Meet Steve Cross

My Heritage

My paternal grandparents immigrated from Mexico and settled in Texas. They instilled the virtues of self-reliance, accountability, frugality, loyalty, compassion for the less fortunate, and a strong work ethic in my father, who passed these values on to me.

Early Background

Our family settled in Phoenix in the early 60s. I graduated from West Phoenix High School in 1967 at age 17 and found my ‘stride’ in running, placing 3rd in the state in cross country and the mile run my senior year. I was fortunate to attend Northern Arizona University on an athletic scholarship where I earned a BS in Accountancy, served as president of Babbitt Hall, and was a four-year member of NAU’s cross country and track teams (800 meters (1:49.3) and mile run (4:08.0)). In 1987 I was inducted into the NAU Athletic Hall of Fame.

During the decade after graduating from college I was employed in cost accounting (Motorola), financial planning, corporate sales (The Coleman Company) and sales management (MCI Corporation).

Giving Back

My involvement in community activities began in high school when the local Kiwanis club needed a coach for their Pony League baseball team. Upon graduating from college, I mentored a fatherless boy as a member of Valley Big Brothers and joined the Tempe Jaycees, who believe that service to humanity is the best work of life. I also have been a Junior Achievement volunteer and support their efforts to inspire and prepare young people to succeed.

My Entry into Commercial Real Estate

In 1983 I was the sales manager of the rapidly expanding Phoenix branch of MCI and was assigned the responsibility of finding additional office space. The task involved researching the market for suitable space, meeting with real estate brokers, performing due diligence, including cost analysis, and negotiating lease terms and conditions.

During this search three things became clear. 1st: Information and straight answers were difficult to obtain, 2nd: Real estate agents were only interested in leasing their listings - and at the highest prices possible, and 3rd: The agents recognized and exploited my lack of commercial real estate knowledge.

It occurred to me that everyone involved the commercial real estate industry worked for property owners, and no one had a fiduciary duty to protect the interests of tenants. Recognizing this void as an opportunity, I decided to change career paths and become a commercial real estate advisor that specialized in helping businesses make fully informed real estate decisions.

My “Apprenticeship”

In 1984, I received my real estate license and joined the Phoenix office of a regional commercial real estate brokerage firm. In 1985, one of my developer clients hired me to oversee the marketing of a diverse portfolio of commercial and residential properties.

During this “apprenticeship” period (from 1985 to 1989) I gained first-hand knowledge in how the commercial real estate industry operates and the tactics property owners employ to obtain the highest lease rates and sales prices. In 1987, I obtained my Broker’s license and struck out on my own in 1989, focusing on representing tenants and buyers and protecting their interests.

My Clients

I have personally advised and represented over 2700 businesses of most every size and description. While some of my clients are Fortune 100 corporations, many are local and regional businesses that do not have in-house real estate departments; and include attorneys, accountants, financial planners, healthcare professionals, manufacturers, distributors, schools, churches, municipalities, and investors.

My clients lease or own office, medical, dental, retail, and industrial space, and share three traits: First, they recognize that they are better off focusing on their core competencies and outsourcing their commercial real estate to an expert. Second, they realize that every dollar saved in excess rent is a dollar that can be used for employee salaries and benefits, equipment, growing the business, saving to buy commercial property or for their retirement. And Third, they know that most real estate transactions contain a commission, so expert representation costs them nothing (and saves them time, money, and aggravation).

Of note is that approximately 80% of my business is now referral-based and originates from past and current clients as well as accountants, attorneys and others that have heard of my work, either by reading published articles or attending one of my seminars.

Been There, Doing That

I have leased space for my business and own income-producing commercial real estate. In short, I’ve taken every step my clients are contemplating and done so with my own money.

As a result, my perspectives and skill set closely reflect the values and objectives of clients who seek to lease or purchase commercial property at the lowest price and under the most favorable terms and conditions.

I Specialize in Tenant and Buyer Representation

While I lease and manage my own properties, I do not list properties or represent landlords and sellers. Rather, I work exclusively for the benefit of commercial tenants and buyers. Refusing to accept listings eliminates the unavoidable and insurmountable conflicts of interests that inevitably present themselves when an agent/broker tries to represent both landlords and tenants, or sellers and buyers. I provide unsurpassed experience, insight, and expertise in one area: protecting the interests of commercial tenants, buyers, and investors.

Informing Tenants and Buyers; Educating Agents

Becoming a commercial real estate agent has long been a learn-by-doing occupation, with a low barrier to entry and little-to-no training. To help level the playing field between landlords and tenants, and buyers and sellers, while also educating aspiring agents, I have authored dozens of articles covering many aspects of leasing and buying commercial property. Many of these articles are available in the Articles & Learning Center section of this website or by clicking HERE. If you have questions or concerns related to commercial real estate, feel free to call or e-mail me – I’ll be happy to see whether I can be of assistance.

Professional Credentials

I have been a licensed real estate Broker in Arizona since 1987 and am a member of the NAR (National Association of Realtors), SAAR (Scottsdale Area Association of Realtors) and NAAR (Northern Arizona Association of Realtors).

I have also earned the CCIM designation. A CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Member) is a recognized expert in the commercial and investment real estate industry. The CCIM credential is earned after successfully completing a designation process that ensures CCIMs are proficient in the areas of financial analysis, market analysis, user decision analysis and investment analysis, and passing a comprehensive examination.

I am a long time member of the Professional Standards Committee of the Arizona Association of Realtors, and a past member of the Professional Standards Committee of the CCIM Institute and the Education Committee of the Scottsdale Area Association of Realtors.

Let’s Dance (Learn the 2-Step… or a new step!)

I have fond memories of teaching country dancing throughout the 80s and 90s to thousands of Arizonans at local honky-tonks, notably Toolies Country Saloon and Dance Hall, Cheyenne Cattle Company, Neon Cowboy, Rawhide Western Town and the Buffalo Chip Saloon, and being a competition dancer, emcee, and featured entertainer at corporate events and conventions. During this period I also organized local and national dance contests, including the Black Velvet 2-Step Across America Showdown in Nashville, and led hundreds of line dancers in the Achy Breaky Heart and Hoop Shootin’ Boogie during halftime shows at Cardinals football and Suns basketball games.

In 1986, my longtime dance partner, Linda Espinosa, and I appeared on the Dance Fever television show and, in 1994, I produced a series of instructional country dance videos. Here are links to those videos:

Volume 1: Arizona 2-step, Halftime, Electric Slide, Cowboy Boogie, and various shuffles
Volume 2: The Swing Dances (West Coast, East Coast & Bluegrass-Pony), Slappin’ Leather and shuffles
Volume 3: Texas 2-Step, Country Waltz, two line dances, Cotton Eyed Joe & Sweetheart Schottische
Steppin’ Out In Style Country Fashion Show
DANCE FEVER Television Show
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Have Questions About
Commercial Real Estate?

Please contact me to discuss your space requirements and how to lease space or purchase property at the lowest price possible.

I will offer expert opinions on renegotiating your current lease, relocating to another building or buying commercial property.

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