Nick Segal knows how to make big real estate deals, but he admits he fell into the profession by happenstance. It was while doing a stint as an actor – his uncle is actor George Segal – that he met a fellow thespian who also worked in real estate and suggested Segal try it. He was hooked. Segal said he went into the field during the late 1980s when it was a seller’s market, but the fire in his belly he had for the profession has helped him stay the course during the ups and downs in the market since then. As president and founding partner of Partners Trust – which has about 200 associates in eight offices in Los Angeles and one in Shanghai – Segal has found his passion. He recently spoke with the Business Journal about his work, his creative pursuits and training the next generation.
Describe your morning routine.
I’m up at about 6 a.m. I stretch and get a cup of coffee. I meditate for anywhere from a half-hour to 45 minutes. Ideally, there’s a moment to enjoy the beach because I live on the beach (in Santa Monica). I will take in the ocean. I will take in the beauty and the majesty of what is in my backyard. Then, I shower, shave, get dressed, suit up and am out the door, depending on which office I’m going to, usually by 8 a.m.
What does a typical work day look like for you?
I try to touch all of our locations. Thursday is kind of a catch-as-catch-can day. I’ll be all over the map. The touch that I do with the offices (in addition to selling real estate) is for the educational component. I do a lot of consulting and coaching within the company, so that keeps me moving.
How do you maintain work/life balance?
My kids are 25 and 20. I am divorced but engaged to be remarried, so partnership is very important to me. Weekends, I express creativity in different ways. I’m working on a book – it’s a book about negotiation – and that gives me great joy to write. I paint when I have the time to do it. Golf, when I get it, is a wonderful release. I’m creating either the next program or concept for Partners Trust on the weekends. I don’t have a lot of friends, but the friends I do have, those are wonderful relationships.
Why open an office in Shanghai?
That culture is all about relationships and commitment. If they see we have a commitment to invest in their backyard, it builds the rapport and the credibility for them to use us as a company when they come to our backyard.
What is your greatest accomplishment?
This company. It’s the ability to apply the best of my human spirit, the best of my ability to be of service. It inspires me. And we adopted our kids. That was a glistening moment. We do want to be the most conscientious, the most comprehensive and nurturing group to walk any client through what can be a very harrowing process. We’re all about nurturing and honoring those relationships well beyond the deal.