Having entered into Commercial Real Estate at the age of 20, what life lessons have you learned through this career?

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  Early on in my career I learned that naivety doesn’t mix well with business and through a few missteps, I came to realize that the innate good in humankind doesn’t always carry over into business decisions.  With this lesson ingrained, I have a deep respect for my client’s trust and I advise them with a thorough understanding of their vantage.  I have learned that being honest and forthright is a best practice.  There are times in this career that we must advise our clients to make a difficult decision that is in their best interest, though it may not be their originally intended outcome.

How did these lessons come into play in the downturn of the economy?

The collapse of the market taught us a valuable lesson all of its own — the law of gravity is just as prevalent in real estate as it is in nature.  We’re all guilty of taking for granted the opportunities we were afforded when the market was hot.

What is your focus going into this market cycle?

My focus moving forward into a sustainable upward trend is simply to continue providing exemplary customer service to my clients and to continue learning as the market evolves and use my knowledge for the direct benefit of my clients.

How have landlords and tenants changed? 

Tenants have rightfully been more cautious in their expansion plans and in their location selection.  When the market was cranking availabilities were occupied at such a fast pace that tenants were signing into deals for the sake of securing a location even though they were not comfortable with the terms.   Current availabilities have occupied at a significantly slower pace and tenants are being more methodical in their choices and in their long term commitments to a space.  Landlords have offered more flexibility in negotiations, encouraging tenants to agree to a longer lease commitment by offering a step-up lease rate; starting with a lower rate initially and setting incremental increases as the business establishes momentum.