Watershed: an event or period marking a turning point in a course of action or state of affairs.
By John Jarvis
This past Friday Hughes Marino flew our entire ninety-person team for an all-hands gathering in our newest office overlooking Puget Sound in Seattle. That’s a lot of plane tickets. And a lot of lost productivity for this hard-charging and highly productive team. Or maybe it was actually the highest and best use of our time; coming together, in person to welcome our newest team members, Owen Rice and Gavin Curtis. You see, Owen and Gavin were previously the top tenant representation team working for the world’s largest traditional real estate services firm in Seattle. And they chose to leave the relative comfort and success of the status quo. They chose to “walk across the street” so to speak, and join us in our mission to transform the commercial real estate industry.
Whenever I talk about the dysfunction of the status quo, the inherent conflict of interest and the landlord bias that is embedded (and insidious) in the commercial real estate sector, I always make the important distinction that it isn’t the people that are bad, rather it is the industry model that is broken, in particular from the vantage of the companies–our clients–that occupy the buildings and pay the rent that funds the industry. The traditional agents, for the most part, are bright, capable and professional. Owen and Gavin are perfect examples of this. Highly skilled with impeccable integrity, these guys are among the very best.
So why did they risk it all and get on board the Hughes Marino train? Because they got to know us. Because they were willing to challenge the natural tendency we all have toward a confirmation bias in favor of existing circumstance, and because they had the wisdom and the willingness to glimpse into the future. In the new model, commercial real estate agents are going to have to pick a side. The days of representing landlords and tenants are coming to an end. Dual agency is dying.
Watershed moment? You bet. These guys are the leading edge of a storm, and their success will shine like a beacon to the friends and peers they left behind. And my message to the very best of those left behind?
We are raising the bar for the conduct of commercial real estate brokers, increasing transparency and accountability and rewriting the rules of the industry by forsaking all landlord agency assignments in favor of highly specialized and highly effective tenant advocacy.
As we continue to gain market-share, we are pushing back against the landlord bias and leveling the playing field. We are, indeed, champions of the underdog, the tenant or buyer, the space occupier, aka corporate America. We deliver better buildings at lower cost with greater flexibility. We help business leaders to make great real estate decisions, and the results of our work include increasing happiness and engagement for the employees and increasing profit and productivity for the business owners.
Our momentum is building. Get to know us. Walk across the street. Owen and Gavin did, and now we are stronger together. With apologies to Van Morrison, join us, on the bright side of the road.
John Jarvis is a senior vice president of Hughes Marino, an award-winning commercial real estate company specializing in tenant representation and building purchases with offices in San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Seattle. Contact John at 1-844-NO-CONFLICT or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.