There’s a word in his official job title that executive managing director and market leader for Newmark Knight Frank’s (NKF) Phoenix office, Mike Garlick, is still getting used to embracing – ‘executive’.

“I don’t see myself as the ‘executive’ type,” said Garlick. “I’m very devoted to my staff, because they are the people that do so much of the work.

“Yes, I’m an executive, yet, really, my main goal is to create a work environment that’s a little different – a fun and collaborative office space for our professionals to come in to every day.”

Garlick was awarded the executive managing director title one year ago, in January of 2018. He had spent the previous four years at NKF, working alongside his brokerage team – Michael McQuaid, Chris Krewson, Jimmy Hoselton and Janel Wangsness. That team is still robust as ever, even with Garlick assuming his executive role.

“When I was tapped for the job, I said ‘As long as I can maintain my team and my production, I’d love to do it’,” Garlick said. “I’m excited about the direction that NKF is going in. I’m a team-oriented guy, a collaborative guy and still a player-coach. My livelihood and passion are rooted in my team, so it is important to me to continue to build and grow my business in that avenue as well.”

NKF has a unique management structure, where executives, like Garlick, can often continue to work in broker roles. Granted, Garlick does have some added responsibilities, such as an emphasis on recruiting potential new brokers, yet he still maintains his focus on the needs of his clients.

“I understand what it means to be in the trenches, which is an important differentiator to clients, brokers and recruits, alike. My goal is to grow the office with intention and bring on collaborative, talented brokers; we’re very strategic with who we bring on.”

“Recruiting can be a challenge, but it is an exciting challenge,” Garlick said. “All of the brokers I’m recruiting are my peers whom I respect. I have a relationship with 95 percent of the recruits, so approaching them is the easy part.”

Garlick’s team-first attitude can be traced back to his days at Phoenix Brophy Preparatory, where he was a two-year starter on the Broncos soccer team. After he graduated from the University of Arizona, Garlick, urged by his father, started his first job in 1993 as an office researcher in the commercial real estate industry. In the days before the internet, Garlick tracked office data by hand, making calls to brokers and compiling a quarterly report of office listings over 10,000 square feet as well as recording the changes in absorption.

“I would get in my car and drive to every single office building in the city over 10,000 square feet and check the sign to see if it was the same person listing it,” Garlick said. “I would drive the market, the entire market, and then I would come back to the office and make my calls.”

Garlick’s proven attention to detail and his work ethic helped him to continue to move up in the industry. He made the move from researcher to runner – a junior position – for a leading brokerage team. After two years as a runner, Garlick became a broker and, ultimately made the move to a new brokerage firm. Garlick, an associate, became a principal in just 14 months, the firm’s fastest associate-to-principal transition in the history of its Phoenix office. In 2014, Garlick and long-time team members, McQuaid and Krewson, were recruited to NKF, where they grew their team by two more.

Garlick’s positive, friendly personality; natural people skills; and perception as a leader within the office made him an excellent fit for the executive managing director position, as the position is people-centric and has an important focus on recruiting brokers.