Marc Barkdull, President of PJMB Commercial, understands the importance of putting the client first, while other large commercial companies take up to 3 months to sign a lease agreement, Marc can do it in under an hour. Learn more from Marc’s success as well as the latest trends in the industry.
Alan: Welcome back, I’m here today with Marc Barkdull, Marc is the President of PJM the Commercial. Marc, welcome to today’s show.
Marc: Thank you.
Alan: So, leading up to- what brought you into this position today at PJMB.
Marc: Well I’ve been in commercial real estate since I was just a laborer in high school as a summer job I had friend of the family who got me out on job sites just to shovel dirt cleanup and he came became kind of a mentor to me and I saw what he was doing and I thought oh, I want to do that. So over the years I worked for him often on in summers and then the other than when I was in college actually worked as a commercial broker and during that time to pay for college and then when I got out a got hired by a company in Palo Alto, Markcus and Millichap as a broker. At that time we were moving out to the Bay Area and my father-in-law, Joe Livingston, I think you know Joe, he was in commercial real estate and he had had a position in his company that is that he wanted filled in and offer me the job so I said okay with much trepidation but then he became a great mentor to me as well and over time, in fact the PJ in PJMB on the MB, he's the PJ part and I’m the MB so now we’re partners and so its been a long road.
Alan: How is the commercial market today the Bay Area?
Marc: Really strong, really really strong and I would say that we’re probably in the top two markets in the country San Francisco of course is extremely tight and extremely solid right now and its certainly spread throughout the whole Bay Area, Silicon Valley, the East Bay and now the markets that are further out are catching up as well.
Alan: What type of trends do you see going on?
Marc: Bigger deals are stronger than smaller deals, the demand out there for large contiguous spaces where is in times past its been smaller spaces, smaller lots of spaces that are needed but for some reason that this really the large blocks of space that are really in high demand right now.
Alan: Are you are you focused in the heart of Silicon Valley or concentrated in any particular area?
Marc: We have buildings in Santa Clara and San Jose and and certainly in Sunnyvale is a strong mound use the software components when it's extremely strong and an high demand it tends to recover quickly on the peninsula and then it makes his way to these the Fremont and Newark and is about primarily right now were actually over the hill and and Pleasanton Livermore and that area tri-Valley area and have seen significant growth there strength and rents going up and to a vacancy.
Alan: Do you find a lot of out the demand is some new startups or is it from existing companies expanding?
Marc: I’d have to say its existing companies expanding more so and that that goes back to the large blocks of space that are in higher demand in smaller when you have start of companies that generally start and smaller space, we call them incubator sometimes we have a lot of properties and specialized in that whether it’s a two or three or 5000 square-foot unit where a new company will come in they have some seed money and they are just starting. Just starting to develop their product, starting to- not actually manufacturing yet and so we have a lot of properties that we do do that, we see less of that right now than I think that existing companies that are just demanding huge space right now you know from 20-200,000 ft.² is in and it's becoming harder and harder to find large blocks of space to satisfy these people.
Alan: I’m visiting here today with Marc Barkdull, he is the President of the PJMB the commercial, Marc I need to take a quick break, and we’ll be back after these messages and talk about today’s real estate market.
Alan: Welcome back I’m visiting here today with Marc Barkdull he is the President of PJM the Commercial, A Real Estate Company located here in the San Francisco Bay Area. Marc, before you gave us the lay of the land and outlined that there is an increase in demand for space right now. As you see people come through looking at your facilities, how and do you identify a good tenant from the alternative?
Marc: I don't that's an exact science but we’ve had some that we thought were great tenants and didn't turn out to be, of course, we look at their financials and study those and make sure that they can pay the rent that we’re charging we talk to previous landlords to make sure that they were good tenants and we like to see a business plan, if it’s a newer company, we like to look at their business plan, but honestly it comes down to I won’t do a deal unless I sit across the table from somebody and get a feel for them, it might be talking to them about nothing that has to do with real estate or their business just to get a feel for them and who they are and make sure that there’s going to be a relationship there. I'm about relationships not about just doing business for the sake of doing business, I like to have relationships and we have tenants that have been with us for 20+ years in certain buildings and we try to really make it a relationship basis business. Because I know how I make my money, is through renewals, to not have to pay a new commission to get somebody in there, those are the expensive things, so if I can build a relationship where I can get somebody to stay with us, we like what they do for them, they like what they do for us, we all benefit.
Alan: When you look at competition out there and you're about the relationship how do you differentiate yourself from the other guy?
Marc: It has a lot to do with the type of property that we specialize in. We have a lot of flex space that are smaller spaces, 2000 3000 ft.² units and multitenant campus situations and so a lot of times we get mom-and-pop companies, start up companies, smaller local companies and these kind of tenants usually want to come in they want to deal with a face, one person rather than institution a lot of real estate now is owned by huge institutions and don’t even know who you’re renting from. They’re so big and so diverse and personnel changes things that and it sometimes will take a long time to do a deal you know if it's a large space and with the institutional owner of some kind it can take three months just to get a deal done, you know after going through the attorneys and going back and forth. Someone can site in front of me and I can do a deal on an hour. I can sit down and say, that’s ok and we’ll go for it. There’s no body above, there’s no committee that I need to answer for. I think that gives us a real competitive edge to be able to do that, to be able to satisfy those people who want to act quickly and without a lot of hassle.
Alan: Being in real estate gives you a choice in how you manage your time. Its what I call balancing out your life. What do you do when you’re not at work, how do you find balance in your life?
Marc: Well I have four boys so that skews the balance way over to the family side sometimes. So activities with my family is probably the number one thing outside of the office that we’ll do, and I’m very lucky to have four boys that are very athletic and that are adventurous and so we do a lot of things together, we golf together we waterski, we snow ski, are all family activities that we enjoy, we just recently bought dirt bikes, we’re exploring that a little bit and so that's a lot of fun. We have a cabin in southern Utah that we go visit and go fishing and hiking in and things to get away from it all and we’ve always enjoyed that as a family. My wife as well is very active, she does all of those things with us, she's right there with doing those activities and adventures and family really has a way to balance you out.
Alan: With four boys, are you involved in the scouting program?
Marc: Yep, scouting program, I have two Eagle Scouts, two of the four boys are eagle scouts and another one just finished his eagle project, and should be getting his eagle in the next few weeks after approval. So yes, I’m very involved with scouting, and serve on the board of the San Francisco Bay Area Council along with you.
Alan: We share that in common together. So I hear a lot about balancing out with family-
Marc: Another aspect of my life too is the spiritual aspect, in making sure that our family has that in their lives as well and so it is difficult and especially in the Bay Area, the Bay Area is- the pace is just how incredible and even for the kids in school. So it's really important for me to find that balance and to strive for it, I don’t always achieve it but I try hard for it.
Alan: I’ve noticed that the kids at home unless you’re teaching spirituality they’re not going to get it anywhere else
Marc: Exactly, it comes from us.
Alan: When everything comes down to it at the end of life, how are you going to define success in your life?
Marc: Joy, you know, joy in my life wherever it comes from, whether it's from the business and I’m not talking about happiness, joy, real joy- just a sustaining and a feeling. Whether it comes from my family, from the spiritual aspect or from the business, and I do get pieces of joy from all of those, that’s success, as long as I’m feeling that joy and feeling content, that’s where my success comes from, it doesn’t matter how big my bank account is, or how many buildings I have or any of that, it comes from that feeling of peace and joy.
Alan: Well said Marc, I appreciate you being on today’s show.
Marc: Thank you