In his own words: Jeffrey Lowden of Sky West Real Estate
NNBW: Tell us about Sky West Real Estate Services and your position.
Jeffrey Lowden: Sky West was established in 1999 in Los Angeles. We are a commercial real estate investment, development, management and brokerage company. We set up a subsidiary, Sky West Brokerage, Inc., in Nevada in 2000. Our main focus is management, investment, leasing and sales. I delegate and manage a variety of teams and oversee each group. I also handle investors and investor relationships for the company.
NNBW: How did you get into the profession?
Lowden: I got my MBA in real estate and construction management from the University of Denver. When I graduated in 1990 I started carrying lumber on residential construction jobs in Caughlin Ranch for Fred Altmann of Altmann Construction. I then worked with Lands of Sierra, a subsidiary of Sierra Pacific Power Company, as a financial analyst. I also worked with at Weyerhauser Mortgage in Reno, which taught me the mortgage and lending business. I was a top producer prior to my moving in 1994 to Los Angeles.
NNBW: What are your greatest strengths?
Lowden: My greatest strengths are my faith in God, and my family for allowing me the time to work and build a successful company.
NNBW: Tell us about your dream job? Why aren’t you working it?
Lowden: I chased tournament golf for over 10 years. My dream job would be to have a team that did all the work and supported me so I could make a million dollars a week playing on tour. I still chase my golf passions because golf is a part of life and it teaches so many lessons within one’s self. You can never beat golf; you can only win once in a while.
NNBW: Have you any advice for someone who wants to enter your career?
Lowden: I was told that if you do something for 10,000 hours you become a master. I am not sure if that applies to commercial real estate, but having spent 23 years in commercial real estate I think the best advice is work with a mentor who will guide and teach you. Also, put your own money at risk because you will learn more when you have your own money on the line.
NNBW: What was your first job?
Lowden: I was a janitor for my dad. Out of college I worked as a broker’s assistant in Phoenix.
NNBW: What is the best advice anyone ever gave you?
Lowden: My mother Toni taught me when I was in college at Arizona State to set goals and review them. What happens when you set personal goals is your subconscious mind starts to go to work and they begin to happen. It takes practice and dedication, but we are all here to be creators and you are missing life if you don’t create. Goals help you get from point A to point B, and the more you do it the better you get at it.
NNBW: What are you favorite hobbies or pastimes? How do you spend your time away from work?
Lowden: My buddy Dave Bryeans is the predominant fly fisherman in Nevada. I enjoy a day with him because he has it all dialed in. Matt Sweitzer is getting me back into hunting and he takes me to his ranch in the Sacramento River Delta for ducks and water fowl. I chase the golf ball all year and take time off from October through January, then I am back on the course. I really enjoy working in my yard and have set up a big garden to teach the kids self-sufficiency. As a family we really enjoy traveling, and as our kids get older it will be fun to visit exotic places together.
NNBW: If you had enough money to retire right now, would you? Why or why not?
Lowden: No. Life is about learning and growing, and I am far from done. Once I have a nice nest egg I want to give back by going into politics and help this country. I think my last phase in my life will be to lead and give it back, but I only would go into politics if I had the financial means that I did not take from the system.
NNBW: If you could hold on to just one memory for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Lowden: Sunset at Pebble Beach.
NNBW: Why did you choose a career in northern Nevada? What do you like most about working/living here?
Lowden: Lots of things. No. 1 it is easy to get around and easy to get to anywhere on the West Coast — that is a huge plus. You have got a relaxed quality of life here and it’s a relaxed place to raise your kids. You have the four seasons, and we don’t have any really hard seasons; we have fun seasons. They are just enough.
Know someone whose perspective you would like to share with NNBW readers? Email reporter Rob Sabo at email@example.com or call him at 775-850-2146.
Tiffiany Howard, a UNLV professor and recent Congressional Black Caucus Foundation senior research fellow, is the lead author of the study aimed at identifying ways banks can help support and invest in Black entrepreneurs.