Get to know Bill Baldwin
Bill has over 30 years of corporate and commercial real estate experience. In the office he is actively involved in the strategic direction of the company, both locally and nationally. But, who is he really? To get to know Bill, we asked him the following questions.
Outside of work, what are you most passionate about?
I am fortunate to live in the great state of Colorado, so being outside and enjoying our great weather is something to be passionate about. I also enjoy the opportunity to continue to travel and have new experiences in new cultures. The world is a pretty amazing place. Get out there and enjoy it.
What is your favorite Denver restaurant?
Since I moved here in 1993, Denver’s restaurant scene has exploded and there are so many great options out there, many of which I have not had the opportunity to try. That said, I love Potager which is one of the original farm to table restaurants in Denver and Benny’s Mexican, which is always fun.
How do you describe your job to people outside of the industry?
I have actually been thinking about this a lot lately and the skill sets required to be an effective real estate advisor to corporations. I do not classify what we do as being a broker, it is so much more complex than that term would connote. In order to be effective serving our clients we must possess a diverse set of skills; we must be skillful at strategy and possess management consulting skills to guide and advise our clients on real estate solutions that support their evolving business requirements; we must understand real estate markets and how the changing dynamics of the markets will impact our clients; we have to understand the structure of a real estate transaction including how rents work, operating expenses, tenant improvements and legal terms such as occupancy clauses, renewal provisions or non-disturbance clauses; for complex projects, we have to be able to understand translate the nomenclature of real estate finance in to corporate finance; we must also have a strong working knowledge of construction practices; and finally we must be effective negotiators. What we do at Cresa offers so much value to our clients at so many levels within their organization it is really difficult to simply wrap this in to a simple elevator pitch. If pressed, I would say “we act as advisors and advocates to our clients on defining and implementing their corporate real estate requirements” but this in no way does justice to the service we provide nor the value we create on behalf of our clients.
If you were not in commercial real estate what would you be doing?
I am very entrepreneurial and have had the good fortune to put that to use in the Cresa environment. I also like making deals, so I suppose that I would be an aggregator of businesses through the merger and acquisition process. There are so many companies that we run across on a daily basis that have so much potential but for whatever reason are not able to see their opportunities. To me, this is such an interesting area to grow businesses by finding a company that has one core set of skills that has the applicability to be leveraged in many ways. I love seeing the potential of what could be.
What is your biggest pet-peeve?
From a business perspective it is pre-conceived opinions that are not grounded in experience or facts. This is a bit of fun for me in my mentoring of the younger people we work with. I am constantly challenging as to why they have certain opinions and whether or not these opinions are based on fact or hearsay. It is very easy to be discredited if you are espousing opinions or views on something you are not educated on. In these cases it is best to keeps ones thoughts and opinions to themselves, until they have the information needed to have an opinion.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
I was fortunate to be brought in to the business by very honest and ethical mentors, one of which gave me the very best advice on the first day of our business relationship and one which I have passed along to new people entering the business. The basic tenet of this advice is that there are a lot of unethical people in the business world and if you align yourself with these types of people, you will lose sight of your personal ethics. So the advice was “if you associate with unethical people, you will become unethical”. The line of ethical behavior can be made gray and blurry pretty easily, but for me it bold and sharp. I am proud to say that I have surrounded myself with highly ethical people throughout my career and have hopefully passed these ethics along to others. I cannot thank my mentors enough for the advice they have given me.
Click here, to learn more about Bill and the projects he has been involved with.