The FORT Podcast: Jon Altschuler – Founder of Altschuler + Co – Dallas Office Market Past vs. Current vs. Future & 20+ Years of Lessons Learned

Jon Altschuler is the founder of Altschuler and Company and has been involved in all phases of the firm’s development since its founding in 2009. He started his career with Trammell Crow Company and was the president of Stream Realty Partners. Jon is the chairman of the SMU Dedman College executive board.

Jon is a graduate of Southern Methodist University where he was elected Phi Beta Kappa. Jon earned his MBA from the University of California, Berkeley.

On this episode, Chris and John discuss:

  • The current state of the office market and forward-looking thoughts.
  • Best practices for building a successful career in real estate.
  • Future of co-working and office leases.
  • What will happen to Class B office properties?

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(3:18) – Introducing Jon

(4:50) – What is it about Trammel Crowe that creates so many all-start caliber RE people?

(6:36) – Jon’s career in RE

(8:25) – What was your perspective on the GFC?

(10:41) – What does Altschuler + Co. do?

(11:20) – What was the narrative back in ’07 vs. ’09 from the building-owner perspective?

(14:09) – How would you describe the current market for Office?

(18:37) – Tech-Giant Sub-leases

(20:39) – Stranded Buildings

(22:26) – Do you have any insight on the mounting developer debt?

(23:33) – What do you predict for development?

(24:23) – What are we experiencing in DFW?

(26:21) – What does a great future for Office look like?

(27:11) – Are you seeing any clustering of businesses similar to Old Parkland?

(28:05) – Thoughts on co-working

(30:02) – What’s the difference between a great leasing agent and a terrible one?

(32:47) – What should tenants with 2 years on their lease left be thinking about?

(34:46) – Are there any new amenities that are making buildings more competitive?

(36:08) – What markets pique your interest?

(37:10) – How does your job change as the tenant gets larger?

(38:57) – How are tenants thinking about risk of leasing spaces that aren’t ready?

(41:05) – What are you seeing in capital markets for Office?

(41:45) – What’s the narrative for Dallas?

(42:49) – What would you tell new people in the industry as we stare at a potential downturn?

(44:02) – Who developed your marketing strategy?

(45:14) – How are you preparing your team for the next 2-3 years?

(45:52) – How did you develop your knack to outwork everyone?

(48:28) – Becoming a Global Citizen

(55:11) – What can Fort Worth do better to attract businesses?


Episode Summary

Jon Altschuler, an esteemed figure in the real estate domain, joined Chris Powers on his enlightening podcast to share pivotal insights drawn from his extensive experience in the industry. Boasting a rich history in real estate, Altschuler’s journey began with an innate passion for buildings and construction, eventually molding him into a top-tier player in the property leasing sector. His transition to leadership roles further solidified his reputation as a trailblazer.

The episode delved deep into the transformative phases of the real estate market, particularly highlighting the tumultuous period between 2007 and 2009. Altschuler recollected the rapid emotional and financial shifts that swept the sector. With 2007 being marked by bullish optimism, the narrative drastically changed by 2009, with many professionals feeling the strains of a stalling market. He underscored the resilience required during such times, emphasizing the importance of anticipating market movements and adjusting strategies accordingly.

Central to the discussion was the complex dynamic between tenant representation brokers and leasing agents. In challenging times, while tenant representatives seek to capitalize on vulnerabilities and negotiate favorable deals, leasing agents strive to project strength and stability. Altschuler eloquently described the art of leasing, emphasizing the crucial role of compelling communication in ensuring successful transactions.

The current office space market, as per Altschuler, is laden with chaos. However, the intricacies of long-term leases offer a buffer, delaying the immediate impacts of volatile market shifts. An intriguing trend highlighted was the industry’s tilt towards short-term leasing, reflecting evolving tenant preferences and the ever-adaptive nature of real estate.

Dallas’s exemplary rise in the corporate relocation sector was also touched upon. The city, with its strategic initiatives, has successfully positioned itself as a magnet for businesses, large and small. Altschuler commended the city’s marketing endeavors, which have played a pivotal role in this ascendancy.

The podcast also shed light on Altschuler and Company’s avant-garde marketing strategies. Developed in collaboration with Slam Partners, their marketing initiatives stand out for their effectiveness, setting benchmarks for competitors.

In conclusion, this episode with Jon Altschuler offered listeners a profound understanding of the multifaceted world of real estate. His sagacious reflections on market dynamics, tenant-broker relations, and the future of office spaces were both enlightening and instructive. For anyone keen on comprehending the ever-evolving real estate landscape, this episode is an invaluable resource.

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