Influential People in Commercial Real Estate

The commercial real estate industry has been on shaky ground since the United States went into an economic recession. Despite the risks poised to investors, owners, developers and others in the industry, real estate professionals throughout Utah are pushing forward, making strides to improve the industry and get it back on its proverbial feet. Their commitment has been instrumental in Utah’s ability to outperform other states in the nation and remain one of the most fundamental economies in the country. Those who are included in Utah Facilities Magazine’s list of Influential People in Commercial Real Estate 2011 have impacted the industry in various ways in recent years. Their influence reaches all corners of the industry, including property management, commercial development, entrepreneurship and leadership.

Influential People:

Lorrie Ostlind – Hines
Randy Owen – Coldwell Banker Commercial
Don Francis – Coldwell Banker Commercial
Linda Wardell – City Creek Center
Eric Fairbanks – Utah Disaster KleenupDeanna Sabey – Sabey Law
Mike Falk – NAI West
Renee Schmid – Roderick Enterprises
Alan Matheson – Governor’s office
Ron Moore – RBM Services Inc.

Facilities Management
Don Francis
Coldwell Banker Commercial As the director of Engineering and Construction Management, Asset Services at Coldwell Banker Commercial, Don Francis supervises and trains the property engineering teams on best practices. He leads Coldwell Banker Commercial in qualifying buildings for the Government Energy Star Rating and LEED Certification. Francis is responsible for coordinating and supervising all construction projects in the Utah region. He has worked on a wide variety of capital and special projects, including the supervision and build out for the FBI building in downtown Salt Lake City. He also managed the 50,000 square-foot build out for the Salt Lake Olympic Organizing Committee and most recently a 30,000 square-foot build out for the Art Institute of Salt Lake City. Francis oversees the commissioning process on new facilities and the recommissioning of building systems on existing facilities. He looks for innovative ways to maximize the operating efficiency of the building systems and lower operating costs. For example, Francis, who oversees the operations of the 75,000 square-foot Occupational Safety and Health Technical Services Center in Sandy, was able to save the OSHA Office thousands of dollars in repair costs for their HVAC systems, construction management bid specifications and construction management oversight. On another property, Francis helped an owner who despite paying a contractor in full, had liens filed against the property by unpaid sub-contractors. Staying informed and up to date on the latest trends and technologies is Francis’ key to success.

“Do the research. Push to implement fiscally sound changes and upgrades. Build strong relationships within the industry,” Francis says. “Do not accept the status quo. There are always new challenges to overcome, issues to be resolved and new technologies to be implemented.”

Randy Owen
Coldwell Banker Commercial Randy Owen’s involvement with real estate blossomed in 1986 after managing an office park in North Carolina. Owen, now the chief operating officer of Coldwell Banker Commercial, realized then that he wanted to make commercial real estate and commercial property management his career. He found IREM (Institute of Real Estate Management) to be the perfect program to further a focused education in the industry and received his CPM (certified property manager) designation in 1991. He has been a stalwart member of IREM ever since and a strong promoter of their educational programs.

Five years ago, IREM discovered that college graduates in FPM programs needed extra help jumping into real estate, particularly in the management area. Owen eagerly volunteered to share his experiences and knowledge with apprehensive students and inform them of plausible career options they can pursue after graduation. Owen worked with IREM to offer students scholarships, internships and multiple opportunities to associate with successful people in their field of interest. Owen said the program is a chance for students to interact with other CPM members and work on their networking and business relationships. He has given presentations to different schools around Utah Ð the University of Utah, LDS Business College and Brigham Young University, to name a few Ð and has seen his efforts rewarded as many students procure local jobs with IREM firms.

Why the push in college programs to become involved with organizations like IREM and obtain a CPM designation?

“In my estimation about 80 to 90 percent of all the commercial real estate in the Salt Lake and Wasatch Front areas are either managed directly or supervised by a CPM of IREM. That’s significant,” Owen said. “The network power of having that much property controlled through our organization in our member firms out there is an interest to me because that’s who I like to associate with from a networking standpoint.”