March 23, 2015 - New York City
Name: Jim Diamond
Title: Managing Member
Company: Diamond Properties, LLC
Location: Mount Kisco, N.Y.
Birthplace: New York, N.Y.
Education: High School - St. Paul's School; College - Princeton University.
First job outside of real estate: After graduating from college, my brother and I co-founded RDI, Inc., an electronics manufacturing business.
First job in real estate or allied field: When looking for new space for RDI in 1993, we ended up purchasing our first building (10,000 s/f), and then a larger one in 1995 when we needed more space. That second one was an empty 140,000 s/f office building. We ended up using around 20,000 s/f for ourselves and we managed to fully lease the balance to other tenants over 18 months. I realized how much I enjoyed the real estate business, and that's how Diamond Properties began.
What do you do now and what are you planning for the future? We currently own a mix of office, medical, retail, and industrial properties, and we are now focusing more on industrial acquisitions.
How do you unwind from a busy day in real estate? By enjoying a glass of craft bourbon while reading the newspaper. My wife owns a wine and spirits store, so I always have some great wines and bourbons around the house to choose from.
Favorite book or author: I can't say that I have an overall favorite, but right now I am re-reading "All Quiet on the Western Front," which I am really enjoying. I've been trying to re-read some of the great classics.
Favorite movie: I also can't pinpoint a favorite, but the most recent one I saw was "Interstellar," which I loved.
Last song you purchased/downloaded? I don't purchase much music because I either listen to one of the hundreds of old DVD's I have from a million years ago, or I stream from Pandora. Probably the only songs I purchase are for my daughters, ages 8 & 10. So sadly, the answer would be "Blank Space" by Taylor Swift.
One word to describe your work environment: I'd like to say serene, but unfortunately I have to say hectic.
Rules to live by in business: The most important rules I live by in business all came from my father. To me, they pretty much sum up all you need to know to be successful in business. Always turn a negative into a positive. Some people make 100 mistakes once; other people make 1 mistake 100 times. You always want to be the former. Losers let it happen. Winners make it happen. "Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence." Calvin Coolidge.
If you could invite one person to dinner (living or dead) who would it be and where would you go? As a former history major, I'd say any one of the Founding Fathers. If I had to choose, I'd say James Madison, or maybe John Jay given that I live just down the street from his home. He could pick the location, of course, but if it was John Jay I'd suggest something local.
What is your dream job? It sounds like a clichÃ©, but I'm very happy doing what I'm doing.