I had the pleasure of interviewing Alex Koustas, Managing Partner of The Agency’s Commercial Advisory.
The Agency Commercial Advisory is a full service commercial brokerage platform, specializing in investment sales, landlord and tenant leasing representation and strategic asset positioning.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
Growing up in a commercial brokerage family, I have been immersed in the world of real estate since childhood. I worked in a commercial development and acquisitions for over a decade prior to the brokerage so I knew I could bring an elevated level of experience and insight to the table for my clients and the business.
Born and raised in Colorado, I first got my start in real estate after college, working in commercial development for a private firm and building ground-up office buildings, industrial parks and retail centers throughout Southern California. Prior to my foray into real estate, I worked as an executive assistant in film and television at the William Morris Agency.
Prior to becoming Managing Partner of the Commercial Advisory, I was a founding member and President of the December Co., Inc., a boutique commercial brokerage firm specializing in high street retail, office and industrial leases and sales transactions. Prior to this post, I also served as the Acquisitions Director for BH properties, where I was responsible for the deployment of $100 million in annual acquisitions throughout the Western United States; identifying distressed and value-added commercial investments for the company. The genesis of my development and leasing history began as a Vice President at Silagi Development and Management, Inc., where I was party to the stabilization and disposition of 3.5 million square feet of commercial properties to GE Capital / The Muller Company, one of the largest commercial sales transactions of that year.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
My career started with a big challenge right from the start. The first requirement to hit our plate was a 100K Sqf. museum/exhibition space. At that point we realized that joining The Agency was a great move for our referral based business leads. Since then, I’ve learned to take on every deal as a new micro challenge to be understood, unlocked and ultimately monetized to the benefit of all involved.
Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
TIME KILLS ALL DEALS.
What do you think makes your company/division stand out? Can you share a story?
My Commercial Advisory division at The Agency sits within a residential platform, which enables our team a direct line to various clients, properties and opportunities that more institutional style brokerage firms won’t see.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Pace yourself, keep learning and recognize that no single deal will make you wealthy. Most importantly, stay in the game in down markets and you will prosper when the tide turns.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
My first boss and mentor the Founder of Silagi Development. He was instrumental in teaching me the long game and that persistence and patience are keys to building a substantial and market resilient business.
Are you working on any exciting projects now?
Yes, we are working on two very different repositioning projects in DTLA, which allow our team to explore more unorthodox ways of lease up and marketing efforts, in one of the nation’s most exciting and evolving markets. I’ve included some info attached on these projects. One is 7111 Santa Monica Blvd, which presents a rare offering of high visibility retail in West Hollywood. 7111 Santa Monica Blvd has some of the most prime retail in all of Los Angeles. Sitting below a multi-family residential building; there are immediate strong demographics with high foot traffic along Santa Monica Blvd. This property offers exquisite visibility and a unique customer component. Two prominent retail suites (A and B) are available within The Dylan building, both of which have great potential. The property is in close proximity to national and boutique retailers. 7111 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite C is also a unique opportunity for a restaurateur in West Hollywood. This suite is perfect for a plug-in restaurant that offers a unique location and outdoor patio. Sitting below a multi-family residential building; there are immediate strong demographics with high foot traffic along Santa Monica Blvd. This lease offers exquisite visibility and a unique customer component.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
I’d like to hope my contributions to Amnesty International is making someone’s life (and the world as a whole) a better place. Another cause very important to me is homelessness in L.A.
Can you share 5 examples of how retail companies will be adjusting over the next five years to the new ways that consumers like to shop?
With retail rents down nationally anywhere from 5 to 30% and vacancy up significantly; we are already seeing a myriad of retail adaptation in the marketplace. 1.) Push to “off Main St.” retail locations. 2.) Shorter term deals and more pop-up location leasing. 3.) More boutique fitness concepts and discount “high street” luxury brand sales. 4.) Mixed retail concepts to drive experience which online shopping cannot, such as in shop bars and gallery spaces.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
Agency Account: https://www.instagram.com/theagencyre/?hl=en
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!
Originally published at medium.com