Position: Manager and principal
Company: Derbes Falgoust Commercial Real Estate
Family: Wife, Sandy, and two children, Berton and Hadley
Hometown: Baton Rouge
In the news:
In January, commercial real estate firm Mike Falgoust and Associates announced a partnership with New Orleans-based brokerage and management firm, Max J. Derbes Inc., to form a new company called Derbes Falgoust Commercial Real Estate. Guidry says the transition and name change will not interrupt day-to-day business operations, noting they will still be located on Jefferson Highway in Baton Rouge.
What was your very first job, how old were you and what was the biggest takeaway from the experience?
My grandfather’s saw mill, Bunkie Wood Products, in Bunkie, Louisiana. I stacked processed wood pieces there in the summer between the 6th and 7th grades. It was sweaty work under a hot tin roof. I learned the value of “real” hard work and what it’s like to start at the bottom of a company. It’s how I began my work ethic that lasts to this day.
What time do you typically get up on a workday, and what’s your ideal morning routine to get it off to a great start?
I get up between 4:30 and 5 a.m., read two newspapers, exercise and always make the bed.
At what point in your life did you decide to pursue a career in commercial real estate and what drew you to the profession?
I worked for a large industrial corporate company that went bankrupt. I saw many people lose so many invested years with the company overnight. I made it through but decided I’d rather invest in myself from then on. My parents sold real estate and I liked the commercial side.
You’ve been in commercial real estate now for more than 15 years now. What are some things you know now that you wish you would have known when you started?
That this is really a business about solving problems for clients, and that every cycle really does end … downs and ups.
In January, Mike Falgoust and Associates partnered with New Orleans-based brokerage and management firm Max J. Derbes Inc. to form a new company called Derbes Falgoust Commercial Real Estate. Aside from the name change, how will the new partnership change the firm?
We partnered with the best in the industry. It’s helped us broaden our market in every respect. I feel it will ultimately be beneficial to our agents, clients and the companies long term growth and profitability.
What’s something about your job that might surprise people?
That it’s not a selling business but a solutions business, which at times can be complex. You really have to listen well and stay knowledgeable. Knowledge is key.
What’s a leadership skill you’ve learned the hard way?
When making a business decision, consider your options wisely and thoroughly.
What are some of your hobbies or favorite things to do in your free time?
Run, bike and hike.
You’re taking me out to a business lunch in Baton Rouge. Where are you most likely to take me and what do you recommend I order?
J. Alexander’s Restaurant, where I recommend the salmon.
What’s one of the best vacations you’ve ever taken, and what’s the next vacation you’re hoping to take?
My wife and I rented an RV when the kids were young and travelled to Yellowstone, the Teton and Dinosaur National Monument. What an awesome trip. The next trip we take will probably be to the Rockies of Colorado to visit our adult kids. We also are planning a trip to Bern, Switzerland, to visit an old friend.
What kind of vehicle do you drive and what do you think it says about your personality?
I drive a Subaru Outback. It’s my wife’s old car, but I like the “doing things outdoors” image it’s noted for.
What’s one of the smartest purchases you’ve ever made? What’s one of the dumbest?
The smartest purchase was our house in Magnolia Woods. There’s too many great memories with kids and our awesome neighborhood friends to recount. It’s truly a throwback neighborhood in regard to knowing so many people in the neighborhood. The dumbest purchase was a 1978 Buick Limited that I bought in 1989.
What’s one of the luckiest things that has ever happened to you?
Meeting Sandy Nicholas, now my wife, in Cortana Mall in the 9th grade.
Can you name someone who has had a great impact on you as a leader, or someone who has been a mentor to you in your life or career? How have they changed your outlook?
Jack Cochran, my grandad, on personal character. Mike Falgoust, hands down, in my real estate career.
What is something you are absolutely determined to do in life?
To do one thing every year that requires a lot of work and effort, but when you do or achieve it, the memory of it will last for the rest of the year. That, and to strive to always do the right thing.