Rare is the individual who has figured out by age 16 what they want to be when they grow up.
Philip Schmidt is one of them.
While attending Little Rock Catholic High School, Schmidt began his career in commercial real estate in 2005 with a summer internship at Orion Capital Partners. The company, whose partners included John Flake of Little Rock-based Flake & Kelley Commercial, was founded that same year and developed more than $50 million in projects in central Arkansas.
It also had a Northwest Arkansas office, which was involved in some of the early development at The Blessings in Johnson.
“That really got me going on wanting to pursue real estate in college,” said Schmidt, who called Flake a longtime family friend and mentor. “The development process, in particular. I just loved the business.”
Schmidt, the middle child among three brothers, completed two additional summer internships with Flake & Kelley in 2007 and 2009, and graduated with a real estate degree from the University of Mississippi in December 2009.
He accepted a job offer immediately and went to work the following month at Flake & Kelley’s Northwest Arkansas office in Springdale. Because of his prior internships and experience, Schmidt was given a handful of listings to work on his own, and brokered a few small deals fairly quickly.
“We felt very comfortable allowing him to work independently on some significant accounts,” Flake said. “He was totally committed to this business.”
Today, Schmidt’s average number of transactions — a primary metric of success among commercial real estate agents — has exceeded 30 in each of the past two years.
His focus includes brokerage, leasing, landlord representation and representation of national tenants who are interested in expanding into Northwest Arkansas.
A recent highlight Schmidt noted was the New Creature building on South 52nd Street in Rogers, where the occupancy rate grew from 40 percent to 90 percent in the last two years.
Schmidt, a CCIM candidate, plays golf and is an avid duck hunter, making several trips each year to southeast Arkansas with other young professionals from the area.