What is your role at Cresa going to be exactly? Are you a broker or a manager?
My title is president and managing principal. I will run the New York region. Marcus Rayner, the gentleman who has been running it, will continue to help me run it, and he will stay on as a managing partner. I will concentrate on bringing in good brokers and putting more life into the place. I will build on what they have today; I will be a player coach. Marcus, who is one of the top brokers in New York and has a big clientele, this will give him the ability to go out and get new business. It’s important to note that I be bringing in and doing deals, and in the coming weeks I will announce some major assignments. I would say that about 25 percent of my time will be in recruiting and managing and 75 percent will be doing transactions. Currently we have 12 brokers. I will build it to about 30 brokers with 15 consultants.
How many brokers and consultants does the firm have in New York now?
About seven consultants now, so I have about eight more to go, and currently we have 15 brokers.
Where do you see Cresa in the Manhattan brokerage market?
I’m laying out our goals for the next six months. We’re actually looking for space in which to expand our office to about 15,000 square feet. I need a good tenant-rep broker. We’re in 100 Park Avenue now, which is a great building, but we’ve outgrown the space. I will be in my new space no later than November. I’m also talking to a major team out there, I can’t say who, and two other senior brokers. So I think we’ll go from 15 brokers up to at least 20 by the end of the year. Of the consultants, I will bring on three this year. We’re going to have new fresh blood. And then also I’m going to get to know the other Cresa offices and connect the dots in terms of the clients they rep and what we can do for them in New York. I just pitched a major account, an account that all the major players out there showed up and pitched, including CBRE and C&W and the rest. Studley was there. It used to be they were the only tenant rep at the dance. My goal is whenever there is the major pitch, there will now be two major tenant-rep firms there. When it comes down to Studley and us, I will explain the difference between the two firms, which I won’t elaborate on right now. We have the intellectual capital, we have the brokers, and we will compete head on.
What are the differences between Studley and Cresa?
Studley is doing much more than Cresa right now. They have an army, 50 to 60 brokers. They have good brokers, I can’t take that away from them. We will compete head on.
It seems like the leasing market has been slow this year, certainly it is compared to last year. What is your predictions on leasing going forward?
I don’t have a crystal ball so I am probably wrong. I don’t see as many deals as I’d like. The tenants today are still cautious and transactions are taking longer. Even though there is still enough space in the market, the landlords are still aggressive. After the election, and it doesn’t matter who wins, [there will be] more certainty. Europe right now is dampening the moment, but New York is also in a bubble. We are part of the U.S. but we’re also part of the global market and we’ve done pretty damn well in these tight times. If you look at what’s going on today, tech companies are coming here today, movie production houses. You’re not seeing as many deals in the financial sector, but deals are happening with schools and nonprofits. I would say this year won’t be a stellar year. But things will get better.
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