CBRE, Inc’s Aiman Noursoultanova
Northern Nevada Business Weekly: Tell us about your company and the duties of your position.
Aiman Noursoultanova: CBRE, Inc. is the world’s largest and oldest commercial real estate company. I head up the investment services group in Reno which is a part of CBRE’s Capital Markets division, focused on investor and buyer representation in buying and selling leased commercial assets including office buildings, retail centers and apartment communities.
NNBW: How did you get into this profession?
Noursoultanova: After graduating from UNR’s MBA program, I was looking to enter a challenging industry that would allow me to integrate the financial industry aspect into my job, and the position in CBRE’s investment properties group allowed me to participate in just that type of an industry.
NNBW: What do you enjoy most about working in your field?
Noursoultanova: I enjoy the diversity, the challenge of the transactional and advisory role as well as the touch and feel of real life buildings and structures.
NNBW: What is the most challenging part about your job?
Noursoultanova: The biggest challenge is making sure that you hold your own and have enough confidence in your knowledge and abilities while interacting with some of the world’s most sophisticated investors and colleagues.
NNBW: What advice would you give to someone who wants to get into your profession?
Noursoultanova: Get as much education and training as your company will allow and support; always try to be more over-prepared than anyone expects you to be.
NNBW: What was the best advice anyone ever gave you either professionally or personally?
Noursoultanova: The best professional advice I’ve received was during CBRE University training classes where some of the nation’s most talented folks in the industry were coaching us. The advice was to take risks, work hard and remind yourself — “When you die, what do you want your tombstone to say?”
NNBW: Has there been someone who was especially influential in helping you establish your career or in reaching your higher goals? If so, who and how?
Noursoultanova: One of my first mentors was Michael Schnabel who hired me to join CBRE’s local team 16 years ago and taught me how to be tough and position myself for success. Other managing directors and leaders within CBRE such as Scott Kaplan supported me and gave me advice and feedback that helped me grow.
NNBW: Do you belong to any professional/networking organizations? How has membership benefitted your career?
Noursoultanova: One of my favorite organizations in the industry is CREW – Commercial Real Estate Women. I was one of several founding members of the Northern Nevada Chapter. This organization allowed me to develop and strengthen my leadership skills and develop long lasting relationships and dear friends within the local commercial real estate industry. The other organization is CCIM – Certified Commercial Investment Member – this organization helped me to further my education in the technical and transactional aspects of the industry and gave me opportunities for continuing to develop leadership skills by serving on the board and serving as president. They are a fantastic group of the top leaders in the local industry.
NNBW: Is there any educational advancement that is essential for someone in your career field?
Noursoultanova: Absolutely. CCIM helped me grow in this aspect and I do believe it’s a must for anyone considering a career in commercial real estate.
NNBW: What are your hobbies? How do you spend your time away from work?
Noursoultanova: You can find me on tennis courts and these days I play with my kids rather than on a team. but I will be back once my kids grow up.
NNBW: Do you have a favorite vacation spot?
Noursoultanova: Tuscany, Italy and Riviera Maya in Mexico.
NNBW: Is there a place around the world you have never been to that you would like to visit?
Noursoultanova: Absolutely. India is fascinating, especially Rajastan.
NNBW: If you had enough money to retire right now, would you? Why or why not?
Noursoultanova: I would. I would then join the UN and volunteer and help worldwide.
NNBW: If you had the chance to have dinner with someone, who would that be and why?
Noursoultanova: I’d say Roger Federer. He’s one of the world’s best athletes, and it would be interesting to see what gives him the edge and motivation to be and stay the best.
NNBW: What is a unique characteristic or attribute about yourself that makes you stand apart from other people?
Noursoultanova: Determination and stubbornness to achieve your goals. Without those I would have given up when things got tough.
NNBW: Last concert or sporting event attended?
Noursoultanova: Last week I saw three Broadway shows and every time I thought each one was the best — Book of Mormon, Wicked, and Kinky Boots. Fantastic, liberating and inspiring!
NNBW: How do you manage your time between the responsibilities of your profession and your personal life?
Noursoultanova: I’m not sure I’ve mastered this aspect yet. It’s a process, and it’s constantly evolving. Prioritizing and keeping a tight schedule works well for me, and if I’m not at an industry event then I’m usually at a tennis or soccer practice.
NNBW: Why did you choose a career in northern Nevada? What do you like about living/working here?
Noursoultanova: Northern Nevada offers a more relaxing lifestyle and is not as hectic as the Bay Area, for example, but working at CBRE still allows me access to a company that’s a leader on a worldwide scale.