Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in real estate but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jonathan Keyser, Founder of Keyser, located in Scottsdale, AZ, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Keyser is a groundbreaking commercial real estate firm that helps companies across the globe with their office, industrial, medical and retail space needs. We specifically serve tenants and occupiers of space, never landlords or developers.

Tell us about yourself

I grew up as a missionary kid with two amazing parents, but I grew up poor. For the longest time, I told myself I would do whatever it took when I grew up so that I didn't have to be poor any longer. I got into commercial real estate because a buddy of mine told me that was the path to wealth. The industry, though, is very competitive— and I thought for me to succeed, I had to be ruthless. That mentality couldn't be further from the truth... so I reinvented myself and wrote a book to describe how I did it and how you can do it too. Today, what motivates me is seeing Keyser's success grow through my team's selfless service mentality.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

There are plenty of awards and accolades that Keyser has been awarded, from "The Commercial Real Estate Disruptor" by USA Today to a #1 Best Selling Author from the Wall Street Journal to an Inc. 5000 company, but I feel the most significant sense of accomplishment when I look at my team and see kind, intelligent people who believe in the power of selfless service as a business strategy.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

One of the hardest things that come with any leadership role is having to make the decision and move forward when someone on the team isn't a good fit. At Keyser, we prioritize culture and teamwork, and unfortunately, that means I've had to help some people I really, truly care about find a different path.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Ruthless is never the way.
  2. A fish rots from its head.
  3. Be selective with who you invite to help you build your vision.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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