Cushman & Wakefield Executive Vice Chairman Josh Kuriloff has seen it all over the course of a 35-year career in commercial real estate. But even those who’ve seen it all have never seen a time quite like the past year. Commercial Observer caught up with Kuriloff to assess where New York’s CRE industry stands after this trying year, and to discuss his illustrious career.
Commercial Observer: What is your take on the state of the office leasing market today?
Josh Kuriloff: We’re seeing pent-up demand. In buildings where we represent landlords, we’re seeing an increase in tour activity, and we’re starting to see a lot of LOIs get exchanged. We’re seeing a flight to quality and to new construction as well. Still, in the months to come, tenants will have lots of options, there will be fierce competition amongst landlords, and all of this will continue to put pressure on net effective rents in the short run.
Do you think the hybrid workforce and work from home are here to stay?
Corporate occupiers are still trying to figure that out based on their ability to recruit and retain talent. According to most employee surveys, the one key ingredient every employee wanted, regardless of demographics, was flexibility to work remotely. So I do believe we’ll see some form of hybrid workplace going forward. Personally, though, I think collaboration, onboarding, learning, mentoring, and unplanned collisions take place in the office. It’s harder to feel like you’re a part of the company’s culture on Zoom calls. That said, it would not surprise me to see people actually wanting to be in the office at least four days a week, if not five.
Many CRE veterans shifted to more of an advisory and thought leadership role over the pandemic. Talk about your own shift in that direction, and how it impacted your relationships with your clients.
I have to give credit to the Cushman & Wakefield C-suite. From the start of the pandemic, they developed a strategy to provide a…