Expert Insights: Downtown LA Trends with Donegan McCuaig

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portrait of donegan mccuaig

Donegan McCuaig

Having graduated with honors from UCLA in 2006, Donegan McCuaig pursued a career that would combine his passion for working with people and his interest in real estate. He got licensed in California in 2006 and got his brokers’ license in 2009. A veteran on the commercial Los Angeles market, he’s worked in the area since 2008, when he began by leasing warehouse space to artists.

He formed his own company, DTLA commercial real estate, which has earned multiple awards over the years. Donegan is also Chair of the Real Estate Committee for Bringing Back Broadway and a Board Member of the Little Tokyo Business Improvement District/Business Association. We had the chance to grab five minutes out of Donegan’s time and pick his brain on the topics of client relationships and local Downtown LA trends. Check out the interview below.

Q: Tell us a little bit about your background and why you chose a career in real estate.

I wanted to be in sales. I like working with properties and people. I also like advertising, marketing, and being independent. It’s also possible to make a lot of money. Sales also has a low startup cost compared to most businesses.

Q: What approach do you have when working with clients?

I want everyone to get a fair deal and I try my best to make that happen. When it comes to clients, it is quality, not quantity.

Q: Can you give some tips on how to build and maintain long-term relationships with them?

If a client wrongs you, don’t react negatively and burn a bridge. If I had reacted in a negative way every time I got wronged, I wouldn’t have any clients. Never put anything negative in writing via text or email, it could come to haunt you later.

Q: What is your general assessment the local real estate market in 2019 and have you spotted some interesting market trends?

I think the market and the general economy is going to go into a decline in the next year.

Q: What are some of the priorities for the clients in your market that might not be as important as those in other parts of the region?

I think building owners should sell now before the economy and real estate market declines. I think landlords should try to get tenants into long term leases.

Q: Any other insights you’d like to share?

There is a large surplus of office space available for lease in Downtown LA. The office market is becoming increasingly competitive. Rents are going down. There is and has been over-development.


Interested in being interviewed for our Expert Insights series? Feel free to reach out to us at prinfo@commercialcafe.com or check out other articles from our series here.

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