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Brandon Yuke was named a finalist for the Outstanding Young Leader Award at this year’s Toronto Real Estate Forum, one of nine Canadian real estate professionals to get the prestigious nod.
Yuke shares his thoughts on the future of office space, how he’s doing business differently in the wake of the pandemic and what opportunities exist for office tenants in Ottawa.
On being named an award finalist:
I was pretty humbled by the nomination. You go to work each day and keep your head down, do your best and hope to be successful. So when you receive an accolade like this, it’s positive reinforcement – the routine and regimen work. It makes me want to go harder and do better.
On doing business differently:
Obviously 2020 was a very weird time with the lockdown in March, but momentum shifted in June and businesses were ready to look ahead. That was the same time that I got tired of reading the doom and gloom headlines about how the office was dead. So I wrote an article on LinkedIn that was subsequently picked up by the Ottawa Business Journal.
By August, most of my clients were saying the same things I had written in that article. They were finding business operations tough to handle from home, they missed the office interactions and seeing other people. And their business wasn’t operating as efficiently as it could or used to.
Work from home has a place, and there’s a way to incorporate it into a business’s operations. But I don’t think the pandemic has ended the need for office space. If anything, it’s created pent-up demand for a lot of things, including getting back to the office. I can’t wait till people are back on the streets and there’s a vibe in the city and we’re participating in community again. I can’t do my job forever sitting in the spare bedroom of my house. I’m looking forward to the vaccine.
On how the pandemic impacted Ottawa:
The pandemic has had a similar impact on the Ottawa office market as in the rest of the country: It’s weeded out the tenants who were just getting by month to month. As a broker there’s an opportunity to focus and do more research on clients and how to serve them better in these unprecedented times.
On opportunities in the market:
For the tenants who are ready to occupy office space as the post-pandemic business cycle ramps up, there’s going to be a tremendous amount of pent-up fixturing and construction in every submarket in Ottawa. There’s also space available for the first time in many years in Ottawa. So if the fundamentals are there for your business and you want to have an office and have it reflect your culture and support your business goals, the next 24 months have incredible opportunities and require planning and execution to happen very soon.
On his daily routine:
Usually I wake up around 7am to the sounds of my newborn son Tom. I love seeing him first thing in the morning — it brightens my day and reminds me why we get up every morning to do what we do. After some father-son time, I try to be in the office by 8:15am and create a model or plan for my day, and I go after it. I do that all day and once I’ve got my work done, I head back home and then it’s back into Dad Mode.
On staying fit:
In the summer I was doing a lot of waterskiing, which was great for my mental health. And I was able to play a bit of rec league hockey before it got shut down. One of my personal self-improvement goals right now is to find another outlet. There’s always room for growth.