Member Highlight: Brian Atkinson

Brian Atkinson

How long have you been a member of COLBA?

Since 2005.

What do you appreciate most about COLBA membership?

The opportunity to connect with friends and former colleagues (I have a lot) on a regular basis.

Tell us about your CRE background:

Five years of tenant rep at Grubb & Ellis before CJ Dempsey and Bob Herber talked me into to switching to the landlord side of the business at EOP. Three years with that stellar crew before we were all told to get out when the portfolio was sold off. A few fun, but not fruitful, years with the great people of NAI Hiffman. On to the JLL Agency team, where I spent four years working with another great group while my girlfriend, then fiancé, then wife worked on the other side of the floor. In 2013, I joined Hines to lead the leasing efforts on the Chicago portfolio while helping on the acquisition and development side of the business. And, THAT is how you have a lot of former co-workers to visit with at COLBA events.

What is your advice for young brokers starting out in the industry?

There is a time for an email and there is a time for a phone call. Know the difference.

What do you expect to see in the CRE market for 2016?

The speed of the suburban to downtown relocations have surprised me and I would be surprised again if they stopped as suddenly.

What do you hope to accomplish as a COLBA Board Member?

The Chicago real estate community has a history of a competitive but collegial environment. We have a responsibility to pass that environment on to the next generation. We can do that through networks and education.

What are some of your philanthropic associations?

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is an organization that is important to my family at home and the Hines Chicago office.

What do you like to do in your free time?

In the past, the easy answer was always to play golf, but today golf is in tough competition with family time. A wrestling match with a 2 year doesn’t take as much time and has more laughs. I’m also in the middle of four different books.

If you weren’t in Real Estate what would you like to be doing?

Teaching golf.

Most folks don’t know that I am…

Addicted to Twitter. The ability to surf news, sports, politics and real estate in a constant stream of information scratches my ADD itch. However, I had to unfollow all political news over the last 2 months. The state of our local, state and national politics was too depressing.