We’re Your Team
At Martin Selig Real Estate, we’re more than just colleagues. We work hard and we like to have a lot of fun together. As you get to know our team, you’ll see that many of us have been with the company for 20 or 30 years, while others are fresh and eager to learn. All of us chose Martin Selig Real Estate for the same reason—it’s like family.
Over the past six decades, Martin Selig has turned his two person company into a billion dollar enterprise. He’s built his business (and much of the city) from the ground up, and he’s not stopping anytime soon.
So what’s his secret to doing business? Martin won’t tell, but some might say it’s the structure of his company: everything comes back to him. Where some developers have boards, partners, and commissions, Martin and Martin alone is at the helm of his ship. This enables him to make quick decisions and never keep people waiting. His advice to any aspiring entrepreneurs? Do it how he did: Jump in the deep and and see if you can swim.
While most people are either creative types or number gurus, Martin is an anomaly: he’s a creative spirit with billionaire business sense. His door is always open, and if his team needs anything, they need only enter his corner office with glass walls and a bird’s eye view of the city he’s built. Compared to other commercial real estate companies, he adds, his team has a lot more fun.
Martin’s favorite project is always his current project, and he’s happiest when there’s a hole in the ground, on its way to becoming the next addition to Seattle’s skyline. He’s also an artist and art connoisseur. He’s made many contributions to Seattle’s art scene, from the giant popsicle statue outside his property on 4th and Blanchard, to the Botero sculpture outside the old Federal Reserve Building, to the John Henry “Songbird” Sculpture at 5th and Yesler, to the Barbara Hepworth “Three Obliques” at 645 Elliott, and the list goes on.
Martin got into the real estate business in 1958 because “he didn’t trust the stock market.” His team likens him to The Wizard of Oz and Walt Disney: someone with unparalleled imagination who’s unafraid to think outside the box. If he has a goal, he won’t stop until he’s achieved it. They say the reason for the company’s success is easy: it’s Martin. There’s only one Martin Selig.
Though Martin has called the Emerald City home for his entire life, he wasn’t born here: he and his family escaped Nazi Germany in 1940 by sneaking onto the Trans Siberian Railroad. They travelled through Europe and Asia by train, then boarded a boat bound for San Francisco from Japan. When their ship entered Elliott Bay the mountains were out and the sun was shining, so on a whim, his family ended their journey in Seattle. This place is Martin’s home, and he’s been here ever since. In his spare time, he enjoys riding motorcycles, skiing, and painting.
With nearly 40 years of experience as a leasing agent, few agents know the business as well as Mike Brixner. When you work with Mike, you’re working with an agent who believes in “Win Win Win” deals. After graduating from Gonzaga Law School, Mike decided to apply his legal background to a career in commercial real estate. His primary focus is to negotiate contracts that bring the most value to all parties involved. For more than three decades, he’s created top notch deals across the city to keep tenants happy and to create long term mutually beneficial relationships. He loves working at Martin Selig Real Estate because of how Martin runs the company and because his team members are “the smartest people in the world.” From architects to engineers, project managers to in-house legal counsel, he says his team is the city’s best and can answer any question you throw at them.
A native Seattleite, Mike loves the city for the seafood, the water, and the lifelong friends he has here. When he’s not working, he enjoys reading, playing golf, and spending time on Whidbey Island. He’s also passionate about travel and he and his wife were the first American couple ever be married in Seattle’s French sister city, Nantes.
Theresa Howard, recently named one of the 15 Most Powerful Women in Seattle Real Estate by Biznow, has been with Martin Selig Real Estate for 35 years. She’s a lifelong Seattleite whose dedication to her tenants and years of experience put her among the best in the industry. From tenant support to mentoring junior team members, Theresa is committed to giving the most to the people she works with. She loves her job because she enjoys working with tenants, problem solving, and the community she’s built during her time with the company. There are only two people who have been with the company longer, she says, and one of them is Martin.
Theresa says she can count the number of women in commercial real estate on two hands, but that doesn’t slow her down. She often thinks like her male counterparts in order to succeed in a predominantly male industry. Women are shattering glass ceilings, she says, but there’s still a lot of headway to be made in commercial real estate.
When she isn’t working at Martin Selig Real Estate, you’ll probably find Theresa running along Seattle’s waterfront, poolside in Arizona, or at home with her two golden retrievers.
Since he joined Martin Selig Real Estate in 2010, Ilich Vahimi has brought his knowledge of architecture, construction project management, and a dedicated approach to tenants to the team. Ilich takes a holistic approach as a leasing agent. His ability to discuss unique spaces and noteworthy building design paired with his commitment to building relationships with his tenants and dedication to finding the best solution sets him apart. He spent years learning the ins and outs of the business directly from Martin Selig. That means when you work with Ilich, you’re getting Martin’s years of knowledge, the point of view of a trained architect, and a leasing agent who makes your needs his first priority.
Ilich spent most of his life in Canada, but he says these days crossing the border into Washington feels more like coming home. When he’s not working, he’s a huge sports fan and enjoys playing hockey. He’s also been a serial entrepreneur for most of his life, ranging from starting a construction company in high school, to his most recent endeavour of creating the acQuaMD, a device to remove water stuck in your ears to help prevent swimmer’s ear, ear infections, and aural disease. He’s also an avid traveler, and Bora Bora, Tahiti is the next destination on his list.
For Michael Brixner, customer service is the top priority. He strives to bring the highest value and best experience to all of his his tenants. Because Martin Selig directly employs all building operations personnel, Michael says, they are able to respond quickly to tenants’ needs and requests. This structure makes operations more efficient and enables him to build long term relationships with tenants.
Michael loves working at Martin Selig Real Estate because though it’s a hugely successful commercial real estate operation, it still feels like a mom and pop shop. He joined the company in 2015 and being the newest guy on the team, he says he benefits from mentorship from his team members who have been in the industry for decades.
Michael’s goals for the company moving forward are to continue to deliver the best service to his tenants and to continue Martin’s vision of the Seattle skyline. When he’s not working, the lifelong Seattleite is known to make the most of the summer months by hiking, golfing and playing softball, hit the slopes in the winter and loves to travel when he can.
Jordan Selig has been interested in commercial real estate for as long as she can remember. As Martin Selig’s youngest daughter, Jordan grew up in the office. After graduating from Columbia University, where she studied environmental policy, Selig started to see how her passion for sustainability could play an important role in the future of commercial real estate.
Selig started her career in Berlin, Germany, where she put her studies into action by ecologically renovating pre-war buildings across the city. In 2013, she returned to Seattle as MSRE’s Managing Director. She has since been a key player in shaping the future of the company her father built from the ground up.
Jordan’s goals for MSRE moving forward include bringing all of the projects they have in the pipeline now into reality. She is also a Board Member of the Seattle 2030 District, an organization that aims to dramatically reduce environmental impacts of building construction and operations through education and collaboration across every sector of the built environment.
In the future, Jordan plans to uphold the values upon which MSRE was built, by providing their clients with top notch customer service and cultivating strong relationships with tenants. What she’s learned about commercial real estate from her father, she says, could fill a thousand-page novel.
“Do not miss the forest for the trees,” she said, on lessons her father has taught her. “Never burn bridges. View the glass as being half full. Listen more than you speak. Think outside the box. Never sell, and above all, follow your passion.”
Read more about Jordan Selig on our blog.