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Getting to Know Connor Barnes – 10 Random Questions

d2_5_connor_barnes_Connor Barnes is a Vice President of Brokerage with Cushman & Wakefield, who recently expanded his focus from the Metrowest market to also include the startup-rich Cambridge market.

He took some time to answer a number of questions – some serious, some not – about wine, sports, comedy, and why Cambridge has a far different dynamic than other markets in the region.

So I know you’re originally from upstate NY – How did you come to Boston?

I moved here for a girl and a job.  One of those two things did not work out, I will let you take a guess which one.  Thanks for bringing that up though.  Seriously, I moved here after I graduated from Syracuse in 2007.

Moving to Boston was one of the best decisions I have made as an adult.  The city is so much better now than 10 years ago.  It has diversity and people from other parts of the country, which is what Boston was always missing, in my opinion.

Do you have any sports you are into or follow?

I love playing and watching golf.  But being from Buffalo, NY, I am a diehard Bills and Sabres fan.  You should check out a Bills tailgate sometime.  Life changing. #billsmafia  Also, really sorry about this past Sunday. {Editor’s Note – We’re sorry Connor. Enjoying Rex Ryan?}

Outside of work, what do you do for fun?

Drink wine.

Do you do anything else for fun?


What’s your favorite unique place to go out?

The IFA has a really cool outdoor concert series on their deck during the summer.  The musical acts are pretty abstract, which is different and unique for Boston.  I also like me a good dive bar; Delux Café, Bukowski, State Park.

If you could have dinner with three people – dead or alive – who would they be and why?

Good question.

  1. Chris Farley because he was an absolute genius. (Read his biography if you have not.)
  2. Frank Sinatra during his prime because it would have gotten wild.
  3. Matt Berninger, who is the lead singer of The National, hands down my favorite band. He also loves wine, so we have that.

Are there any movies or television shows you would call very influential for you?

I am not a big TV guy but I do like movies.  My taste is all over the map.

I would say my top three, in no particular order are Magnolia, Tommy Boy and Waking Ned Devine.

How did you first get into this industry?

My dad was a brownfield redeveloper in Southern California, so I was always around commercial real estate to some extent from the time I was little.

When I graduated from Syracuse, I knew I had to get out of Buffalo, so I looked up the top commercial real estate firms in the BBJ and started calling and emailing them.  I eventually got a few interviews and ultimately a job.

What are the biggest changes you’ve seen since you started out?

The competition has increased immensely.  Our job was always about relationships and connections but that is even more important today.  Clients and potential clients are inundated with requests from brokers to meet.  Having a mutual acquaintance make an introduction or send a kind word, is a massive differentiator.

You were working 495 West/Metrowest, now focused on Cambridge as well. What’s been the biggest difference?

The biggest difference is the demand for space which leads to competition.  Demand is 4x supply in Cambridge.  In Metrowest, if you were looking for 10,000 SF of office space, you might have 10+ options, in Cambridge, you may have 2 or 3.

In Cambridge it is more important to be opportunistic rather than patient because you will be left behind.

What’s most exciting/interesting working within the start-up culture there?

It is really cool to see how collaborative and giving of itself the community is.  People really help each other.  Other than that, I would say the passion of an entrepreneur.  Seeing someone dedicate themselves entirely to their passion, is pretty cool.  It makes you want to do your job even better.


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