Developing Leaders Spotlight: Going the Extra Mile

Known by his commercial real estate colleagues as a driven professional with a high degree of initiative, Shawn Jaenson, a recipient of the 2022 Developing Leaders Award, is also known for exhibiting those characteristics in other areas of his life, from mentoring athletes to guiding aspirants to the elite special operations forces.

Shawn Jaenson

As senior vice president for Kidder Mathews, Jaenson specializes in the sale and leasing of industrial properties. His experience includes landlord and tenant representation, lease negotiation and administration, and advisory services for industrial clients. He averages over 140 completed transactions per year.

Prior to his time in commercial real estate, he spent nine years in the U.S. Navy as a Navy SEAL, with multiple deployments to both the Middle East and Europe. Now, he mentors and trains high school graduates actively seeking to join the special operations forces. He also coaches two lacrosse teams in his community.

In 2021, he received his company’s “Big Hitter of the Year” award, which recognizes the top 10% of brokers in the company. Jaenson is active with NAIOP’s Northern Nevada chapter and was recognized with the chapter’s Rising Star Broker of the Year Award in 2022. He also participated in the NAIOP Northern Nevada Developing Leaders Institute, an eight-month series on ground-up development that teaches future commercial real estate leaders the step-by-step process of development, from land acquisition and construction to stabilization and disposition. At the end of the course, students teamed up to present their own realistic ground-up development projects to a panel of judges.

We caught up with this distinguished young professional to find out how he became interested in commercial real estate and what he would advise others starting out in the industry.

NAIOP: What motivated you to get involved in commercial real estate?

Jaenson: I have always been fascinated with real estate and loved learning about the behind-the-scenes components that help keep our country running. As I continued to learn about warehousing and different distribution models, I knew that I wanted to be involved with what I believe to be the backbone of our economy. The more research I did into CRE, specifically industrial real estate, I realized that every deal  is intricately different and would provide incredible job satisfaction.

NAIOP: What is your most-used productivity hack?

Jaenson: My most-used productivity hack is my ability to have singular focus. I used to boast that I was a “master of multitasking,” but I realized that all I was doing was trying to make myself feel better by putting a positive spin on being unproductive. I’ve learned that by having a singular focus on the task at hand, I am often much more thoughtful and concise, and the amount of time it takes to complete individual tasks is often cut in half.

NAIOP: What is your advice for Developing Leaders early in their careers?

Jaenson: Find a mentor that is willing to share their experiences with you and when around them, be a sponge.  Absorb every bit of knowledge that you can and don’t assume you know more than them, or that you’ve found a better way to do things. They have made many mistakes, and likely enjoyed many successes, all of which will allow you to walk down a groomed path, whereas the egotistical will struggle to make their own.

NAIOP: What’s your favorite famous or inspirational quote?

Jaenson: My favorite inspirational quote is a passage from a speech given by Theodore Roosevelt on April 23, 1910, in Paris. The speech was titled “Citizenship in a Republic,” but the passage is often referred to as “The Man in the Arena.” Roosevelt talks about an individual who will stand strong in the face of adversity with no fear of failure, and who, through courage and tenacity, will endure the worst and that even in failure, will always be more than “those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Read more about the 2022 Developing Leader Award winners in Development magazine. Applications for the 2023 Developing Leaders Award are open through June 30 – apply today!

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