Adam Palmer started his work life as a software engineer for Lucent Technologies.
It’s about as far removed from commercial real estate as you can get. In the late 1990s, Palmer was involved in building a cellular digital network in the San Francisco area. “I was the can-you-hear-me-now guy,” Palmer chuckles. “They had more digital cell towers in the bay area than anywhere else in the world.”
After moving to Fort Lauderdale to join a software company, Palmer says he was looking for a new career path and some friends persuaded him to try commercial real estate. “As much as I still enjoyed certain aspects of software, it was still kind of monotonous,” says Palmer.
In late 2003, Palmer was visiting his snowbird parents in Cape Coral when he decided to move to this side of Florida. “It seemed like there was a lot of good growth going on here, and it’s a better place to raise a family,” he says.
Palmer doesn’t fit the stereotype of the reclusive software engineer. “I grew up in the hospitality business; my folks own a resort in Minnesota,” he says.
The hotel business is much like commercial real estate. “I really enjoy working with people,” Palmer says. “You never know what the day is going to bring, and I love that about it.”
Plus, Fort Myers-based LandQwest is growing. “We’re only beginning to make the dents we intend to in Orlando and Tampa,” Palmer says.
Palmer is careful to try to balance family and work life. He belongs to a boat club so he can spend time on the water with his family and he enjoys snowboarding. “I could work 24 hours a day if I wanted to,” he says.
— Jean Gruss
Name: Adam Palmer
City of residence: Estero
Twitter handle: @adamspalmer
Employer: LandQwest Commercial
Title: Principal, managing director
Birthplace: Elgin, Ill.
Years on the Gulf Coast: 11 ½
Marital status/children: Wife, Jennifer; daughter, Avery, 2, baby on the way
Alma mater: University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minn.
Best place to network: CCIM
Coolest business experience: A divesting family trusting me with the ball on the last play of the game and scoring a touchdown for them.
The most important business lesson I’ve learned: One’s integrity and accountability is what will set them apart from the rest.
One website that makes your job easier: BusinessObserverFL.com
One community group you’re most involved with: Philanthropic efforts with the Minnesota Twins.
Favorite off-hours activity: Family time in the pool or on the boat.
Two people, dead or alive, you’d like to have dinner with: My grandfather and Walter Payton.
What you would be doing if you could pick another career: Anthony Bourdain’s job.
Most adventurous thing you’ve ever done: Snowboarding in Whistler with zero visibility.
What’s at the top of your bucket list: A reminder to make a bucket list.
What new skill would you like to learn: To play classical piano.
Who would play you in a movie about your life: Maybe the guy from Napoleon Dynamite!
If I had a magic wand: I would locate Downtown Fort Myers, Fort Myers Beach and the Florida Gulf Coast University campus all next to each other.