• San Francisco

Podcast: Founders & Friends Interviews Cushman & Wakefield’s Eli Ceryak

 

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Cushman & Wakefield Senior Vice President Eli Ceryak was recently a guest on the Founders and Friends podcast hosted by Scott Orn of Kruze Consulting to discuss the San Francisco commercial real estate market and tech start-ups.

 

Their conversation includes the dynamics and challenges of the San Francisco real estate market, why markets break (and why this one won’t), real estate pitfalls and opportunities for tech start-ups and other companies, the importance of matching a company’s real estate needs to its business goals, and other locations companies are considering outside of the Bay Area.

 

Eli was introduced to Scott Orn via a mutual Facebook contact. The Podcast is available here in audio and the text is featured below.

 

———–PODCAST———-

Scott Orn: Welcome to Founders and Friends Podcast with Scott Orn of Kruze Consulting and my very special guest today is Eli Ceryak from Cushman & Wakefield. Eli is our super top-secret, amazing real estate agent who found us an incredible office space in San Francisco. So we wanted to have him on the podcast. Eli, thanks for coming and maybe you’ll tell about yourself.

 

Eli Ceryak: Great. Thanks for having me here, Scott. I’m happy to be here. I’m a commercial real estate broker with Cushman& Wakefield and I’ve worked in the Bay area as a real estate broker since the end of the dot-com. That’s when I decided to…

 

 

Scott Orn: Perfect timing.

 

Eli Ceryak: Exactly. Perfect timing to jump in the real estate market but I’ve toughed it out for the last 16 years since then. I started doing that a year after college. My first job out of college was actually as a travel guide writer. I traveled in Australia, and South-east Asia, primarily in Vietnam, writing about things to do there. That was in 1999.

I was able to move back to the US and continued to do some largely freelance work for startup travel companies. Eventually it got to the point where I needed to settle down and get a real job that was keeping a roof over my head but that was about it.

The appeal of getting into real estate was rooted into that travel guide writing. In some ways rooted in that travel guide writing, some of the things that I loved was not being chained to a desk.

Also I see my job as needing a very deep understanding of San Francisco and the Bay Area market, and being able to help our clients navigate that. In some ways that was rooted in what you would do as a travel guide writer where you really need to understand as it’s all a bit different. Because as a travel guide writer you’re looking at all the cool places to go, what are the fun things to do. But I think your job as a guide or a real estate broker is to understand the dynamics of San Francisco and the Bay Area, and what’s happening in the market and how the companies that are out looking for space and take advantage of that.

 

Scott Orn: I didn’t know that you were a travel guide writer. But yeah, you have to understand the flow of the neighborhoods and how people feel in certain places. We were talking that we wanted something Downtown, but we also wanted it to be nice because we wanted our clients to be excited when they came to our office. And you nailed that.

For those of you who don’t know we’re based in Union Square now because Eli found us an awesome place. That’s interesting. You must be really attuned to the way the street flows, and the noise, and the vibe and all – it’s pretty interesting, being attuned with the environment.

 

Eli Ceryak: Absolutely. I love that part of the job. I love seeing how the city changes, and has changed over the last several years, and helping people who are starting businesses here and growing businesses here, to better understand that and take a better understanding that they can.

 

Scott Orn: There a couple of things we want to cover. We want to talk about the San Francisco real estate because you’re an expert here, and there’s always a lot of like we were talking before the mics turned on, that people got nervous earlier in the year that the real estate crash is going to happen or something like that.

So maybe you could give us a view point on the San Francisco market, and then just the broader real estate market. You guys are everywhere, you are national. Then just getting into what mistakes startups can avoid when they are negotiating a lease. In our case we subleased, so we took a 2-year sublease which you talked us through the whole thing contract and everything. So maybe just some of those things.

Let’s talk about your home court here. San Francisco, Downtown San Francisco. What are you seeing? What’s the activity like? What do people need to be aware of?

 

Eli Ceryak: In San Francisco, and we talked about this a little bit earlier. At the beginning this year it felt like the market was going through a transition and different people had different opinions on how severe that transition was. As I mentioned earlier, I started doing this in what I thought was the dot-com boom, but by the time I actually started working it was the first day of the dot-com collapse. And then it was a very challenging market for everyone – for the landlords, for the companies that were trying to do business here.

I saw similar things happening here in the financial crises of 2007 and 2008. In both those times fundamentally the market broke. It just quit working. And for at least a couple of years after that in both those circumstances it was a very challenging place to do business.

 

Scott Orn: What causes the break? Obviously the startups funding falls off the cliff so there’s less cash going into the startups, but it was also some issues like landlords had unrealistic expectations. What did you see? Why was it breaking?

 

Eli Ceryak: In both those cases, unrealistic expectations were what broke it in the dot-com. It was more on the demand side where companies got massive amounts of funding, and took down massive amounts of space whether they had a business model – and then in some cases – whether they even had employees. So the demand side was just completely out of whack.

In the financial crisis it was more, I would say supply side. Money was cheap and it was interesting as a run up to that for rents. We saw pretty consistent rent growth, but it was fairly modest.

You looked at things like the valuation of buildings. Then the valuations of buildings would double or triple despite the fact that rents had only gone up maybe 20% to 40%. So it just felt like the market was fundamentally out of whack and not working on the basic principles that economics should work on.

 

Scott Orn: That’s pretty interesting because I didn’t know that. Was it that the people who bought these buildings, they drove the evaluations up, doubled it? They paid double. They then needed certain rents to make their financial models work themselves. So they’re holding out for certain levels of rents that maybe the market just can provide. Was that what was happening?

 

Eli Ceryak: Fundamentally, yes. So it wasn’t just the people that were buying the building, it was the people that were lending them the money to buy the building. So the whole system was set up to: there were a lot of people that were benefiting from making loans or appreciating building values, and people lost track of the fundamentals of what was really happening in the market here.

I wouldn’t say that the financial crisis was solely because of real estate, but it was obviously a big part of it. So talking about those two crisis periods in our relatively recent history – I feel like over the past years there have been certainly a lot of naysayers and highly concerned people that look at what’s happening here and feel like it’s maybe a repeat of something like the past. Fundamentally, the market feels a lot more stable.

I feel like it’s doing a better job of correcting and dealing with some of the things that are happening out there than it has in the past. I like to think that as people who are business people maybe we’ve all gotten smarter. We’ve all gotten a little bit less greedy and better able to understand those dynamics that are probably being a little optimistic in those beliefs.

 

Scott Orn: I think that’s true though. On the startup side – we’re a key advisor for a lot of these startups – we’re telling them to stretch their and be careful about expenses, especially coming into 2016. And like you said people are forecasting a slowdown in winter capitals. We were doing that.

There are things such as Twitter and Facebook. Entrepreneurs are on Twitter and Facebook all the time. They’re seeing their friends talk about things publicly where they’re running out of cash, or they are re-negotiating their lease or whatever that needs to happen. People aren’t afraid to talk about this stuff anymore, which maybe alludes to A: the tools like Twitter and Facebook didn’t exist back then, and also people have learned something.

A lot of experienced financial types in the startup world have gone through some crashes, and they know what happens. I actually do think we’re smarter. Do you agree?

 

Eli Ceryak: I think so.

 

Scott Orn: There’s a hesitation there.

 

Eli Ceryak: My mind always goes to our presidential race which kind of pokes a hole in my theory that depending on your political views, that as a people we’re evolving and getting better and smarter.

 

Scott Orn: We were never good at thinking presidents. So we’re good at managing startup run rates. We’re getting better at that.

 

Eli Ceryak: Okay, I will give you that. But there are other things too. I look at solutions like WeWork that I actually have some concerns about. I personally don’t know that I would invest in WeWork. I have seen what happens when a market turns and how hard it can be to unload things like sublease space or access space. So I look at what they are doing, and I do have some concerns about the business model. But I do look at that as a good solution for a tech startup or any kind of startup – being able to do a short term lease; not having to put up a giant security deposit; not having to make an investment in furniture fixtures and equipment.

I think there are more and better solutions out there for startups where they can find something that’s good. If you have a 6 or 12-month horizon for your business, for your company; don’t go and sign a 7-year lease. I think the market has delivered some better solutions. I think that maybe it’s helped prevent some of the things that we saw.

Particularly going back to the dot-com period, where you would see a company that maybe had just raised that much of money and maybe had a handful of employees but would go and sign a 50 thousand square foot lease for 7 years, when they had a 6-month vision for the company. We definitely aren’t seeing that kind of thing happen nearly as much as we did back then.

 

Scott Orn: I think people listen to their advisors. You’re a key advisor for these startups. When we were moving into this space, we asked you a lot of these questions like how long of a lease should be? How big was the square footage supposed to be? You are there for these companies since you’re providing the service for them. You’re making the entrepreneurs a lot smarter. It’s a big value. What are you seeing in San Francisco? Is it more stable? Are the rents holding? What’s drilling down in San Francisco?

 

Eli Ceryak: Rents are fairly stable. They’ve doubled over the past 6 years. But this year they’ve ticked up slightly. The vacancy rates have also gone up as well. Those things are supposed to move in opposite directions. If vacancy goes up, rent’s supposed to go down and vice versa.

Essentially what’s happened is rents have leveled off. There’s a lot more sublease space out there, which is great for this market and tech startups in particular because those are frequently move-in ready. A lot of time they are furnished, a lot of times they are short term. And so as a young company, you’re not having to make a huge long term real estate commitment and you’re also not having to invest in all the furniture and startup costs to get your business operational.

 

Scott Orn: For us the short term is actually very helpful. I don’t know if you always think about that, but we’re very fortunate, we’re growing very fast so for us a 2-year commitment on a space – that we’re going from last year we had 4 or 5 people to now we’re at 12. We think we’ll be at 20 by this time next year.

That 2-year time zone has actually allowed us to plan our growth better and not lock us in somewhere. So it’s not even just about the overall size of the commitment, because when you signed to your lease you’re on the hook for 2 years with the rent whether you’re there or not. Actually having a more modular apace strategy – if you’re growing, you can grow out of that space in a very short amount of time which is really big for me. I’m not a huge fan of subleasing. I actually advise a lot of our clients that they should be subleasing. They say they’re signing a 5-year lease. Are you seeing that across the board?

 

Eli Ceryak: We are. Most landlords are still going to want – a bigger space – they’re generally going to want a 5-year term for a smaller space too – depending on who the landlord is – you might be able to get a 3-year term.

But there are a lot of tech companies that are belt-tightening, and so we’re seeing more sublease available as a result of that.

It’s interesting that we’re seeing a lot of belt-tightening, but I’ve actually been surprised that we haven’t seen that much companies that are just have burned out and not made it. So it feels like it’s more of a just streamlining, belt tightening. But the good news is that for the companies that are out looking there’s a lot of those options out there.

The good ones go quickly, as you may recall. We were the first group to look at this space that you’re in now. We had actually been having a conversation with this tenant – the tenant who’s now your sub-landlord – so knew they were out there in the market looking. So when something like this does come available, it goes quickly. So we were fortunate to get the first look at this and be able to move quickly on it.

 

Scott Orn: I want to tell the story. The reason I like working with you is that you’re amazing. I called Eli and I said, ‘Hey, Jeremy…’ Jeremy, if you’re out there. Thank you for the intro. By the way, I just posted on Facebook: ‘I need help finding a space for Kruze Consulting.’ Jeremy responded and told me I reach out to you.

I talked to you Eli, and within half an hour of talking you sent me 8 spaces and nothing really caught my attention. I called you back. You said, ‘Space number 3 would actually fit what you’re looking for.’ So I went back through the PDF. Vanessa and I both liked it.

We literally met you within the hour at the space. We did a tour and within 10 minutes we said, ‘This is it.’ You advised us on what to offer and everything. We actually got the space the next day or the day after. You were super responsive. You were amazing. I think people mainly don’t understand, the importance of – because you guys are seeing the market from both sides – knowing what’s coming on is huge.

You were basically able to advise us. One of the questions I asked you was, ‘Is something else better going to come on the market?’ And you were like, ‘This is probably the best that you’re going to find for a while. And you better make a move pretty quickly.’ And so we did and we got the space, and we were ecstatic about it. I think if we hadn’t had that really rapid response – we basically did this deal in a day – I don’t think we’d be sitting here. We’d probably be in a not such a great space without your response in this. I appreciate it.

 

Eli Ceryak: Absolutely. I think one interesting thing about that is knowing that space which was shorter term, good fit for a company of your size, had some furniture and things available. Even though there’s a lot of sublease space out there, it’s not all great space and particularly for a company that is less than 30 people. If you get bigger than that there are a lot of options out there, but on the smaller side it’s pretty hard to find good options. Based on that experience, we knew this was a space that was going to go quickly, and would be a fit for somebody like you.

In the real estate deals you typically are not going to find the first time you walk in. I would love to claim that for everyone we worked with it’s that easy. We wave our magic wand, and the perfect space appears. I think we were somewhat fortunate in that case. But I think part of that was having the experience and knowing that this kind of space isn’t very available very much and when it hits the market; it goes quickly.

Then you mentioned a little bit of the fact that we’re a bigger firm. I actually started my career at a boutique smaller firm and then moved to a regional firm that has now grown into Cushman & Wakefield which is a global firm. The most important thing is whoever you’re working with, you want to make sure they are experienced and competent and have high level of accountability and know what they’re doing.

I think there are advantages to working with maybe somebody who has a small boutique firm or somebody who has a big global firm. They can both make cases either way. One of the things I love about being at a big firm, which is a somewhat new experience for me over the past couple of years, is just the information we have in my business is mostly working with tech companies and companies that are out looking for space. But we have people that specialize in representing landlords in trying to lease their buildings.

 

Scott Orn: That’s how it happened with us. You knew the landlord. The landlord knew the master was moving out. So that’s why we knew this space was available. There’s a real information synergy there.

 

Eli Ceryak: There’s actually another sublease that we just wrapped up. That was a colleague of ours who was working with a company that was growing. We had a client that needed space. This company TuneIn was working with one of our colleagues.

Our client was a company called Smule who had been looking for space for a long time. That space never hit the market. It allowed Smule to double their footprint, and get a very cool brick and timber type space. But that came about in large part because we knew that TuneIn was out looking and that their space would come available. When it actually came about, it never hit the market. We were able to find them a great brick and timber space right next to the Ballpark, which is where they wanted to be.

Scott Orn: Also, I feel that working with you I get that personal service of a boutique. I think I’m getting the best of both worlds. I’m not making a trade-off. I get the information and the resources of Cushman & Wakefield but I get the personal touch. That’s what I’m looking for.

 

Eli Ceryak: I think one of the things that’s gone really well with our merger with Cushman & Wakefield is I, having never worked for a big company before, had reservations that it was going to be bureaucratic. There would be lot of rules and forms to fill out, and God knows what else. I’ve actually been extremely pleasantly surprised that they’ve kept the core entrepreneurial culture intact. We also have all the really global resources and people that can help out with things like construction or just understanding.

Because of Cushman & Wakefield’s deep landlord relationships base it’s going to be coming in the market before other people might see it. I’ve blown away at how little interference there has been with the entrepreneurial part of the business while taking advantage of – if somebody needs an office in London, or Tokyo or New York, or Austin then we have the resources to take care of all that and it’s great.

 

Scott Orn: That’s a sound bite for whatever investment banker put together that deal. You have all this information globally across the country. Maybe you’d talk about the startup landscape in real estate across the country. The big startup hubs are Bay Area, Santa Monica and New York. What are you seeing across those hubs?

 

Eli Ceryak: Palo Alto in Silicon Valley continues to be the most expensive sub market in the entire country. Parts of New York and San Francisco are next after that. I would say in all those startup type hubs, we’re seeing a little bit more sublease space.

The other really interesting thing that we’re seeing a lot of is our clients that are here that the cost of living is so high and some of the hiring challenges are so intense, that we’re seeing more and more clients go to places like Austin, Denver, maybe certain parts of Los Angeles.

I just finished a deal in New Jersey. We’re seeing a lot of Bay Area headquartered growing companies look to other markets – sometimes I feel primarily for hiring and cost of living reasons – but also sometimes our clients will find somebody, a key employee maybe it’s a head of sales and they’re going to put that person in Denver, because that person can have a better lifestyle in Denver and then they will grow an office around that person. I think that’s another trend that we’re seeing a lot of and how people are dealing not only with the very expensive rents, but also the very expensive cost of housing and the very expensive cost of hiring people here in the Bay Area.

 

Scott Orn: I’ve seen the lease case you’re talking about in Salt Lake City and Denver a lot. It’s sales, and also customer support or call center stuff. Those are really exploding in Salt Lake City and Denver. That and Phoenix. Phoenix is the other one.

Those are the three big markets that I see. The tech companies that are there are kicking ##, or who hit that 100 employee mark and then need either a sales office or a customer support office. They’re going to Phoenix, Salt Lake City or Denver. It’s good for those cities. They’re building that techie ecosystem there.

We’re seeing a massive increase in client coming to us from Santa Monica. It feels like that ecosystem’s really like catching fire. What are you seeing in the L.A. market?

 

Eli Ceryak: It’s interesting. I’ve seen it more from the perspective of companies here that are looking at opening a Southern California office. A lot of times we’ve looked at Santa Monica, but have not made a deal there because it’s so popular and so expensive. So we’ve ended up doing things in El Segundo, for example.

We just finished a lease with a company called Fabkids, which is part of JustFab, which is headquartered down in El Segundo. That was probably not any insight into the Santa Monica market from that.

But we’re definitely seeing a lot of companies that have a lot of Northern California and a Southern California presence. I’ve seen a fair amount of both, where sometimes it’s a company headquartered down there making more of a footprint up here – which is what Fabkids is doing. But even more frequently it’s companies up here that are opening a smaller satellite office down there.

 

Scott Orn: That’s cool. Are you seeing anything special in New York or is it just kind of business as usual for the startups?

 

Eli Ceryak: We’re working on a few things there right now. I feel it’s still business as usual with a little more subleased space and more options out there. One striking thing for me is that in a lot cases San Francisco is every bit as expensive as New York whether it’s construction.

 

Scott Orn: We’ve made it. We’ve achieved.

 

Eli Ceryak: Our Cushman & Wakefield team is the leasing broker on the One World Trade Center. So we had them in for a presentation a month ago. It was just amazing to hear about the building. But perhaps even more amazing was the fact that their rents there and the construction costs are basically the same as they are, almost on the average, as San Francisco, which feels like New York should be more expensive.

 

Scott Orn: Like the traffic and the inability to cross the bridges and everything. I think we’ve achieved that. By the way what’s happening with this whole sinking building in downtown? I keep reading about this. Is it going to mess up the bus system? You know what I’m talking about?

 

Eli Ceryak: The Millennium Tower which is a residential tower – there’s been a lot of coverage about the building. J.K. Dineen, who is a writer for The SF Chronicle wrote what I thought was a great story about it on Sunday, which really focused on how other buildings are doing their foundations. It’s a problem. I don’t question that, but what I don’t have a great sense of – is how severe is the problem. I know people that live in the Millennium. Most of them say there are varying degrees of concern about how serious the problem is. Everybody is absolutely concerned. It ranges from people that think that it’s this cataclysmic event, to maybe the building is settling more than normal and people are making a bigger deal about it than they should be.

I enjoyed the piece that J.K. Dineen wrote because it really focused on there are a lot of buildings that have similar foundations to the Millennium that haven’t settled as much. Then it seems increasingly common that more buildings are drilling down to the bedrock, which honestly sounded like that might be because they figured out that they probably should have done things a little differently on the Millennium Tower.

 

Scott Orn: The Salesforce Tower is right over there, and this seems like all the stuff is getting intertwined. But Anyways, thanks for the high level on those markets.

 

What are some tips and some counseling you give to startups? Finding a lease, or maybe it’s subleasing, or maybe it’s taking down the big space – what some things that you advise startups on and how to avoid the mistakes?

 

Eli Ceryak: One other key thing is think about your exit strategy. Obviously the key thing is making sure the space is the best fit, it’s going to help you with hiring, that as we said earlier if you have a 2-year vision for the business, you’re not signing a sublease. Some of those sorts of things. What some companies overlook is if you’re outgrowing a space because your business is doing so well but maybe you need to cut back and move to a smaller space. You make sure you understand what the exit strategy is if you need to get out of that space. Usually that’s going to be subleasing. I think one of the key mistakes people will make is if you have something that is really specialized in your space.

 

I’ll use Fabkids that I was talking about as an example. If we’re going to do a photo studio in their space. One of the things that we are making sure of is that photo studio could be easily converted into a conference room, because if they are expecting the space to work for them for the next 5 years, but at some point if they need to outgrow it and we need to sublease the space. There aren’t very many companies that are going to want to have a photo studio. So I think we’ve done a good job in designing that so that the photo studio could easily become a conference room and if at some point they do need to get out of that space.

 

You want to have a space that’s going to help you with hiring or people are going to be excited to come to work every day. It’s so competitive to hire here. Anything that you can to do with your space is key. Make sure you don’t do anything too quirky that’s going to make it hard to sublease if you get to that point.

 

Scott Orn: That’s really good advice. Sometimes I’ve seen in different business cycles where it sounds great to have a photo studio, and with content marketing becoming more important, I totally get that. You sometime [inaudible 00:29:22] businesses and will see that they put a ton of money into the kitchen or a ton of money into a whatever it is, and they’re never going to get that money back. That makes it more difficult to sublease.

 

Eli Ceryak: Absolutely. It’s important to focus on things like the subleasing language and what your rights are, but I think it’s just a s important to make sure practically speaking, if you do need to sublease the space that it’s marketable.

The other thing is the security deposit conversation. There are some landlords that are much more comfortable with either tech startups or real estate tech companies.

 

Obviously most companies want to be guarded with the financials and not share them too broadly, but keeping in view the number of times that I have seen a company not really understand what the security deposit might be until they have the other deal terms ironed out. It shouldn’t be the last thing you figure out. Maybe if you’re a tech startup there are landlords that are going to want maybe as much as a – if it’s a longer term lease – it could be as much as a 9 or 12 months letter of credit. You want to have that conversation sooner rather than later, and understand what the landlord’s position is going to be on that, and give yourself some time to negotiate.

 

Scott Orn: What are you seeing in terms of how many months for a deposit and how many months for a letter of credit?

 

Eli Ceryak: It really varies a lot on the landlord. It varies a lot on the amount of construction dollars the landlord’s investing in that space, and a lot on the company. A company that just raised an A round but doesn’t have any revenues yet. You may see a landlord may ask for a 6 or 12-month security deposit.

 

I also think it’s important if you’re a very early stage company and don’t have a lot of revenues to point to yet, you want to highlight if have a prominent backers – whether it’s a prominent individual or a prominent VC firm – make sure you emphasize that. If you can go in and say, ‘Well, Kleiner Perkins believes in us, so landlord, you should as well.’ I think those sorts of things can help with security deposit.

 

Scott Orn: That makes total sense. What are some other things you’ve seen out there that people — like for us it was making sure the timeline on the space was long enough so we could be comfortable here we could move in, but also not too long so we outgrew it. What are some other tips you give startups?

 

Eli Ceryak: You can have an overbuying problem and an under buying problem. We generally advise folks to err on the side of under buying. If you’re in the space for 10 or 12 months and then you’re growing out of it. That is as I see it is a much better problem to have, than you’re in the space for 10 or 12 months and you realize it’s three times as much space as you need; you’ve got all this over head and maybe you can’t sublease it or you can’t sublease it as quickly as quickly as you like. It’s going to vary company to company, and startup to startup, but I would always try and err on the under buying.

 

Scott Orn: I’m nodding vigorously. Totally agree. Is there something to be said about people that don’t want to be too cramped but there’s energy that comes – especially with a startup – with working too tightly together because everyone sees how hard everyone else is working to make a company successful. So I think under buying is actually a really good advice.

 

Eli Ceryak: Couldn’t agree with that more.

 

Scott Orn: One more tip. You got anything for maybe there are some different things people need to consider whether they are downtown or maybe they are in Union Square or maybe they are in the Civic Center. Is there a specialized advice you give to startups depending on where they are in the city?

 

Eli Ceryak: It’s going to vary so much company to company, but I just fundamentally think, fit is the most important thing, is understanding from a location perspective not just where the people you have today live, but the people you want to hire might be coming from. If you think you’d be hiring engineers from Silicon Valley, obviously try and take a location loser to Caltrain. And other things.

 

This goes back to a little bit about what I was talking about the exit strategy. If you’re maybe a group of friends who’ve had success and you really just want to bootstrap it. You don’t need a cool space, and you’re not worried about.

 

It’s going to be a handful of people working their ass off, and you don’t need a cool space for hiring. Then I think that’s a great situation where you take something cheaper like the equivalent of a garage or whatever it might be. But if you need to ramp up the business and do some hiring then you need to go take a little bit nicer space that’s going to be easier for people to get to, and is going to impress the people you want to hire – so really thinking about what that fit is for your particular business.

 

I’d also say when you’re looking at hiring a real estate professional or really anybody to help your business out make sure that they are trying to really understand your business and what your business objectives are, and not just tell you rents are going to be this much near Ball Park and this much Down town, and there’s this much sublease available. Make sure there’s definitely not a one-size-fits-all approach. Make sure you’re working with somebody who digs in and understands what’s important to your business and your growth goals for that business.

 

Scott Orn: That last point is huge. And that’s what we got with you. You really helped us. Before we turned the mic on, I was like, ‘Hey, a year from now – let’s start talking about where we need to go next.’

So I think having a good partner – and we think of you as a good partner guiding us, helping up. We’re not experts in this. Every startup is not going to be an expert in real estate. They need to work with someone they can trust and believe in. And you’re that for us. Thank you so much, Eli.

 

Eli Ceryak: Thank you.

 

Scott Orn: Can you tell everyone where to find you on the internet? Where to find you if they want to work with you? How to reach out for you if they are interested in working with you?

 

Eli Ceryak: Yes, the easiest way is probably my email which is eli.ceryak@cushwake.com. It’s e-l-i-dot-c-e-r-y-a-k at cushwake.com. I’m also on Twitter – relatively new to Twitter this year – Ceryak Eli on Twitter. Those are the two best ways to track me down.

 

Scott Orn: Awesome. Thank you for coming by on Founders and Friends. Eli Ceryak. I can’t give you too big a recommendation. You are amazing for us and I hope other startups will reach out and work with you.

 

Eli Ceryak: I appreciate it.

 

Scott Orn: Thanks, man.

 

Eli CeryakEli Ceryak is a Senior Vice President and commercial broker for Cushman & Wakefield San Francisco. He represents a broad and eclectic client base, ranging from startup growth-stage tech companies to established Fortune 500 firms. Eli earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard University and received his Masters of Business Administration from the Walter A. Haas School of Business at University of California Berkeley. He is a regular Guest Blogger on blog.cushwake.com and has been published in Business Insider

Please follow Eli on twitter @CeryakEli

Want to Become a Guest Blogger? Please send a cogent, spell-checked email to mike.kirner@cushwake.com

 

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