February 12, 2024 Maria Verdin

INSIGHTS: 2024 Initiatives and Board Updates

AIR CRE 2024 Initiatives

As we shoot through the first quarter, I would like to share some key updates with you regarding AIR CRE’s 2024 initiatives, welcome this year’s president, Tibor Lody, introduce you to our three new Board of Directors and thank two out-going board members.

In early January, we held our annual planning session with the Board of Directors. During the meeting, we covered the following key initiatives: the development of the new AIR CRE Contracts Application, the out-of-state expansions of AIR CRE Contracts, the continued program development for AIR CRE>Next, and Research’s Creative Space Dataset build.

Development and Launch of the New AIR CRE Contracts Application

Development, completion and roll-out of the new Contracts app continues to be the organization’s top priority. We anticipate being “code complete” in late 2024 with a roll-out in Q2 2025. Between now and then, a comprehensive deployment plan will be created to ensure a smooth transition to the new system, including the deployment schedule, communications and marketing, a thorough training program, and legacy system transition plan.

National Expansion of AIR CRE Contracts

As of the start of 2024, we’ve officially customized the AIR CRE Contracts for 43 states and we plan on having all remaining states completed and available by the end of Q2 2024. We will continue working to expand Contracts usage across the country by executing on an aggressive marketing plan aimed at the members of our current partners while creating new partnerships with a targeted group of industry organizations we believe will provide the best alignment with AIR CRE. Currently, we have partnership agreements with SIOR, SVN, eXp, Arizona Association of Realtors, Commercial Alliance of Las Vegas, TenantBase and CAR/Lone Wolf, and are in active discussions with Coldwell Banker Commercial and NAR. We have also had preliminary discussions with Lee & Associates, NAI, ReMax, and Century 21. Effort will also be spent identifying and contacting the largest Realtor organizations as well as CRE software companies that deliver a product or platform where AIR CRE Contracts is a logical integration.

AIR CRE>Next, Program Development and Expansion

In 2024, AIR CRE will continue focusing resources on the AIR CRE>Next program. It gives participants the opportunity to learn the CRE business through a collective approach to mentorship while also allowing them to build the relationships that will serve as the groundwork for long-term success. As you may have seen in our recent welcome article, we are thrilled that our new 2024 class is 46 strong, up from 26 in 2023, and 13 in 2022, the program’s inaugural year.

We look forward to seeing the Board of Directors and other members participate in >Next events throughout 2024.

Given the feedback we’ve received from class participants, board members, and owners who have participated in the program and attended the events, I feel encouraged by the growth of this program, which is a great way to bring the CRE industry together and ensure its future success. I am looking forward to seeing it become a pillar of AIR CRE, as well known as our Contracts and Research.

Research: Creative Office Space Database

A couple of years ago, at the suggestion and assistance of President Tibor, Monique Ebel, AIR CRE’s Director of Research, and the rest of the AIR CRE research team began building a Creative Space dataset for the West LA market, which includes one-to-two-story traditional creative office spaces. According to Tibor and Monique, there are approximately 150 brokers working this product type, which is currently performing better than Class A office space. It focuses on hospitality-oriented experiences and includes unique amenities like open kitchens, designed cafes, and high-end common areas such as yoga and meditation rooms. We intend to use the database as a catalyst to drive general office adoption and encourage brokers to submit information to the AIR CRE Research platform. Additionally, once the database is robust enough, we will consider adding it to the quarterly Research Insights Reports and expanding to other creative office markets.

Leadership Perspective: Board of Director Updates

A Welcome to Our New President

I would like to give a warm welcome to Tibor Lody who is serving as AIR CRE’s 2024 President/Executive Chair. Tibor has been an AIR CRE member since 1998 and began serving on the board in 2016.

Tibor brings almost 25 years of CRE experience to the board, starting with 13 years at the Klabin Company, where he began with an industrial focus. Currently, he is a partner at Lee & Associates in Santa Monica, where he has been for the last 11 years. He is part of the Lee West LA Advisory Group team which focuses on creative office and flex space across the Westside, including Culver City, Venice, Santa Monica, Playa Vista and Hollywood, where he focuses primarily on landlord leasing representation and investment sales.

“During my time as President, I aspire to build on the tremendous work that all past and current AIR CRE board members and presidents have put into the organization. Specifically, the work that Justin Altemus, AIR CRE’s 2023 President/Executive Chair, put into action, and fulfill the legacy his grandfather left behind. I aim to increase membership as well as continue building the AIR CRE Contracts platform,” Tibor said. “I will carry forward exactly what AIR CRE is about: creating and maintaining a healthy brokerage support system and community. This is such a positive organization, and I am honored to be a part of it.”

As mentioned, Tibor recognized an opportunity for AIR CRE to fulfill a need for better creative office data reporting for brokers and hopes AIR CRE will become the go-to resource for this information in West LA. To that end, he will continue tracking this niche segment of the market throughout his tenure. He will lead the charge, helping get information into the database by reaching out to brokers and board members, using his network to drive interest.

Incoming Board Members

This year, we are pleased to welcome three in-coming members to the board:

Patrick DuRoss, SIOR, is serving as this year’s Contracts Chair. He brings to AIR CRE robust experience as Executive Managing Director and senior member of the top-performing industrial team in Newmark’s North Los Angeles office. He specializes in advising occupiers and investors on the sale, leasing and development of industrial and R&D properties throughout the region. He also has extensive experience representing both tenants and landlords in large, complex transactions.

Danielle Bray is serving as this year’s Technology Co-Chair. She is Vice President of Leasing at Rexford Industrial Realty, a $10B+ REIT that focuses exclusively on creating value by investing in industrial property throughout Southern California. Danielle is responsible for the leasing of 13M sf across the San Diego, Orange County, Mid-Counties and Central Los Angeles regions. She leads a team of leasing professionals, engages the brokerage community daily, and works cross-departmentally on various reposition and redevelopment projects. She brings to AIR CRE an over-20-year career in the industrial real estate sector.

Nick Spatafore of CBRE, is serving as this year’s Marketing Chair. He has a core focus on serving the needs of owners and occupiers in the R&D, manufacturing/warehouse and office sectors, having earned a reputation as a trusted advisor in the industry. Since 2002, Nick has completed over 700 transactions, representing more than 11M sf in the Orange County market. This extensive track record demonstrates his expertise in navigating complex deals, offering strategic insights, and achieving favorable outcomes for his clients.

Outgoing Board Members

We have two extraordinary people who left the Board at the end of 2023, each of whom dedicated substantial time and attention to the organization over the years.

Kurt Strasmann served on the board since 2013. He has held a multitude of positions including 2020 President, 2019 President Elect, and 2016 Secretary/Treasurer.

Bennet Washabaugh served on the board since 2019 in a number of positions including Marketing Co-Chair, Marketing Chair, and Contracts Chair.

Thanks to all current and past Board Members for your service to AIR CRE Members and the CRE industry – your time and commitment are greatly appreciated! And thank you to our Members for your participation in the organization in 2024. We are looking forward to seeing everyone at our in-person events throughout the year.

Very truly yours,

Tim Hayes
Executive Director