HFF is proud to have 22 of its U.S. offices, 25 of its U.S. markets and a total of 40 brokers recognized as 2018 Power Brokers by CoStar, the largest professional research organization serving the commercial real estate industry.
Over the past 19 years, CoStar Power Broker Awards are awarded to both firms and individuals with the highest transaction volume in commercial property sales in their corresponding markets throughout the year. For property sales, awards are presented based on highest sales dollars, while leases are upon square footage. CoStar has recognized more than 250,000 industry leaders for their success in the commercial real estate market.
HFF announced the opening of its Seattle office in December of 2017 with the purpose of expanding its presence in the Pacific Northwest. With only one full year of transacting under its belt, the Seattle office was named a Top Sales firm, with Director Kevin Freels a Top Sales Broker.
No time was wasted under the leadership of office heads Tom Wilson and Ira Virden, who also jointly lead HFF’s Portland office. They immediately assembled top-notch teams for investment advisory and debt and equity placement, including Freels, who, along with Director Logan Greer, a 2018 Top Sales Broker for the Portland area, specializes in office investment advisory transactions; Evan Kovac, who specializes in healthcare and medical office building transactions; Senior Director Nick Kassab, who is a retail specialist; and the multi-housing team, which comprises Virden, Senior Director Christopher Ross and Director Scott Gilson. Wilson and Directors Zack Goodwin and Drew Heitstuman specialize in debt and equity placement for the office.
“HFF had been very active in the Seattle market for more than 20 years before we opened a physical office in order to strengthen our footprint in the Pacific Northwest,” Wilson said. “We assembled a group that embraces HFF’s team-oriented culture and a strong desire to make sure that our clients see what we do in in the Seattle area, its economic strengths, eclectic personality and potential for unparalleled growth.
Freels moved from the HFF office in Houston more than three years ago to help start the Pacific Northwest office. Freels said it was difficult adjusting to a new market at first, particularly one that had vastly different demand drivers.
“I spent multiple days a week walking the Seattle market trying to understand the different nuances of certain micro-locations and why investors, tenants and employees may be attracted to one area over another.”
But once he had a strong handle on the market, all that was left was listen to his clients.
“The key to success in this business is simply understanding the needs of your clients and looking for ways to satisfy those needs,” Freels said. “Whatever they may be looking to do, HFF can find a solution whether it is through our platform or connecting them with another provider that may be better suited to assist those needs. When it comes to serving your clients, you have to have their best interest in mind, and that may not always be you.”
Seattle is home to several of the world’s largest companies including Amazon, Microsoft, Boeing, Starbucks, Costco and Nordstrom. Recently ranking No. 1 in the “National Office Index,” the No. 2 “City Globally Investors Wish to Increase Exposure” and No. 2 “Best Tech Market,” Seattle is gaining a vast amount of attention from both investors and tenants. More than 150 tech firms have set up shop in Seattle over the last three years.
“There is a drastic imbalance between supply and demand in the Seattle office market, which is causing tenants to evaluate their options early and lease space ‘defensively’ to accommodate their future projected growth,” Freels said. “At the same time, venture capital continues to flow into our city, capitalizing on the experienced managerial teams and entrepreneurial employees within Amazon, Microsoft, etc. and allowing for incubation, which turns into even greater need for office space. We are only in the early stages and project these firms will continue to multiply as more and more corporations establish a presence in Seattle.”
The following HFF offices and individual brokers were named to the 2018 Power Broker list: