Q&A with Colin Gordon: NAI Hunneman Continues Downtown Team Expansion

Colin_GordonThe downtown team at NAI Hunneman is showing no signs of slowing down. With the hiring announcement of Brooke Blue a few weeks ago, we’re excited to welcome another Associate to the growing team. Hailing from the North Shore of the Greater Boston area, Colin Gordon is no stranger to the world of commercial real estate. He grew up surrounded by brokers and family members who worked in the industry. Colin’s positive attitude and strong belief in teamwork, stemming from his time as a college athlete, will help him thrive on the downtown team at NAI Hunneman. Here’s what Colin had to say about his first week as a member of our team:

Q: We know it’s your first week. What are you going to focus on these first few days?

Colin Gordon: I’ve been going through all the systems such as CoStar and others to familiarize myself with the tools I’ll be using as a resource to research the downtown area. I’ve also been reaching out to family, friends and different people in the industry to tell them about my new role, and introduce them to the downtown team here at NAI Hunneman.

Q: How did you first become interested in commercial real estate?

CG: I grew up on the North Shore with several family and friends who worked in the commercial real estate industry. The exposure to this industry at such a young age stuck with me as I grew up and was choosing a career. One of my mentors, Billy Curtis, is a developer in Boston and always told me, “real estate is a good field to get into.” Billy introduced me to people in the industry, my brother works at Transwestern and my dad has owned commercial properties. All these factors led me to pursue my own career in commercial real estate.

Q: How has your past experience at Rockhopper Group prepared you for your job now at NAI Hunneman?

CG: Rockhopper Group was a startup operating company that bought and sold apparel brands, selling thousands of units to do embroidery. I was able to see the company grow and was involved with several different departments of the company — marketing, sales, design, and business development. My job comprised of a lot of cold calling (which will definitely come in handy at NAI Hunneman), but I was also able to look at profit and loss sheets to learn how the company operated.

Q: What brought you to the NAI Hunneman team? And what are you most looking forward to at NAI Hunneman?

CG: I had met with CBRE, Cushman & Wakefield, Cassidy Turley and other firms, and they all had a very corporate feel – which I thought I wanted. When I got to NAI Hunneman, I realized I didn’t want that much structure. I wanted something with an entrepreneurial atmosphere and I instantly felt that when I met with NAI Hunneman CEO, David Slye. The downtown and suburban teams are very collaborative and if there is something in particular you want to work on, they will help make that happen. It’s not like other firms where you have to stay in your department and you can’t stray outside your role. Hunneman is a very collaborative environment that puts the best minds on a deal.

Q: How has your experience as an athlete helped you in the real estate industry?

CG: What I’ve realized is that you can’t do everything by yourself. At Hunneman, the team comes first – rather than the individual. As an athlete, I was able to learn how to work well on a team — it’s all about the end goal it’s not only all about you. David Slye told me you have to think about your client first, NAI Hunneman second, and yourself third – that’s how you play on the field or on the ice, as well. You want the win, but you need your team to help you do it.

Q: Are you seeing any trends in the downtown market?

CG: I’ve been seeing a lot of subleases. People are taking spaces for 5-10 years and then within a year or two they need more space. We’re trying to look to the future to help companies not have to move every few years. Some tech companies in the area are hiring more than 10 people a week, so we’re really trying to target how to find spaces for these growing companies.

Q: What is it like being a millennial in CRE?

CG: Years ago, it was just you, a phone and a phonebook to find and make deals. Now with social media, the amount of business being done online is enormous.  As a millennial, I grew up with this technology, learning how to correspond via email, LinkedIn and other social media tools. Even though business doesn’t necessarily need to be done face-to-face anymore, it’s still important to have these personable skills. I’m excited to use my personal and professional network both online and in person to make deals and grow Hunneman’s downtown portfolio.

Q: Who will you be working with on the downtown team?

CG: I’ll be working closely with Peter Evans, Ben Sutton, Jeff Becker and Brooke Blue. I’m looking forward to learning from Peter and Ben who are both more experienced than I am, and hopefully teaching them a few things, too.

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