As a lawyer, Sayer Nixon may not design the building or fund the real estate venture, but he plays an essential role in his clients’ success. He takes great satisfaction in drafting the paperwork that defines the terms “around real property or tenant-related issues” and he enjoys advising clients on business decisions that minimize risk. Sayer is a shareholder (partner) at the Winstead law firm, where he says he has the opportunity to work on interesting and high-profile projects and financings all over the country.
“It feels good to close a transaction and mitigate issues on joint venture/preferred equity, condominiums or ground leases and exotic collateral,” he adds.
Sayer is a proponent of clear communication and favors an open-door policy in the workplace. “Making a tough decision and having confidence in the outcome,” is another leadership tenet he lives by.
This reflects a larger, roll-up-your-sleeves approach that has served him well in his career: Don’t be afraid to take on responsibility even if you may feel overwhelmed. “You will learn more in those times and show yourself and others your abilities,” he says. His favorite quote comes courtesy of Wayne Gretzky: “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”
ULI is important to him because it provides a forum for discussion of industry and community issues. The organization’s gatherings connect people who may not work together but who are involved in real estate.
A native of Lebanon, Tenn., Sayer earned a bachelor’s degree in economics at Wake Forest University and his law degree at the University of Tennessee. Sayer and his wife of seven years, April, have three young children. In his spare time, you can find Sayer with his family, fishing, playing golf, traveling, or doing (and mostly enjoying) yardwork. The family’s favorite vacation spots are Kiawah Island and Folly Beach, and they are very active at Carmel Baptist Church.
When asked about whom he admires, his thoughts turn toward family life: “I think in today’s world anyone working full-time and maintaining a successful, loving marriage and raising kids in a nurturing environment deserves a lot of respect.”