Justin R. Wheeler is an attorney with Hilger Hammond, representing clients in matters ranging from complex real estate transactions to large commercial properties. He is so passionate about his work with real estate law that he devotes his free time to local organizations, such as Rental Property Owners Association of Kent County and Commercial Alliance of Realtors West Michigan.
You just started with Hilger Hammond last year, tell us what you did prior to that.
Prior to joining Hilger Hammond, I worked at two different law firms—one small and one large. My practice consisted of various business and real estate related matters, although I often served as more of a general practice attorney. Hilger Hammond provided me the opportunity to work exclusively in business and real estate with a majority of my practice committed to commercial real estate.
What is your favorite aspect of real estate law?
Commercial real estate. I enjoy helping clients take deals from purchase agreement negotiations, through due diligence, and to closing.
What brought you to the Rental Property Owners Association (“RPOA”) of Kent County and their Board of Directors?
My former mentor introduced me to the organization. I began attending round table events, eventually started teaching classes on lease drafting and contract law. Now, I serve on the Board of Directors. The RPOA is a wonderful organization filled with amazing people. Anyone who owns rental real estate—whether a single unit or larger apartment complex—should consider joining. The RPOA offers its members amazing benefits including forms, seminars, and much more.
In addition to the RPOA, I am a member of the Commercial Alliance of Realtors West Michigan (“CARWM”) where I was recently appointed to the organization’s Education Committee. CARWM is another fantastic organization that offers commercial realtors and commercial real estate vendors and service providers excellent opportunities to network and learn more about commercial real estate in West Michigan.
What is your favorite charity to support?
Through Hilger Hammond, CARWM, and the RPOA, I support a number of charities and nonprofits. Recently, thanks to CARWM and its members, $25,000 was raised for the Children’s Healing Center. The Children’s Healing Center provides a safe, clean place for kids with compromised immune systems to gather, engage with expert staff, learn, and play.
Who makes you laugh the most?
This is a tough one. I can’t pick just one person, so I would have to say Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Ricky Gervais, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge. There are many more, but I assume no one wants to read my list of the 50 Funniest People On Earth.
If you could go golfing at any course, where would you go?
Another tough one. If I can only pick one, it has to be Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia—home of the Masters. Going +5 through Amen Corner would be a dream come true.
What else would you like people to know about you?
Growing up, my family owned several bowling centers in West Michigan. I have bowled in professional tournaments and have bowled countless 300 games. Although, I prefer golf to bowling. If only my parents had owned golf courses instead of bowling centers, maybe I would be playing Augusta National more often!