By Briana Waris
His passion and energy for the commercial real estate sector comes down to a single ingredient; “I love the entrepreneurial dynamic of the business,” says Owen Rice, executive vice president at Hughes Marino. “Clients come to us with challenges and goals and it is my job to design solutions. It is about long-term relationships and cultivating a business built on client trust and longevity.”
Originally from New Hampshire, Rice gained a love for the outdoors at an early age in the small New England town of North Conway, where he was surrounded by the White Mountain National Forest. He recollects playing outside after school with his brother and friends in forests known for their bright fall foliage. He later relocated to Seattle for college where he graduated with an B.A. in Political Science from the University of Washington.
After graduating, Rice launched into his commercial real estate career at CBRE, and was undeniably successful with a host of top broker accolades, however, something was missing. “Tenants are the ultimate consumer in this business and I wanted to be an advocate for them,” he says. “When I left CBRE, there was an outpouring of support from my clients indicating how thrilled they were that I was joining Hughes Marino.”
Unquestionably, an advocate for tenants, and also for the Greater Seattle metro. “This is a lifestyle city; eclectic food and music with a great environment,” he says. “Add to that mix a dynamic and diversified economy, and Seattle is competitive to any peer metro.”
Amazon, Microsoft, PACCAR, Starbucks, Costco, Nordstrom, Expedia, Weyerhaeuser, and Expeditors International; a who’s who of the Fortune 500 headquartered in Seattle. “More than that though, most, if not all, of the top technology names have a Greater Seattle presence,” says Rice. The cost of living and cost of doing business are intriguing for companies.”
With the economy humming along, and an unemployment rate of 3.6%, growth in the region emanates both from organic expansion and inflow migration from neighboring states. “Seattle has the most active cranes of any U.S. city (45), and over 110 buildings are under construction,” Rice says.
Working alongside his colleague, Gavin Curtis, vice president, the pair specialize in the office sector, working with high-growth emerging technology firms and professional service companies. “We also work with a number of leading life science organizations,” he says.
Every broker must find their niche and method to connect with clients, and for Rice the service differentiator is very interesting. “It is creativity. Nothing is more satisfying than a client’s reaction to a creative solution,” he says. “And the best solution in many cases is not the most obvious one.”
Rice’s commitment to his clients meshes perfectly with his mission for the Seattle Hughes Marino office. “I want to make certain that companies thrive in their spaces with environments that facilitate talent retention and recruitment,” he says. “In doing that, I will be welcoming more clients to the Hughes Marino family and growing our brand in the Puget Sound region.”
Hughes Marino is nationally-recognized by publications such as Fortune Magazine, Entrepreneur and numerous Business Journals as a top company culture and best place to work. As a result, in addition to his extensive commercial real estate experience in the region, Owen loves utilizing Hughes Marino’s firsthand knowledge of what it takes to create a truly amazing, award-winning workplace to consult his clients who are looking to enhance their company culture to attract top talent and build high caliber teams.
Sidebar: Getting to know Owen Rice
Q: Tell us about your family life?
A: I have a wife and two boys. They are amazing!
Q: When you are not working, what are your hobbies, how do you relax and unwind?
A: Trail running, ultra-marathons, backcountry skiing, hiking and camping.
Q: What would surprise someone about you?
A: I once bought a ticket day-of to fly to Fairbanks and Barrow Alaska to experience -46 degrees below zero weather, that’s without the wind-chill. I’ve also done similar ridiculous trips to Death Valley for the same purpose albeit extreme heat.
Q: Any top Bucket List items?
A: Run the Wonderland Trail which circumnavigates Mt. Rainier (94 miles) in 48 hours; Run across Zion National Park (48 miles) in a day, I’m scheduled to do this in October this year.
Q: What are some of the places you most want to visit?
A: Patagonia, Antarctica; The Okavango Delta in Botswana; Siberia and Badlands National Park.
Q: Tell us your favorite Seattle restaurant and attraction?
A: I don’t have a favorite restaurant, but my favorite place is Mt. Rainier National Park.
Briana Waris is marketing director at 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 Briana at 1-844-NO-CONFLICT or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.