ITA Spotlight: Cushman & Wakefield
Thursday, October 4, 2018
Posted by: Gary Hotze
Steve LaKind, Executive Director, Cushman & Wakefield, www.cushmanwakefield.com, @CushWakeCHICAGO
Welcome to the center of what’s next. This is where the power of real estate is unleashed on your behalf.
In 25 words or less, what is Cushman & Wakefield all about?
Fueled by ideas, expertise, and passion across borders and beyond service lines, we create real estate solutions to prepare our clients for what’s next.
What problem do you solve and how do you address it better than the competition?
Cushman & Wakefield delivers integrated solutions to tenants, landlords, and investors at each stage of the real estate and commercial property process. Every day we strengthen our ideas with actionable research and insights that can position any client in any sector for what’s next. We leverage technology to efficiently and effectively grow our business and drive value for our clients.
Our competitive advantage is our people. It’s how we differentiate. We put together diverse teams from diverse backgrounds – and this is how we come up with our best ideas. We hire, develop, and promote our talent. Our people focus solely on understanding our clients’ business goals and creating real estate plans that compliment those objectives.
How did you get started?
What began as a small family business in New York is now a commercial real estate company with a solid foothold across the globe, with 400 offices in approximately 70 countries employing 48,000 people. So from Silver Court in Shanghai to the Willis Tower in Chicago to all that comes next, our clients are at the center of all we do.
How has your company culture evolved as Cushman & Wakefield has grown?
Through all the twists and turns of the last 100 years, ours has been a story of people putting ideas into action for the benefit of our clients. We are a global, 21st-century company with its focus firmly on what’s next for real estate and business. Multicultural, multilingual, confidently global, expertly local, the people of Cushman & Wakefield mirror the world stage on which we work.
Talent has many faces, and innovation many shapes. We work hard to develop and empower a culture that unleashes what’s possible in every person we hire.
What are your primary goals for Cushman & Wakefield?
To lead the real estate industry with the best talent, the best clients, and the best results.
Our promise is consistent throughout sectors, services, and the world. Cushman & Wakefield clients benefit from the best insights which come from an understanding of changing markets and opportunities, an agile approach to every opportunity that guarantees adaptable, client-centric solutions, an unwavering passion for the business of exceeding the expectations of our clients, and a collaborative culture that empowers our people and creates new solutions.
Where do you see Cushman & Wakefield’s technology platform in five years?
We are dramatically enhancing our client-facing technology capabilities and building analytics more directly into our platform. Our clients can expect highly visual and dynamic portfolio analysis and site planning. We will continue to leverage our extensive network of partners to bring the best of multiple platforms to our clients rather than trying to force a one-size-fits-all proprietary model.
Artificial intelligence will play a much more significant part in our technology stack in five years, and our use of robotics for all industry matters from lease abstraction to cleaning floors will have increased.
What is your top tech priority in 2018?
We focus on sales enablement via more dynamic, visual, and interactive presentation tools and better client data to ensure we are bringing our best to our clients. We are also continuing to improve our client-facing technology in our occupier business, providing better dashboards and performance analytics.
As a Chicago HQ company, what are some of the best opportunities locally to evolve PropTech?
Cushman is at the heart of what’s next in PropTech, and Chicago is at the heart of what’s next in entrepreneurship. Through our relationships with established firms such as PWC, Accenture and Deloitte, smaller research firms, venture capitalists, and of course 1871, we continue to build out our partner network. Getting involved with Chicago Ideas Week, 1871, and other city programs helps us find new partners and allows us to contribute to the growth of innovation and entrepreneurship in our city.