Office Brokerage's New Look
CBRE senior managing director Jim Carris (snapped this morning at our Chicago State of Office event -- check back next week for coverage!) has seen an evolution in his clients. Where they once wanted standard brokers, they now seek "real estate business consultants." (Which makes business cards a little more expensive if you pay by the letter.) Head of CBRE's occupier practice, Jim sees companies with questions around new topics like workplace strategy and culture, project management, and incentive practices. "They're looking for more than 'What is the rent on this corner?'"You name a huge office deal last year, CBRE was probably involved. Motorola Mobility, check. Hillshire Brands, check.
Jim sees a drive toward unique spaces in spots like River North or the West Loop, with innovative amenities like rooftop patios meant to attract and retain a young, tech-savvy, and environmentally sensitive workforce. (Something about using an iPad on a roof makes it much more special.) These new open workplaces have even taken flight in the 'burbs with companies like HSBC, Mondelez, and Allstate, he says. Speaking of flights, we were shocked to learn Jim and his parents were held hostage on a hijacked plane in Damascus when he was a kid. Not to worry, he suffered no ill effects.