At one point John Drew saw himself as a counselor, maybe even a theologian.
The realities of life had other plans for Drew.
“I studied psychology and business in college, but when I graduated, I needed a job, and I soon had an opportunity presented to me,” Drew said. “I wasn’t sure it was for me at first, but I decided pretty soon that I was going to make the most of it.”
The opportunity came via the real estate boomtown of Atlanta in the early 1980s, and it proved the perfect prospect for Drew to forge his business and analytical acumen, people skills and innate salesmanship into a successful career that has now spanned 30 years and seen the Decatur native tackle all aspects of the commercial real estate industry.
“I grew up doing sales things with school and other organizations, and I was always pretty good with it,” Drew said. “What this job does is allow me to provide business solutions to various people, while also meeting my clients’ needs.”
And Drew enjoys the challenge of meeting every need, no matter the size, whether it be in land development, leasing, sales, property management or build-to-suit projects.
“I’ve done everything in this business,” said Drew, who has developed deals with Fortune 500 companies such as Allstate, The Home Depot and Subaru America, Inc. “But what it really boils down to is I like meeting people and talking to them and building long-term relationships. I have always found that, if you treat people right, they will stay with you and come back to you.”
That also extends to friendships, and one that Drew cemented in his early days with real estate giant CB Richard Ellis recently developed into a business partnership, as Drew joined forces with former co-worker and longtime friend Frank Norton, Jr., at the Norton Agency.
“Frank is someone I’ve known, respected and liked for 30 years,” said Drew, who moved from Atlanta to north Georgia 11 years ago. “I saw an opportunity to build aspects of the commercial real estate business along the Georgia (Highway) 400 corridor, and Frank was also interested in doing that. Norton’s presence, traditionally, has always been on the east side of Lake Lanier. We want to add more growth to the west side of Lanier.”
The opportunity for that growth is also at hand, as the real estate market slowly begins an ascent from the crash of the mid-2000s.
“It’s taken a while for confidence to come back,” Drew said. “There was paralysis for a while, but the outlook appears much more positive now.”
Now a Dawson County resident, Drew is also treating people right in his new community — though he spends the majority of his time with his family and two teenage sons.
“I love hiking, and we go out and do a lot of that together,” Drew said. “My sons also play sports, so we’re out following them around a good bit. We’re also very active in church.”
Drew recently returned from a two-week mission trip to Kenya in east Africa, where he spent time helping to supply safe water to a community that his church has aided on a number of occasions.
Professional Accomplishments & Community Service
Recipient of The Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors Phoenix Award
Recipient of The Dorey Award for Professionalism in Commercial Real Estate
Recipient of The Meritorious Service Award from Mercer University
President of the Alumni Association of Mercer University
The Georgia Technology Forum, Executive Steering Committee
The Woodruff Arts Center, Corporate Capital Campaign
President of the Parent Action Council at Wildwood Christian Academy and Member of Long Range Planning Committee
Trustee at the Big Canoe Chapel and Member of Long Range Planning Committee
Current Board Member of the Joint Development Authority of Dawson, Lumpkin and White Counties
John is Senior Vice President and Managing Partner for Asset Management and Commercial Brokerage Services. John has a proven track record of success in delivering expert real estate advice and service to a wide range of companies and property owners. He is known for being analytical, knowledgeable and skillful in negotiating sales, leases, and complicated real estate transactions.
John has held executive corporate real estate positions with The Staubach Company, CB Richard Ellis, JDREW Real Estate Advisors, and began his management career with Cousins Properties. John provides valuable direction and leadership to his clients, colleagues, and team members. For investment clients, investment advice and brokerage services , have resulted in the successful acquisition and sale of hundreds of acres of land at optimal prices. For corporate clients, projects – delivered on time, on budget, and exceeding expectations – have resulted in repeat business over extended periods of time.
Partial Land Sales Profile
Investment Property GroupsProvided investment advice and brokerage services for investment and development entities in the acquisition and disposition of multiple properties across Florida’s Gulf CoastPartial Corporate Project Profile
Provided investment advice and brokerage services for investment and development entities in the acquisition and disposition of hundreds of acres of land across North Georgia
Allstate Insurance CompanySouthern Regional Commercial Processing Center – Sale / 110,000 SFLed the site-search, selection and negotiation process for Allstate’s Southern Region on 18 separate lease and sale acquisitions and dispositions
Obtained state and county tax incentives of $1M
Sale of a 12 Acre Site
Southern Regional Headquarter – Lease/140,000 SF
Corporate Real Estate Advisory Services, Investment Property Advisory Services, Facilities Management Services, and Commercial Real Estate Brokerage Services.
Mercer University – Bachelor of Science – Psychology and Business
Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) Coursework