Darrell Boldon – Fresh Perspectives: CBRE’s Emerging Leaders
July 27, 2023 4 Minute Read
We spoke to Boldon about what led him to a career in commercial real estate.
How did you get into commercial real estate?
I have a background in oil and gas from going to school in Oklahoma for petroleum land management. When energy prices faltered, I applied to jobs in other industries. CBRE’s Canadian Prairie Regional Managing Director Greg Kwong interviewed me via Facetime. I had a little idea of what commercial real estate was because my university roommate’s dad owned some properties and told us to look into the industry as a potential career path. Greg took a chance on me and now here I am, seven years later.
What inspires you about commercial real estate in Calgary?
A lot of it goes back to oil and gas. I’m a born and raised Calgarian, so energy has always been close to my family. Commercial real estate gives me an opportunity to support energy companies and have a direct impact on the sector I’m passionate about. I enjoy playing a role in Calgary’s economic momentum and providing businesses with support wherever they are in the business cycle.
What is the best advice you’ve received?
Have thick skin. Calgary has been in a down market for the last seven years, but it also knows immense success and abundance. My team taught me to accept that losses are part of brokerage. But you have to be able to bounce back afterwards.
Which deal are you most proud of?
During COVID my team and I chased down a global tech player, Mphasis. The lease deal was challenging given the uncertainty of the pandemic and Calgary’s 33% office vacancy rate. So it took us about a year and a half to complete the transaction. There were a lot of moving pieces since the company was not only new to Calgary; they were coming from a whole other continent. The city was very excited to welcome them, and it made for a good news story. I’m proud to have helped support the diversification of our economy and know that we can be a part of helping Calgarians get good, paying jobs in the economy of the future.
What’s a trend you’re excited about in Calgary?
It feels like the tide is finally turning. When I started my career, energy prices crashed and we had a significant amount of office supply come to market. We’re still sitting at around 30% vacancy, but it finally feels as though the market is improving. Commodity prices are stabilizing, and energy companies are doing much better than they were.
Calgary and Alberta have done a great job getting new companies into our market and diversifying the economy. More people are moving here than ever before and it’s nice to have tangible, good news to talk about.
What’s your favourite part of your job?
Showing up to work every day and enjoying it because I like the people I work with.
If you weren’t in commercial real estate, what would you do?
I would be a professional golfer and go to all the great golf courses of the world.
At a time of concern over the future of office and downtown cores, Joey Restaurant Group, one of North America’s top restaurant chains, is demonstrating its firm belief in Toronto.
It’s all hands on deck in Canada’s hospitality sector. For the first time since 2019 the hotel industry is operating at full capacity, without restrictions.
Stay In The Know
Subscribe today and join hundreds of professionals who get the latest blogs delivered straight to their inbox.