CRE’s Fifty Under 40
David Plummer is chosen for this year’s 50 Under 40.
David Plummer, vice president of leasing and brokerage for Retail Specialists, has been named to the Globe St. CRE Fifty Under 40 list for 2023. Plummer has been with Retail Specialists since 2012 and is one of the top tenant representation brokers in the state of Alabama.
In this article, he is interviewed by Globe St. about his career in retail real estate.
Do you believe your generation brings a different outlook or perspective to the real estate industry? If so, how would you characterize this perspective? In other words, what could the industry learn from the Under 40s?
I believe a new generation of CRE professionals will always bring a fresh and often new perspective that almost always has a big impact on how the CRE industry operates. This certainly includes millennials, who I believe are responsible for pushing technology to the level of integration it’s at within the CRE industry today.
What advice would you offer to younger colleagues looking to rise up the ranks in the RE industry?
My biggest piece of advice for those entering the industry would be for them to understand that deals take time and don’t all work out, but the relationships you make along the way will always be your most valuable asset, and the key to success within the industry. Great clients make the business fun and truly fulfilling.
What are you most proud of in your career to date?
I am extremely proud and grateful to have clients that I consider to be friends, and colleagues who I call family. These relationships have given me the opportunity to represent some of the most sought-after and desired retailers as they expand into Alabama and surrounding markets including BJ’s Wholesale, Dave & Busters, AutoZone, Signet Jewelers, Heartland Dental, Dutch Bros, and more.
What are your goals for the longer term?
Honestly, my longer-term goals don’t really differ much from my short-term goals, as I truly just want to continue doing what I love. There are clearly ups and downs in the CRE industry, but I don’t believe there would be any sweeter feeling than being able to look back and celebrate the successes and say that I truly enjoyed the ride.
Anything else you would like to add?
It doesn’t matter where you’re from, who you are, or how much money your family has to be successful in this industry. However, persistence, and hard work with an ethical approach does.
Conventional wisdom says that to have a successful career you need a tight cadre of informal advisors. What would be your hypothetical A-Team of advisers that every CRE professional needs to have?
I would consider an ideal A-Team of advisors to be a small group of successful, ethical, and morally grounded individuals that one can unequivocally trust. There is nothing better than having these allies that you can go to for advice, help, or guidance whenever needed.
Retail Specialists VP of leasing and brokerage David Plummer is one of the top tenant representation brokers in Alabama, representing clients including BJ’s Wholesale, Dave and Buster’s, AutoZone, Dutch Bros Coffee, Heartland Dental, Fresenius Medical Care and Kay Jewelers.
Plummer had been the tenant rep in Alabama for BJ’s Wholesale for nearly a decade, and though the retailer had done multiple site tours over the years, it hadn’t signed a lease to open a store in the state. True to his approach to building lasting relationships with clients, Plummer remained patient and attentive. Recently, the wholesaler announced its first store in Madison, AL with Plummer serving as the tenant rep broker for the deal.
As VP of leasing and brokerage, Plummer is a part of Retail Specialists’ leadership team, acting as the voice for the leasing and tenant rep teams. He regularly mentors younger associates who are starting their careers in commercial real estate, helping to define their goals, and outlining the path to achieve them. When there was a slowdown during the pandemic, Plummer made sure each of his clients knew that he was there to help renegotiate leases and was there to act as a strategic advisor when tenants changed their real estate strategy. For example, his long-time clients Kay Jewelers and Zale’s chose to shift from inside malls to off-mall locations. Plummer carried out that strategy in Louisiana and Alabama, finding the right off-mall locations that made monetary sense for his clients.
Plummer got his start in commercial real estate working as an office leasing agent for Boxer Properties in Houston in 2011, where he says he found his passion in life. He returned to Birmingham in 2012 to begin his career with Retail Specialists, focusing on the retail sector.
About Retail Specialists
Retail Specialists, LLC is the premier retail real estate services firm in the south. We are committed to long-term relationships in property management, retail representation, development, leasing, and brokerage. Founded in 2005, we’ve thrived through tough times and shine under pressure. A unique mix of experience, technology, and data have proven successful in a business we love.