James M. Barnes, SIOR, President

Career Summary

Jimmy Barnes has over 28 years of commercial real estate experience in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina. The last 26 years have been with NAI Carolantic Realty. He was named President of the company in 2001. A specialist in all areas of leasing and sales, Mr. Barnes has been involved in over $100 million of transactions just over the last few years with total transactions exceeding one million square feet. He provides exclusive tenant, buyer and landlord representative services to local, corporate and investment companies, and has represented large Class A office developments for investors in Cary, Raleigh and the Research Triangle Park area.
Recognized as a top real estate broker in the Triangle, Mr. Barnes is often approached by the media for his opinion on the local market. Within NAI Carolantic, his responsibilities include continued project administration, client development and consulting. A skilled public speaker, he has led NAI Carolantic’s Annual Conference since 2002. He also serves on the NAI Global Leadership Board as Vice Chair.


Mr. Barnes was awarded a degree in Business Administration from Appalachian State University in Boone, NC.

Select Client List

  • Campbell Law School
  • Duke Energy Progress
  • FAISON Capital Advisors
  • BB&T
  • Wells Fargo
  • CBC America Corp.
  • Weston Parkway TIC Group
  • Autism Society of North Carolina
  • Williams Realty & Building Corp.
  • CIII Capital Partners
  • JPB Holdings
  • Select Bank

Professional Designations

Society of Industrial & Office Realtors (SIOR): Office Specialist. The SIOR designation is awarded to individuals who have met rigorous requirements based on their outstanding knowledge of the commercial real estate industry, professional and educational background and adherence to ethical standards. There are 2,500 active SIOR members in the US, of which 93 are in North Carolina.

Professional Affiliations & Organizations

NAI Global: NAI Carolantic has been the Raleigh/Durham office for NAI Global since 1982. This organization enables us to assist clients in multi-market expansions or dispositions throughout the world. Mr. Barnes serves on the NAI Global Leadership Board as Vice Chair.

Triangle Commercial Association of Realtors (TCAR): An organization of licensed commercial real estate brokers, enabling members to advance their education and knowledge of issues impacting commercial real estate on local, state and national levels.

Appalachian State University Board of Trustees: Founding member and former Chair of the Appalachian State University Board of Visitors.

Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce: Member & Past Chair, Economic Development Board.

Boy Scouts Occoneechee Council: Board Member; Past Chair of the Friends of Scouting Breakfast event, Finance Committee Member.

Paragon Bank: Member of Bank Advisory Board.


2012 National Commercial Award: Awarded in 2012 by the National Association of Realtors for outstanding achievement in the commercial real estate industry.

2011 Commercial Realtor of the Year: Awarded by the Triangle Commercial Association of Realtors, this is the highest honor given by the association and indicates the recipient has the highest principles, dedication to the Code of Ethics of the Association and most importantly, has the principals of good real estate practice.

Triangle Commercial Association of Realtors Frontier Awards: Million Dollar Sales Club in 2005, 2008, 2009 and 2015. Million Dollar Office Leasing Club in 2005-2009 and 2011.

NAI Global Elite: Top performer by NAI Global based on production in 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012.

NAI Global Deal of the Year: Presented in 2011 to the Special Assets team for selling over $600 million in notes for the year for a major NC bank.

NAI Global Eagle Award: Presented to the firm in 2010 and 2011 in recognition of performance that best exemplified the “Right Stuff”: a combination of leadership, capital and resources; commitment to quality; the desire and energy to grow; and share the NAI Global vision for excellence in commercial real estate services.

CoStar Power Broker: Designated as a Power Broker by CoStar in 2004-2009, 2011 and 2013.

Mover & Shaker: Presented by Business Leader magazine in 2009 honoring rising leaders in the Triangle.

Trailblazer Award: One of five awarded the Trailblazer Award in 2008 presented by Triangle Commercial Association of Realtors.

Best Professional Commercial Real Estate Service Award: Presented in 2007 by Triangle Commercial Real Estate Women (TCREW). The award is given to an individual who provides the best professional commercial real estate service, with consideration for industry knowledge, leadership ability, negotiating skills, work ethic and creativity.