Commercial Property Executive – Stars to Watch

March 2016, Chris Sands was chosen by the editors  of CPE as commercial real estate’s top ten 40-and-under leaders to watch for in 2016.

CPE Spotlights Real Estate’s Young Leaders that are examples of the best and brightest talent that commercial real estate has to offer. Chosen by the editors of CPE, the 2016 Stars to Watch represent the entire spectrum of business sectors, and bring remarkably varied educational, professional and geographic backgrounds to their work.  For all their diversity of interests, they also share telling qualities. These stars have earned the confidence of clients and colleagues. Having benefited greatly from mentors, they pay it forward. And despite the demands of careers and family life, they dedicate time to charitable causes. In this group of high achievers, the commitment to making a difference may well be the most admirable quality.

Chris Sands, 38
Founder & CEO
Sands Investment Group

It seems fair to say that Chris Sands is one of the very few real estate entrepreneurs who was partly inspired to pursue his chosen career on a tennis court. After starring in the sport at UCLA and spending several years on the pro tour, Sands was teaching privately in Northern California when he struck up a conversation with a student who regularly took daytime lessons. The man revealed that he invested in real estate and that the business gave him time and resources to pursue his pastime. A decade later, the retired pro athlete leads a fast-growing net-lease advisory shop that has handled $2.2 billion worth of transactions in 40 states. Sands attributes the success to a collaborative culture, deep market knowledge, and unflagging attention to client relations.  Philanthropy, too, is a core value; Sands Investment donates a portion of the company’s profits to charity.

Sands started his real estate career in 2004 in Marcus & Millichap’s Encino, California office. There he earned a Rookie of the Year award and specialized in retail. In 2009, Sands hung out his own shingle, opening the company’s first office in Santa Monica, California. Even in the depths of the Great Recession, Sands sensed that his company had a bright future “if we could get it open and stay open in the most volatile year.”  The fledging firm embraced a high-volume deal strategy to “keep the lights on” Sands recalled. Then, as now, he preached specialization, exhorting his team to “Get your PhD” in a product category.

In recent years, Sands has added offices in Austin, Texas and in Charleston, SC where Sands and his family relocated in 2013. That move, he explained, “created a level of confidence in our investors, in our clients, that we had national presence.”


View Article:  CPE’s Stars to Watch

View Our Listings