Jeff Dunne // Vice Chairman, CBRE, Inc.
Jeff Dunne is not one to be cocooned at home after a hard day at the office. Instead, Dunne, vice chairman of Stamford, Connecticut-based CBRE, Inc., prefers to spend the evening out with his wife, mixing with the people.
“I love to go out every night. If my wife and I don’t have something going on, I’ll create something.” Whether it’s dinner, a movie or comedy show, or going away on the weekend, Dunne says he’d rather socialize than, well, veg. “I don’t like to sit at home.”
Sure, he gets that some need a respite from the rat race. “Some people would rather go home and take a break from others, but I like to be active almost every night,” notes Dunne, who, fittingly perhaps, is particularly fond of action movies—especially anything featuring Matt Damon. “If it’s a serious movie, and you have to think too much, it’s probably not for me,” he chuckles.
While it all might seem exhaustive, Dunne, who’s also active with several charities, thinks his personality lends itself well to the workplace and helps spike his level of productivity. “Our business involves talking to and dealing with people. Whether it’s over the phone, in person, or preparing for a presentation, I’m constantly in front of very powerful, very successful people with big personalities. I’m passionate about what I do and think my enthusiasm comes through when I’m dealing with them,” says Dunne, who, along with his 11-member team, sold over 9 million square feet last year.
He also enjoys problem resolution, which comes in handy especially nowadays “with most people finding reasons not to do deals,” he says. “It’s important to effectively communicate compelling stories and work through people’s objections. We’re selling a compelling rationale for a client to buy and why they should pay what they’re paying. It’s a matter of not letting obstacles get in the way of an ultimate closing.”
It’s not always easy, but Dunne’s ready. “Sometimes you have to convince an owner to accept something they’re not ready to accept. We might not get them to agree to everything we want them to do; it’s getting them across the finish line and to bend their position. It seems, in this world, we spend more time doing that because people are nervous, concerned with the way things are going, so they hesitate. They’re not 'all in,' so to speak.”
As in, “in for the evening”? Dunne wouldn’t hear of it.