The Northeast added as much as 130.5 million square feet of office space in the last 10 years, and cities such as Boston present real estate agents with unique situations and opportunities. We sat down with Kevin Olson, Senior Advisor at Nordlund Associates, a leading real estate brokerage, to hear more about the particularities of this market.
Kevin Olson graduated from Brandeis University with a degree in American Studies and Legal Studies, joining up with Nordlund Associates in 2012. Since then, he has participated in leases and sales of commercial office space totaling over 2 million square feet. Here is the insight he offered us about the latest innovations in the field of CRE and the details of the Boston real estate market.
Q: Can you tell us about your background and why/how you chose a career in CRE?
One of the reasons I chose CRE, besides how entrepreneurial it is through the day to day aspects of the occupation, is because of the opportunity of getting an inside glimpse into so many different businesses and industries—you’re always learning something new.
Q: What are your thoughts on the CRE market in the U.S. today in terms of trends and challenges?
Technology and the relationship with consumers are ever-changing. Whether it’s retail destination oriented or even administrative office, tech is playing a big part in current trends, speed of information and company needs.
Q: What differentiates the real estate market in Boston and Massachusetts from other major markets in the United States?
The Boston market is unique because relative to its size, the market is extremely diverse and strong. Whereas other parts of the country have 1-3 economic drivers, Boston has numerous strong economic sectors. Renowned colleges and universities, science and tech, financial services, healthcare, aerospace R&D/manufacturing, all provide for strong Commercial Real Estate market and limits exposure while also mitigating risk during downturn cycles.
Q: What changed in the past years in the local Boston and Massachusetts commercial real estate market?
Inventory is relatively tight, driving up values to a degree that many of the submarkets have never seen before.
Q: What are some of the innovative and modern techniques for marketing commercial real estate properties that you’re implementing?
Leaning on tech updates in our industry, such as drone photography and digital videos, helps paint the picture for a property and create ease with accessibility for a prospective company through their computer and email.
Q: How has the evolution of technology, particularly online marketing, impacted the commercial real estate industry for you?
We view online marketing as a must-have; marketing is a multi-pronged approach and online marketing is one of the most important and compelling techniques.
Q: Do you think there are some lessons from the past few years that you would impart as an absolute must for those looking to get into the CRE industry?
Have patience. The cycles in CRE brokerage are longer than in most sales positions out there. Effective communication and setting expectations for yourself and for clients are key.