Cresa Global Appoints Tindall to Board

This article originally appeared in Costar.

  Cresa Global Appoints Tindall to Board


Tom Tindall, who co-founded Cresa's Atlanta office 28 years ago, is back on Cresa Global's board of directors.

Last month, the Washington-based brokerage firm that focuses on occupiers of space appointed Tindall to a two-year term to replace a director whose term had ended. He also was appointed to serve on the board's finance and audit committees.

Cresa's 11-member board oversees the company's short-term and long-term plans. The company's directors also are intimately involved with senior management in key issues including finance, audit, compensation, recruiting and mergers and acquisitions.

Tindall, who has been part of Cresa Atlanta's executive committee for nearly three decades, said his addition to the board is a testament to the Atlanta operation's strong presence for the brokerage firm that has more than 80 offices across the globe.

"The Atlanta office is one of Cresa Global's top offices, and therefore we have the bandwidth to assist with such duties as heading national committees and working on board-related matters," Tindall said in an interview.

For Tindall, his appointment marks a return to the board on which he served as a director several years ago. Cresa Atlanta co-founder Jim Byrd also has served on the company's global board. Cresa board members typically receive a stipend, but that has been affected by the pandemic, Tindall said.

Tindall joins Cresa Global's board as commercial real estate firms across the country work to diversify their brokerage teams that often include mostly white men. In 2018, Cresa formally launched its diversity and inclusion program and highlighted it as a priority for leaders in each of its markets.

The focus on diversity and inclusion has helped, but Tindall acknowledged that the firm could, and would, do a better job on this front. The pay structure in the brokerage world can be challenging, especially for people just joining the industry, he said.

"It is a unique profession as we are primarily on a full-commission basis, so the ability to sustain a career can be quite difficult," Tindall said. "We need to put the right people in the right positions, with the right mentors, in order to ensure success. We at Cresa will continue to strive to improve in this area."

When Tindall and Byrd formed Cresa's Atlanta office in the early 1990s, he said they were confident their venture would find success. In 1993, Boston-based Cresa Global co-founder Bill Goade, then head of Avalon Partners, formed a group called CresaPartners Alliance with four other brokerage firms. Tindall said he and Goade and the alliance firms each had a similar entrepreneurial spirit as well as a strong sense of ethics and morals that hadn't always been evident in a business where commissions ruled.

"We all seemed to have a similar calling to be consumer advocates for tenants and users of office and industrial real estate," Tindall said. "Our goal was to create an adjunct real estate department for companies and corporations both domestically and across the globe."

An Atlanta native and University of Georgia graduate, Tindall got into the commercial real estate field in 1985 when AFCO Realty owner Sam Friedman hired him and took him under his wing.

"He was, in my opinion, one of the best practitioners in the business. He truly understood the user-tenant representation side of the business," Tindall said of Friedman. "I will always be grateful to both Sam and my partner Jim Byrd for their mentorship."

Commercial real estate resonated with Tindall in several ways. "This business has allowed me to compete, sell, work with numbers, create strategy, negotiate and most importantly, meet and work with and for some great people," he said. "These are all thinks I have found I love to do."

Growing up, Tindall wanted to follow in his late father Dr. Harry Tindall's footsteps and be a doctor. His father was an ophthalmologist for 49 years at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta. But that profession required too many years of school for Tom Tindall, who wanted to get into the working world as soon as possible.

"My next interest was to become a sports agent, but the great Richard Howell directed me away from that profession," Tindall said. "So, I guess I found my calling in representing great companies with their real estate needs around the globe as their advocate."