PHOENIX—As previously reported on GlobeSt.com, Geoffrey Harris has joined CBRE Group, Inc.‘s Capital Markets’ Debt and Structured Finance team as senior vice president. Harris joins CBRE from Meridian Capital where he was managing director. He previously served as vice president of capital markets at Marcus & Millichap, where he was a top performer and was ranked as a “Top Five Broker” nationally from 2007 through 2011, and a “Top Loan Originator” for three consecutive years. Additionally, he was the recipient of Marcus & Millichap’s National Achievement Award for five consecutive years. Over the course of his career, Harris has closed more than 2,000 loans in excess of $3 billion. Harris will play a key role in originating net-leased transactions for the firm nationally, in the multi and single-tenant, office, retail and industrial properties space. GlobeSt.com caught up with Geoffrey Harris in this exclusive interview to discuss the details of his strategies moving forward.
GlobeSt.com: How has your experience as a broker lent itself to the realm of capital markets debt and structured finance?
Harris: Put simply, my job has always been to help clients reach their commercial real estate investment goals. Putting the right financing package in place and being able to execute quickly can make or break a deal, and I thrive on the competitive nature of the industry. I enjoy the challenge that commercial real estate transactions present and I love delivering on my promises. These are basically the things that make me tick professionally and have fueled my successes in the realm of CRE financing thus far.
GlobeSt.com: How would you categorize the current state of the lending market?
Harris: We all know the market has seen significant highs and lows in recent years. However, after the incredible lows of the most recent economic downturn, investors have finally begun to return to the market and seek out deals on a more consistent basis. The US commercial real estate lending market has shown continued signs of expansion in the first half of 2014 after building on strong upward momentum from late 2013. In fact, as of March of this year the lending market recorded a 16.3% year-over-year increase in commercial lending activity. What’s more, overall US investment sale volume numbers were up 15% year-over-year as well. Overall, we are headed in the right direction; it will be exciting to see what unfolds over the next several quarters.
GlobeSt.com: What will be some of your strategies moving forward with CBRE?
Harris: The most important aspect of my business is to service my clients and execute. My team is committed to making it easier for the lender to underwrite, ensuring the entire process goes as smoothly as possible. One of the things I’m most looking forward to is leveraging the CBRE’s robust platform of services. As part of the Capital Markets Debt and Structured Finance team I not only have access to a global network of commercial real estate finance professionals, but others who are dedicated to research, appraisal, solving for environmental issues, sales and leasing and so much more. These resources will allow my team to devise and implement creative solutions to my clients’ complex investment strategies and really give us a competitive edge against the competition.
GlobeSt.com: Given your expertise in finance, what are some of your goals in your position for CBRE?
Harris: Ultimately, the goal is always do what I say I’m going to do when I say I’m going to do it. Being able to operate from a world-class platform like CBRE ensures that I’m able to do just that. CBRE Capital Markets combines the top property sales, finance and investment banking businesses into a single, fully integrated global service offering, which ensures that I’m able to provide the most innovative financial solutions for my clients’ commercial real estate investment needs. If my clients are taken care of, then I’ve reached my most important goal. I’m also very focused on capturing and growing market share in the retail financing arena not only in Arizona, but across the US. CBRE is a market leader in all aspects of the commercial real estate world, and I’m going to do my best to ensure the brand is well-represented in my particular niche.