy for local businesses.
How did you get started in the business? – I grew up around the commercial real estate industry, with it being the family business. One of my first jobs was marketing and demographic research at McCombs Commercial Realty. I fell into accounting when I was 17 and worked in that field until last year when I decided I was looking for a change of pace. I saw what Cathy Kottwitz was doing at Guiderock, focusing on representing local businesses, and I thought that it would be a great opportunity to help strengthen my community.
What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? – My time at Kiewit was extremely impactful. Working there gave me a ton of opportunities to really understand what makes businesses successful. I was able to be a part of innumerable internal groups to improve operational efficiency, work environments, business planning, and was able to speak in front of the entire company about how I approach problem solving. That experience has proved to be translatable to commercial real estate in so many ways and has really allowed me to better understand my clients’ needs.
What is your favorite quote or the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – When I was preparing for my first professional interview at The Williams Group, my dad gave me a piece of advice. He said, “Don’t ever stop looking for the pink house.” When we first moved into my childhood home, there was (and still is) a bright pink house at the end of the street. For the first few years, I noticed that house a lot. However, over time, it began to just blend into the neighborhood. The same concept often applies to how people look at challenges in their work—things seem odd or ineffective at first, but they gradually grow accustomed to the “pink houses”. My dad’s advice was to never stop questioning things, and that advice has always helped me add value in every facet of my work.
If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be? – I would say “creative”, but not in the traditional Van Gogh sense of the word. I truly enjoy finding unique and outside-the-box solutions to problems, especially when some of the unique solutions can add a bit of flair and provide additional value, even beyond what the immediate goal was.
What is your favorite movie? – The Pursuit of Happiness. The entire movie is predicated on the concept of hope and how powerful it can be. It’s heart-wrenching, but it’s also incredibly moving and inspiring.
What is your favorite local restaurant? – Lincoln is impressively well-rounded with food options, so I don’t think I could pick just one. For Mexican, it would have to be Copal. Desserts would be The Cookie Company, and pizza would be Yia Yia’s. Oh, and I can’t forget Daffodil when it comes to Mediterranean.
If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be? – Tiger Woods. I think having a conversation surrounding the psychology of consistent excellence, and what it takes to be able to push yourself to perform at that level day in and day out, would be enlightening.