Celebrating Mike Brixner’s Career with Martin Selig Real Estate
Since 1958, Martin Selig Real Estate has been connecting clients with custom workspaces that help their businesses thrive. For the last 35 years, Mike Brixner has been an integral member of the MSRE family and a passionate supporter of that mission. As he heads into retirement, we caught up with the Emerald City native to hear more about his three-decade journey working with Martin Selig Real Estate and wish him well as he embraces this next chapter of life.
Question: Can you tell us about your role at MSRE and how your journey with the company began?
Answer: I’m a member of the leasing team, which means I give tours of our available spaces, respond to RFP’s [requests for proposals], and negotiate leases with tenants often via their brokers. This also means I enlist the services of an architect when needed for new office build-outs or remodels.
Prior to coming to work here, I was a real estate broker for nine years and part owner of a small local commercial and residential real estate company. But I wanted to work in the development end of the commercial real estate business and interviewed with a few companies in Seattle. While I had job offers, I really wanted to work for Martin Selig. I liked his style as a bit of a maverick and I liked his buildings.
I first contacted him in January of 1986 about working for him and periodically kept in touch. Finally in February of 1987 (13 months later) I called Martin again. He picked up the phone and said, “What? You haven’t found a job yet?” When I answered that I was waiting for him, he said: “Come on in, we might have something.”
Question: What have you learned about the company over the years?
Answer: What I’ve learned is that it takes everyone here in their various roles to keep the company humming along. From our in-house architects, engineers, building operations personnel, in-house counsel, accounting department, landscapers, janitorial, security division and all others. It’s truly a coordinated effort and works seamlessly.
Question: What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned while working with MSRE?
Answer: I quickly realized that Martin is the biggest, “big picture” guy I’ve ever known and doesn’t agonize over decisions or concern himself with day-to-day minutia. Maintaining good relationships with tenants is very important. Martin is loyal to his tenants, working with them when needed. That’s why his tenants remain loyal to him. I’ve heard tenants say, “Why would anyone lease space from anyone other than Martin?”
Question: What is your favorite building in the MSRE portfolio and why?
Answer: 4th & Blanchard. It’s a Denny regrade landmark with its distinctive design and a bit quirky. The tenants at Blanchard seem more fun too and lack big egos. I have become friends with many of Blanchard’s tenants, some of whom are original to the building.
Question: What’s your fondest memory of working at MSRE?
Answer: Working here is simply fun. Everyone gets along so well, and we share the same goals for our buildings and the tenants. Every day you can hear laughter throughout the floor. We realize how fortunate we are to work with such an extraordinary icon in the industry. I have so many fond, unforgettable memories, beginning with my time at Columbia Center and now. I am so happy and proud to see my son in my old office. So many employees here have been here for decades.
When I interviewed with Martin, he told me that his company is “a nice little family.” Well, it’s much bigger now. But if I ever need answers to any question, I simply need to walk down the hall to ask.
I will always value the family-like relationships I have made here. We’ve been through much over the years from marriages, divorces, births and death, always supportive of one another. Martin is extremely generous and loyal to his employees and that loyalty is returned to him. I always appreciated the work atmosphere where we have few meetings and a great deal of freedom to do the best we can for the good of the company, while being given every tool we need to do our job.
Question: What are your current plans for the future?
Answer: Spending more time on Whidbey island and Palm Springs, playing golf and traveling here and abroad.
The entire Martin Selig Real Estate family thanks Mike for the many years he has spent making an indelible impact on his tenants and the buildings these businesses have been proud to call home. We are honored to have his son, Michael Brixner, continue his legacy on our team and wish him all the best on his adventures ahead.