Our Ever-Changing Marketplace: James Brian Marian, Adjunct Lecturer in Real Estate Development

July 4, 2020

Seven Questions with James Brian Marian, Adjunct Lecturer in Real Estate Development

My greatest joy in teaching is witnessing a student learn and then obtain internships and employment utilizing their new skill sets.”

What brought you to the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture?

I was seeking to gain more teaching experience and approached real estate development professors Arthur C. Nelson and Drew Sanderford about the possibility of teaching in CAPLA’s Master of Real Estate Development program. I began co-teaching the MRED real estate finance class as a volunteer in the fall of 2018 and was asked to officially join the faculty a year later.

What is your current service work and what do you find most satisfying about this work?

Professionally, I am a board member for the Pima County Real Estate Council and a member of the Professional Standards Committee for the Arizona State Association of REALTORS. I enjoy working on the Council to help educate members with our ever-changing marketplace. High ethical standards are extremely important to me, which explains my 30 years of service enforcing the REALTOR’s Code of Ethics through the Standards Committee.

Personally, I love to work with young adults. For 28 years, I have been a board member for the Ft. Lowell Youth Soccer tournament. I also teach 6-8th grade Sunday school at my church.

What is your current practice?

I have been a commercial real estate broker for 38 years. This is an extremely challenging business that is constantly evolving and I still love it.

What are you currently teaching, and what do you most enjoy about teaching?

This coming school year, I will continue to teach the in-person MRED Real Estate Finance fall and spring courses. Beginning this fall, I will also teach the in-person MRED Capstone and the new Introduction to Real Estate courses. My greatest joy in teaching is witnessing a student learn and then obtain internships and employment utilizing their new skill sets.

How do you bring your service and practice into your teaching?

My profession comes to life for students in three ways. First, I share my personal experiences, both successes and failures, in commercial real estate. Second, I invite real estate executives to class to do the same. Third, when students and executives meet, internships and even permanent employment opportunities happen, expanding career opportunities for our students.

Beyond real estate, what are your passions?

I love to travel with Mary, my wife of 40 years. We both graduated from the University of Arizona and so we are both big Wildcats fans. I also enjoy the great outdoors, especially hiking.  Hiking to Phantom Ranch in the Grand Canyon at least once a year is definitely a passion!

What does the CAPLA experience mean for you?

The CAPLA experience allows me to share my wealth of commercial real estate knowledge with students and to help them plan and figure out their future. Several years ago, I decided to begin the transition from commercial real estate brokerage into teaching at the college level as my retirement years approached. Needless to say, this has been a dream come true. I am very grateful for the many opportunities provided to me and to be a part of CAPLA excellence.


To learn more, view James Brian Marian's faculty page.

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James Brian Marian, Adjunct Lecturer in Real Estate Development

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Faculty Profile