Benjamin Cooper has been with the CBIZ Gibraltar team since 2006. He specializes in exclusive tenant representation and is an expert deal analyst, creative strategist and detailed negotiator on behalf of tenants.
As part of our Get to Know Gibraltar series, we sat down with Ben and asked him these six questions:
What part of your working day makes you think “This is why I do this job?”
With the ever-changing market around us, tenants need a proactive approach to negotiating, evaluating and managing their real estate needs so they can put their focus on their business goals and objectives. That’s one of the best parts of my day — educating clients on the process.
Whether tenants seek to acquire or dispose of space, we assist in evaluating and identifying all facets of the real estate process so our clients can make sound business decisions.
Working with them to understand how the deal works is the most beneficial element of my job. It comes down to understanding the needs of clients and the needs of landlords and finding common ground, so everyone is satisfied with the end result and final terms.
Why do you prefer to work in the physical office environment?
The proliferation of remote work that took place at the onset of the coronavirus was incredible. The new tools, process and resources that organizations developed and utilized provided a great temporary solution, and many elements of virtualization are here to stay. However, there is no comparison to working in a physical office environment.
Our business, and most businesses, achieves success chiefly because
of our teammates. I rely on them for opinions, backup support, communication and direction. The culture we create working as a team
is built on trust and working relationships that wouldn’t develop in the same way in a virtual setting. That’s perhaps the biggest driver for me — collaboration. Working remotely simply does not provide the same level of collaboration as being in the office.
What advice would you give young real estate professionals and workplace experts?
With the growing number of institutional landlords in nearly every major U.S. market and across every asset class, commercial tenants encounter brokers anxious to make a deal and landlords under pressure from investors to stabilize rents. With this in mind, it’s important to understand that rejection can be a frequent part of the business and to not take it personally.
No two companies are alike, and when you work to deliver the best possible solutions for clients, rejection won’t matter. Keep an open mind and think strategically about solving the unique needs of clients. These are necessary considerations for approaching business, and remember that every deal is a roller coaster ride.
What are the most memorable client projects you worked on to date? Why?
All client engagements are memorable because of the result we generate. Real estate has the power to change lives and drive business. So, the
most memorable transactions for me are those that start off small and
end up creating something significant for their businesses, clients and employees. For example, one specific client I worked with started operating in one office in a single market with less than 10 employees. Only a few years later, we have worked with them and watched succeed with great growth to approximately 130 employees in nine markets.
What are some of your favorite buildings or offices spaces in Chicago?
River Point is an incredible example at 444 West Lake Street. Its an ultramodern 52-story building with 1,050,000 square feet of office space. Its 1.5-acre public park and landscaped riverwalk has extraordinary views of the Chicago River and Wacker Drive.
150 North Riverside is another one of my favorites. The 54-story building sits on a two-acre site located on the west bank of the Chicago River, rising high above a historically significant area of Chicago known as the Confluence, where each of the three branches of the river intersect.
What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
I have a young family, so most of my time when I’m not at work is spent with them — including my dog, George. I am also an avid golfer and try to play as much as possible, especially as the weather warms up in Chicago.
CBIZ Gibraltar is comprised of professionals from a variety of backgrounds, spanning a broad range of real estate expertise and experience. We share in a common focus of accountability, integrity and responsiveness.