The New England Chapter held its annual RW Holmes Scholarship evening on Thursday, October 10, 2019 at Brae Burn Country Club, Newton, MA. The event was held from 6pm to 9pm with over 30 attendees from various New England locations. This event was the 13th Annual RW Holmes Scholarship evening and the 6th annual in conjunction with the MIT Center For Real Estate. The event is named after Bob Holmes, a long time SIOR member and Chapter President who passed away unexpectedly in 1996. The event offers scholarships to a rising star in the MIT Real Estate program and a rising star in the Boston commercial real estate brokerage community. It is a highly competitive application and review process. In attendance for this evening included Steve Weikal, Head of Industry Relations, MIT Center For Real Estate; Mike Giuttari, SIOR Chapter President; and Frank Hird SIOR Regional Director from Connecticut.
During the summer, a number of applications were submitted to the New England SIOR chapter for consideration. The SIOR scholarship is applicable towards an SIOR Educational program. Mike Giuttari, Chapter President offered introductions and welcomed the attendees. The first scholarship award was presented to a MIT Real Estate “rising” student. The MIT Real Estate Program is a one year program in which many of the students graduate and pursue national and international careers in commercial real estate. Past MIT recipients of the SIOR scholarship are now employed in commercial real estate in China and the U.S. MIT also participates by providing guest speakers at the SIOR National conventions.
This year the MIT student Class 2020 recipient was Ian Bradley. He is from San Diego. He worked the last 5 years in San Diego for Cushman & Wakefield in the Capital Market Sales division. At MIT, he has specialized his studies in the development of commercial, industrial and mixed-use properties. He also hobbies in wilderness survival and is an accomplished mountain climber. He is a blackjack and poker dealer at San Diego casinos. Congratulations to Ian.
Mike then introduced the background on the SIOR Chapter scholarship. Mike said that there were a number of choices and making a decision was very difficult this year. Therefore for the first time, there were two co-recipients. Dan Driscoll of Colliers International and Elizabeth Holmes of RW Holmes Realty. Elizabeth is the granddaughter of the name sake, Robert W. Holmes.
The background on Dan Driscoll is that he joined Colliers International, Boston in 2016 and serves as an Associate in the Suburban Brokerage team. He is four years as a commercial broker. In this capacity, he consults with clients in the leasing, sale, disposition and acquisition of real estate in the Rt. 128, 93 and 495 North markets. .
Prior to joining Colliers, Mr. Driscoll served as a sales representative for Office Resources, Inc. in Boston as an office furniture dealer. His responsibilities included identifying and engaging potential customers, recommending appropriate products and systems, and managing and coordinating projects from sale to installation. Dan attended Saint Michael’s College, Bachelor of Science, Business Administration.
He is also very active with professional and community organizations. He is a member of the National Association of Industrial & Office Properties (NAIOP) in which he serves on the Development Leaders Committee. He serves on the CoreNet Global Young Developing Leaders Committee. He is a member of the North Shore Chamber of Commerce. Dan also volunteers for the Big Brothers Big Sisters and is a member of its Young Professionals Group Executive Committee. His long-term career goals include to develop and maintain long term relationships with landlords and tenants, and to be a North Suburban market expert.
Dan is working to attend an SIOR educational course, and an SIOR Conference. He wants to meet SIOR members and develop long term relationships with them, understand best practices, and learn about trends in different markets. When asked what were his contributing achievements to his company, Dan answered that he is a team player that sources new business opportunities and supports the team with existing relationships.
Dan Driscoll has also attended many SIOR Chapter events for the last 3 years and has been a great advocate for the younger brokers. He has assisted in boasting attendance with young brokers, including the June, 2019 dinner with the National Executive Director, Tom McCormick, SIOR.
Ms. Elizabeth Holmes serves as Director of Corporate Services and as a commercial broker for RW Holmes Realty, Inc. Natick, MA. She has been in commercial real estate for 2 ½ years at R.W. Holmes (full time and internship) and 1.5 years at Ernst and Young (30% of the time spent on CRE research and tasks). When asked about her long-term career goals, she stated that as the third generation in her family business, she hoped to continue the legacy of her company that both her grandfather and father have established - as a firm that provides the highest level of service to their Greater Boston clients. However, while honoring the success and respect of her firm, she also hopes to further modernize and innovate the company to stay relevant for future generations.
As a broker, Elizabeth’s goals are: 1) to become the top producer at her firm; 2) to be respected for her knowledge, integrity, and creativity like her father and grandfather; 3) and to work on some of the most notable and challenging deals in the Greater Boston suburbs.
She stated that she wants her practice to focus more on the overall real estate needs of a client rather than just brokerage. She wants the role to be more consultative than transaction-oriented. This role will require a wider knowledge of the general real estate industry, more creativity, and more industry connections. However, she believes that will create stronger client relationships and provide a higher value to clients that will differentiate herself from the competition.
When asked what her contributing achievements to your company she answered that as a family member, her role has been unique. The uniqueness allows her to contribute not only as a broker, but also through internal and managerial roles.
She believes that her most significant broker contributions include:
· Establishing a presence in the Central 128 market where previously RW Holmes rarely participated.
· Being part of the core team that secured the leasing assignment of Lincoln North – a 128,000 SF Class A office building in Lincoln. Her work included redesigning a new professional pitch book and performing the detailed market research for the presentation. These moves enabled the company to win the leasing assignment for the property. After winning the assignment, her work not only included leasing of the building, but also included the oversight of the rebranding and redesigning of the building. She was personally involved with the recruitment of a 22,000 SF tenant to the building.
· Her most significant internal contributions include:
· Establishing and executing the RW Holmes quarterly written report, which has been produced every quarter since her hiring in 2017.
· Hiring of a Marketing Manager to oversee administrative and marketing tasks.
· Implementing a new CRM database to improve contact management and prospecting.
· Rebranding the company’s logo, business cards/marketing materials, and website.
· Establishing a strategic plan for the firm which included the rebranding efforts.
· Oversight of her summer intern, Kimmie Nahigian.
Elizabeth also is involved in civic and charitable activities including: Babson Alumni Board of Boston – VP of Board: Newton Needham Chamber of Commerce – Real Estate Committee Member; Babson Real Estate Affinity Network – Committee Member; CREW Boston – Golf Committee Member; Foundation for MetroWest – Youth in Philanthropy ambassador and volunteer; and Spiders Club Field Hockey – Youth field hockey coach.
By attending an SIOR educational course, she hopes to achieve the opportunity to personally become involved in a network of high caliber real estate professionals and gain their insight. It is something she would find invaluable to her growth in the industry. She has seen first-hand the impact of the SIOR network through her firm’s work with national/international requirements, Additionally, she said, this industry is so dynamic and every client requirement is unique, that taking relevant courses, attending seminars, and being part of detailed discussions with top producers in the industry will make her more knowledgeable and a better resource for her clients. It is very important to her that her clients feel confident in her knowledge and capabilities, even though she is young. She believes SIOR provides her an unrivaled network and education that will allow her to achieve her long term career goals.
Frank Hird, SIOR Regional Director then came up to the podium and congratulated all the recipients. Frank is completing his two year term next week (October) and Garry Holmes of the New England Chapter will become the new SIOR Regional Director. Frank said that his role has been a good experience and he has had the chance to meet with every chapter in our region. His two year term has been full of meetings and brain-storming with the SIOR Board of Directors. The Regional Directors and BOD have met off-site in reclusive locations to brain-storm. Frank recognizes that many chapters need help recruiting new members and operating with meaningful chapter events. Frank stated that there is constant change in our industry, constant change with member needs and that SIOR is addressing that evolution.
The Chapter would like to thank Frank for his attendance. The Chapter would like to thank Bob Cleary, SIOR for allowing the Chapter to hold this event at his club.