Longtime development and leasing player Stream Realty Partners first threw down the gauntlet when it lured Dan Harris away from Cushman & Wakefield to launch a Dallas office tenant rep division in late November 2019. Within five months, Harris persuaded his former C&W colleagues Randy Cooper and Craig Wilson to join him in the entrepreneurial venture.
Now, the band is fully back together, with their former colleague Greg Biggs joining the fold. Through the years, the four brokers have negotiated some of the biggest deals in the market for companies like Energy Transfer, State Farm, Fannie Mae, AmerisourceBergen, Atmos Energy, and Encana Oil & Gas.
“Our hypothesis in joining Dan at Stream was that the marketplace wanted to hear from experienced people with a different approach toward handling their transactions, and that has proven to be true,” Cooper says. “Historically, when we all worked together in a traditional environment, we did very well. Now, we’re all back together again, and we have practical examples where we’ve applied our approach and how it has worked for clients.”
“The culture here is as advertised, in terms of the energy and passion and the kind of intelligence and unique approach that people bring to solving problems—it permeates the halls here,” Wilson adds. “I think that radiates in us when we’re out talking to clients and prospects. They see it and feel it, and I think it’s helpful to our success. I think it’s also one of the things that Greg saw when we told him, ‘You have got to check this out because what’s going on over here is special.’ We’re super pumped to have him on board.”
The brokers have worked together in some form or fashion for years. Biggs initially hired Wilson in the early 2000s, when he was leading the Dallas office of Studley (now known as Savills). In 2006, he and Wilson moved to Cushman & Wakefield and partnered up with Cooper, who shifted over from CBRE. They added Harris, formerly with The Staubach Co., to the team in 2010. A year later, the four moved to Cassidy Turley to build that firm’s tenant rep business. Cassidy Turley was acquired by DTZ and then Cushman & Wakefield. Biggs left in 2013 to join JLL as managing director of its tenant rep group, while Cooper, Wilson, and Harris were back under the C&W banner until moving to Stream. In January of 2021, Biggs decided to give development a try at Cawley Partners. He rejoined his former colleagues at Stream last week, as executive vice president.
“I love the people at Cawley Partners; they’re so smart and aggressive, and Bill was so kind to give me an opportunity to learn the development business,” Biggs says. “It was an incredibly hard decision to leave. But I missed the excitement of the chase of the deal. When you’re in the tenant rep business, you can chase companies of all sizes that have various needs and find different ways to help them find solutions to their challenges.”
Stream also recently hired Bobby Kunkle to lead and grow its occupier services project management and development division. Kunkle joined from Oxford Development Co. in Pittsburgh. But prior to that, he worked with Harris, Wilson, and Cooper at Cushman & Wakefield in Dallas.
An Entrepreneurial Approach
The tenant rep team at Stream Realty in Dallas is now up to 11 brokers. The firm is unique in that it allows players at every level to participate in various forms of investment and ownership. It also operates as a collaborative, flat organization.
“There are no private offices,” Cooper says. “There’s no perceived or real egotistical hierarchy. Additionally, you can get a job here right out of school and get the same deal that we all have, as it relates to opportunities to create wealth with development and investments. They don’t do carve-outs—special deals for some people, like the other companies sometimes do, which can lead to problems. Because when what’s good for one person is not good enough for someone else, it messes up the culture.”
“You’ve got the ability to participate, and the leadership and producers within each service line or vertical at Stream actively work together to promote that,” Harris adds. “It creates remarkable opportunities for anybody—for everybody.”
“The company really wants younger professionals to succeed,” says Wilson. “It’s not just, ‘You have the same deal, best of luck to you. It’s, ‘You have the same deal, and let’s help you get there.’ That’s one of the things that’s advantageous to Greg joining Stream because he has a great track record of mentoring and helping people develop in their careers—as evidenced by Dan and me.”
Biggs’ passion for helping would-be industry professionals led him to write a book, Is Commercial Real Estate for You? Published in 2017, it breaks down different sectors, product types, and disciplines within the industry.
It was Harris who initially reached out to Biggs.
“He has been a close friend and mentor for a long time. And I don’t want to sound too scripted here, but I can’t remember a time when I’ve had more fun and more success in this business than when I was working with Greg,” Harris says.
The team’s expansion comes at a time when North Texas continues to benefit from corporate relocations and expansions, even as office users continue to get their arms around remote work and other employment trends. The pandemic has shown companies what can be accomplished through technology, but more recently, they’re seeing the negative impact of remote work on culture and retention, the Stream team says.
“Before, it would come down to would you renew or relocate,” Harris says. “Today, people want to look at everything. There’s a new gamut of possibilities that a corporation can explore when they’re evaluating what they’re going to do in a post-COVID world. When you have a curiosity about office space and a need, and then the expertise on our end, it’s a great recipe.”
“I think Dallas is just about to explode—in a very aggressive manner,” Harris continues. “We’re hitting our stride in an entrepreneurial environment. Nobody is better equipped for these new market dynamics than Stream.”