THE NEW BROKERAGE

As tenants demand amenities, wellness options, and greenspace, brokers have pushed beyond the business of real estate transactions. Here’s a look inside the minds of six seasoned office brokers on what tenants really want.



Baby boomers, millennials, and every other generation occupy office space unlike any other time in history. Bocce ball, walking trails, craft coffee, and good highway access are just some of the things office employees are now demanding, and North Texas is delivering in spades. As sticker shock from rising office rents continues and talent wars rage on, where businesses choose to locate has become, if possible, even more critical. To sort through what tenants really want—and how real estate brokers can help them get it—we turned to the experts: Susan Arledge, T.D. Briggs, Bill Brokaw, Kim Butler, Marijke Lantz, and Paul Wittorf. 

MEET THE EXPERTS 

SUSAN ARLEDGE
Susan Arledge is President of Site Selection Services at ESRP. ESRP is a national commercial real estate firm focused on providing solutions to tenants and occupiers of space. Prior to joining ESRP, Arledge was Managing Director at Cresa Dallas, and before that, she was President and CEO of Arledge Partners Real Estate Group for more than 20 years. 

T.D. BRIGGS
T.D. Briggs is Partner at Peloton Commercial Real Estate. Briggs and Joel Pustmueller founded Peloton in 2002 after several years at Trammell Crow Co. Briggs has more than 30 years of experience and has helped grow Peloton’s portfolio to include more than 24 million square feet of leased and managed properties. 

BILL BROKAW
Bill Brokaw is Senior Vice President at Hillwood Urban and has put together more than 6 million square feet of office deals in his career. Brokaw oversees leasing and marketing for Hillwood’s office division. Prior to joining Hillwood Urban in 2015, Brokaw was Executive Director at Cushman & Wakefield and Vice President at Cousins Properties.

KIM BUTLER
Kim Butler leads leasing at Dallas-based HALL Group, including the firm’s nearly 3 million square feet of office space at HALL Park and KPMG Plaza at HALL Arts. Prior to joining HALL Group, Butler spent more than 25 years leasing and marketing office properties at Transwestern.

MARIJKE LANTZ
Marijke Lantz is Senior Vice President of investments and build-to-suits, and leads investment property acquisitions for Billingsley Co. Lantz has more than 25 years of experience, including holding previous leadership roles at Valencia Capital Management and Cushman & Wakefield.

PAUL WITTORF
Paul Wittorf is Executive Managing Director at Transwestern and market leader for the firm’s North Texas operations. Wittorf has more than 17 years of experience representing tenants and landlords throughout Texas, and has become one of the firm’s top producers since joining in 2000. 


 

How does the Dallas-Fort Worth office market look at the end of 2017?

T.D. BRIGGS: Demand has surprised us — absorption is substantially higher than I would have thought. And, there’s a chance the fourth quarter could get close to 6 million square feet of absorption, which would surprise everyone. The first and fourth quarters were very dynamic. The second and third were fairly slow. 

PAUL WITTORF: There was a little apprehension in the first and second quarters. There was a lot of uncertainty driven by the election. From a macro-level, there might be a little bit of gridlock. We’ve provided some certainty, and I think we’re seeing a “thawing out” of some of it. That could lead to a strong close in the fourth quarter—and certainly a good palate for 2018.

MARIJKE LANTZ: We see a lot of activity. From our perspective, there’s also a trend for new product. The [build-to-suit] product is slower, but tenants are looking to go to the higher-end properties in all submarkets. They’re willing to pay up for the higher-end properties: They can be more efficient in those products.

BILL BROKAW: I’d echo that. Whether it’s an existing Class A asset or a new development, the push is to be in those environments—not only from an amenities standpoint, but from a recruiting standpoint. [Tenants] typically bring some connection to nature and other amenities that millennials and baby boomers are looking for. That works for all ages.

SUSAN ARLEDGE: A tenant doesn’t have the luxury of knowing when they want to choose their lease. It expires when it expires. Market conditions are sometimes great and sometimes not — and they’re not so great from the tenant cost outlook. We see companies stepping back, rethinking, and echoing what Marijke said, “How do we have a more efficient space because rents are so high? We can’t continue to pay those kind of rents, but we need to attract and retain people.”

KIM BUTLER: It’s so apparent when you tour companies, whether they are coming from out of town or are in town: The HR person used to be one of the people on the tour, and perhaps they would consult in the decision. Now they are driving the decision. The questions that are being asked are from HR, and it’s all related to, “How are we going to create an environment for their company to attract and retain the very, very best?”

ARLEDGE: I saw a recent poll that 63 percent of CPOs are concerned about their talent pool. They’re not concerned about real estate cost.

 

Are you seeing the bulk of demand in Class A space, or have you also seen it elsewhere?

BROKAW: I think it’s market by market. A telling fact is there have been nine new buildings in the cycle that are Class A, AA product in the Uptown/Arts District area. And, [as of early November] all of that new product sitting at 75 percent leased and the rest of the Uptown market is 92 percent occupied. It shows excitement over the new product and the higher-end Class A product.

 

Do we know how deep our Class AA market is yet, or is that still forthcoming?

BROKAW: It shows that the absorption is happening in those buildings.

LANTZ: You see that in the Legacy West and Cypress Waters markets. You are see that happening in different suburban/urban markets. You can still have the amenity-rich areas that aren’t the Uptown-type buildings. 

WITTORF: Regardless of where we’re at in the cycle, in the last five or seven years, the product that’s been developed here has been labor-centric. It will continue to drive users to look to that kind of product. That will still drive the needle over to newer developments. Take Houston, for example. The difference between that new construction versus an ’80s Class AA building is everything. 

BRIGGS: It’s forcing all owners and developers to be ridiculously competitive. You either have to have the quality of the asset or the walkability of the neighborhood. We all missed it five years ago—we should have invested in fitness centers and coffee beans and all these things that are becoming amenities. And, if it’s a B building, it’s getting redone to try to compete with the new product. It’s forcing developers to be creative and distinctive. Point is, how do you give tenants a home-court advantage—whether it’s recruiting and retaining or new business?

BUTLER: I’m seeing companies that—for the first time—are concerned with retaining. With as many new jobs as we’re creating, particularly in the Legacy West market, companies are looking at making sure their employees don’t get poached. 

ARLEDGE: One thing we can’t really account for is the corporate relocations that are hovering out there looking at our market. And I’m not talking about the Amazons. I’m talking about the more day-to-day transactions. Meg Whitman, [CEO] at Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, recently made the comment that they cannot hire in Silicon Valley any longer. They said they hire, they train, they spend upwards of $100,000 a year for employee training, and [the employee] will move for $10,000 a year. Then all that cost is lost. She said they are looking at Dallas, Houston, Chicago, and Boston as markets. As long as Dallas continues to create a pool of talent, we’ll continue to win a lot of that relocation business.

 

How is the robust Class A pipeline impacting older suburban buildings?

LANTZ: As T.D. said, you can be a stand-alone building and put in a fitness center and a coffee shop, but you’re still a stand-alone building surrounded by a parking lot. It doesn’t create the environment that everybody wants. They [want to] take their laptops and sit outside in a park and play pingpong and have a real environment. You can have the boxes checked, but I think it’s hard to renovate a building and have the amenities—and create the environment.

WITTORF: A secondary challenge to that is efficiency. Tenants are using space differently today. An ’80s-vintage building and a new construction building sometimes have a 10- or 20-percent difference in efficiency. That reduces that cost differential, and that’s hard to compete with.

BROKAW: A lot of renovations of existing buildings, whether they are B or A-minus, are doing it just to stay relevant and not necessarily increasing the rate or gaining a ton of occupancy. People understand that quality, location, and access to amenities are key components. Whether these decision makers are HR or corporate real estate people, they want to make the safe decision. The more items you can address to make it a safe decision for the client, the better off you are.

WITTORF: Not to mention, access and ability to get in and out easily is something that we’ve always wanted. That’s still fundamentally important, especially since getting around town is increasingly harder. 

 

What are the biggest challenges you’re facing in North Texas right now?

ARLEDGE: CFO “sticker shock” would be on the tenant-rep side. A lot of companies coming out of leases on the north part of the Tollway, for example, are saying, “I can’t pay $40 a square foot for space.” There will be some flight back to A-minus or to new buildings in the LBJ area. Some just aren’t able to pay the kinds of rents that are out there, but leases are still expiring, and there’s a lot of comfort you have to provide.

LANTZ: For us on the development side, tenants are still asking for a lot of parking. And they are not using it. Often, the tenant [says], “We need six parking spaces per 1,000 square feet of space.” When you look at their existing space — or you go in after they are in the new space — they aren’t using it. We’re all reading about what’s happening with [rideshare and driverless] cars. How much land and parking do you distribute to these new developments?

BUTLER: We’re doing a couple of things. Interestingly, [HALL Group Chairman and Founder] Craig Hall has been a big proponent of autonomous vehicles. We’re doing a pilot at HALL Park in March with a company by the name of Main Mobility in conjunction with the city of Frisco. For five days, they’re going to have autonomous vehicles running a route through our park over to The Star. It’s so fun to talk to the folks. Not only is it a pilot, but we think that we could be fully operational by July with a program that is an autonomous shuttle. The technology is here. The other thing related to parking that we’re doing—and we are planning our next new building at HALL Park—is putting parking on a pedestal at two per 1,000 and the building on top. Then we’re going to build a pedestal on the piece of land next to it that’s also two per 1,000 to hedge our bets for the future. Initially, they will park in the pedestal below the building and the adjacent pedestal, but we’re designing that [second] pedestal so we can add a building on top. Ultimately you might have two buildings that only need two per 1,000 parking in the future. 

ARLEDGE: With our clients, we’re looking to see if they can manage part of that by [giving a] badge to everybody. They check the badges and see how many times [employees] are coming into the office and using the parking. We can manage from that and know if they really have parking needs of seven per 1,000. But, they have to go through that process and create some formulas to see how many people are really in the office on a monthly or annual basis.

BROKAW: Construction pricing is hitting hard right now. I think that will come down a bit next year because a lot of contractors and subs are looking out a few months and saying, “Hey, we’re busy.” But there are a lot of projects that are going to be completing over the next six months. As that happens, people [will be] wanting  jobs again. That may stabilize pricing a little, but it’s a big challenge we’re dealing with right now.

WITTORF: You have natural inhibitors to growth, which is a quality labor force. You’ve got a tight labor market here. As the city grows, it becomes increasingly harder to get around by transit. Driverless cars—I agree—are very real. It’s coming a lot quicker than most people expect. By 2021, it will make more sense to get rid of your car and have a driverless vehicle. Like a lot of Sun Belt markets, that will be a big boom for us in Dallas. If you do have driverless cars, all of the sudden, mass transit is a little bit less important.

 

For you developers, have you seen a lot of your labor going to the markets that have been hit by hurricanes?

LANTZ: We haven’t seen it on our side.

BUTLER: There’s plenty of work here for them.

WITTORF: I’ve only heard speculation from [general contractors] concerned about losing some of that labor force to Houston but nothing [as of now].

BRIGGS: I think we’ve lost more labor to Toyota than anything else.

ARLEDGE: That’s probably true.

 

Do you consider coworking to be a disruptor or a complement to brokerage? How do you frame coworking in reference to what a broker does?

BUTLER: Marijke and I were in a meeting yesterday, and it was brought up that coworking disrupting the office business is the equivalent of e-commerce disrupting the industrial business. It’s that prevalent. Disruption is not always a negative thing. It can raise the bar and make everybody operate more efficiently.

LANTZ: Tenants want options and flexibility. Coworking just gives them another option and more flexibility. I don’t think it’s going to go away. We have Industrious at [One Arts Plaza]. I think everybody is going to have some sort of coworking within their space. Some tenants are mandating it—under a certain square footage they have to go into coworking. I think it’s a good thing.

WITTORF: You are seeing more and more corporate users [use coworking] as a percentage of their space needs. What’s interesting is that tenants can brand their space inside of those coworking spaces. I always saw that as a little bit of a challenge for a Deloitte, [for example], to go into a coworking space, but now they are mixed in. They can accomplish their branding inside that space. Flexibility, moving forward, is a huge premium. I think coworking is somewhat of a competitor to traditional landlords. You see big groups, like Hines and Brookfield, start to think, “How do we implement a strategy to take advantage of this section of the market?” That’s smart.

BRIGGS: I don’t know what the percentage is, but [coworking] is minuscule compared to the 365-million-square-foot office market. It’s here to stay for sure. Most of the smaller deals done this year in Preston Center came out of the executive suite shared space. So, I view it as a feeder. The danger for the landlords is, what’s the longevity of it? Who’s going to win? Who’s going to lose? And, I hate the idea of what it looks like on the reuse after you built this thing. What do you do on the exit?

BROKAW: From the landlord’s perspective, it brings high energy to an existing asset, and it provides an incubator for folks that do want to grow into regular office space, but still have their membership in a coworking environment.

BUTLER: We think it’s complementary — it’s a feeder. With the high cost of TI [tenant improvements], landlords require longer-term leases. Tenants want flexibility. Coworking may be an interim step. And, change is happening so rapidly that companies determine they have space needs, and they need it right now. They don’t have the luxury of planning six months in advance. It’s a great opportunity to house people while they are looking and building out longer-term space. It’s a great temporary solution.

BROKAW: Yeah, and I think the strong survive. The bigger ones with the most equity, the ones that are out there growing, expanding, and providing optionality for their clients — those are the ones that are going to survive. I don’t think they all will.

BUTLER: There’s going to be a lot of consolidation very quickly.

WITTORF: Those that have better name recognition or are better capitalized are going to get better locations. They’ll thrive off those locations.

 

Which submarkets around North Texas have new or continued strong demand?

WITTORF: You have about 50 percent of your new construction in two concentrated areas: Legacy and Uptown. That tells you a lot of what you need to know. We’ll see leases roll in less-amenitized areas where they gravitate to one of those two kinds of barbells, but pricing is going to have an impact. Some tenants will say, “We’re not going to pay that, but there are some other options where we can move.” Las Colinas is going to have renewed enthusiasm with Music Factory and Water Street. Central [Expressway] feels like it’s poised to continue to do well.

BUTLER: With 30 percent rent growth in North Central in the last three years, it’s a great option for tenants.

BRIGGS: It’s already rolled almost beyond Central. Park Central right now is getting a lift. Now LBJ [Freeway] is fixed. I call it the pixie dust. The Tollway is the backbone of Dallas. It always has been, always will be. I remember staring at a map with [Billingsley Co. Partner] Lucy Billingsley 20 years ago. She asked, “What do you think about that?” She pointed to what would become Cypress Waters. How many acres is it?

LANTZ: 1,000.

BRIGGS: There are 1,000 acres of some contaminated lake of nothing around it, and I go, “Lucy, I don’t see it.” And, she goes, “No, you’ve got to build a place where people want to come.” And, she did it. Consequently, she created a market. Earlier, Marijke didn’t say Las Colinas. She said, “the Cypress Waters market.” That’s exactly right. You created a place where people want to go. Point is, a lot of us are trying to take what’s been done in the ’80s and fix it, and the fix is hard. But, when you have a blank sheet of paper you have got to think big. HALL Park is another beautiful example. I love that dynamic, and it was in the middle of nowhere 20 years ago.

BUTLER: Look at CityLine and what’s happened there.

BRIGGS: Exactly.

ARLEDGE: Do you remember the billboards Craig Hall put up when the park was first being built? It said 20 minutes north of the Tollway. That’s a laugh now: The Tollway dead-ended before it got to HALL Park.

 

Where is the next Cypress Waters, the next HALL Park?

BROKAW: Like T.D. said, the spine is the Tollway, but now you have DFW [Airport] that is the major engine. We see things moving west. We have ownership in Williams Square in Las Colinas, and we tout 4 million people within 35 minutes. You are dead center of both airports, and you’ve got DART rail access. And, then we’ve got Circle T Ranch in North Fort Worth that is available for 10 million square feet of corporate development.

LANTZ: The Cotton Belt Line [is] coming which will make a big difference. At Cypress Waters, we delivered a building in May, and we were 90 percent leased before we had the first tenant move in. We have one under construction. We are breaking new ground on another.

ARLEDGE: Just proves to me you should locate next to The Dump [furniture outlet store].

LANTZ: It’s what we started out talking about—people want to be able to work when they want to work. It’s not 8 to 5. They want to have craft beer after work. Then they’ll go back in at night and have a conference call because they’re doing some international business. They don’t want to feel like they’re alone in a dark office building by themselves.

BUTLER: It’s not just the millennials.

BROKAW: I think you need to look out for Las Colinas because Water Street and the Music Factory are enormous. We’ve been waiting for that for five to eight years, and it’s going to be a huge impact. It’s called the urban center for a reason. We still see occupancy rates either being stable or increasing.

ARLEDGE: You had the first autonomous driving system out in the urban center.

 

Is it only important for some tenants to locate in amenity-rich areas or is it across the board? 

ARLEDGE: They all want it. They just all can’t afford it.

WITTORF: There are different profiles for different user groups. With price being equal, of course, we all want the walkability and the environment. But, there are some employers that the vast majority of their workforce has kids, and they’re trying to get home to soccer practice or whatever. They’re busy, and it’s getting harder to get around town. So, their No. 1 goal is to have something they can get in and out of quickly. But, the overwhelming trend is highly amenitized, green space, walkability.

ARLEDGE: We did an analysis for someone who drives 30 miles each way to work, which is not so far anymore. That cost—not wear and tear on your car—just gasoline and tolls, is between $600 and $800 a month. And now [with] more toll roads proposed, it could cost someone $2,500 a year just to use [them]. 

BROKAW: Labor and turnover costs are the largest expenses companies have, and rent is second. But if you can somehow relieve some of your labor and turnover costs by paying a little more in rent and being in an environment people want to be in—that makes a big difference. 

BUTLER: As an owner, how do we help companies create that environment? We’re evaluating how to create a place where people can get outdoors, get food easily, work out, get farmers market vegetables on the way home. It’s not just millennials who want that. How do you make people’s lives easier? We feel an obligation to the companies who office with us to do that.

ARLEDGE: Gartner Research just did an analysis that showed it takes 32 business days to fill the average position, and that critical roles with defined skills are taking as long as five months. You layer that on top of the cost just to replace and retrain—the opportunity cost is huge. 

LANTZ: It used to be, as a landlord, you do a five-year [or] 10-year lease, and it was a transaction. Now, it’s event planning ... we’re doing yoga in the park. It’s not a transactional relationship anymore. It’s an ongoing daily relationship and partnership with the tenants. The way real estate used to be done on a transactional basis has changed. 

WITTORF: You’re exactly right. If you think about a 5-star hotel, they’ve got to win business on a daily basis. You are seeing owners be real smart and paying attention to that ongoing relationship and providing that hospitality level of service.

BUTLER: We have a Director of Park Experience, and her role is to go out and talk to the tenants—we survey them annually—and find out what they need.

 

What’s on a tenant’s wish list?

BUTLER: There’s a renewed interest in green space. A third of all we have in [HALL Park] is green space. It’s amazing to see the difference in the number of people who take advantage of walking. They’re walking in 105 degrees.

LANTZ: That’s because your phone tells you to stand up, and your watch tells you when you haven’t done your walking.

BUTLER: There are so many studies documented by universities on how productivity increases if people can look out the window and see green space — but even more so if they can get out in green space. The University of Michigan took a group of students, gave them a test, and took half of the group out to walk in an arboretum, and took the other half to walk down city streets. They brought them in and took the same test. The people who had been in the park scored 20 percent higher than they had previously. The people who were on the city street scored the same.

WITTORF: You’ve seen the amenities in buildings go from check-the-box amenities, to creating the experience. In the WeWork context, WeWork tries to create a community. What they are trying to do is bring the experience outside the walls of the office space so that you do have a little bit more of that communal experience.

ARLEDGE: We had a corporate relocation client that was looking in the Legacy area, and a Tollway/LBJ property owner offered to pick up the CEO every day and drive him to and from the office. That was their concession for the location because they had to compete with Plano/Legacy. Now, from a workplace standpoint, how is the CEO going to explain that to his people? It’s a flawed strategy.

BROKAW: Green space is a huge, huge component. We’re incorporating it in all of our new developments by adding parks and the ability to get to trails. Several of our customers run a lot of employee surveys, and one of the components they find is the importance of exterior light in their space and a connection to nature. We’re seeing how these things help people to be more productive. That’s what employers want.

BRIGGS: Everyone feels like they’ve got to have it to keep up. Why is the Tollway the best market? You have three hubs—Uptown, Preston Center, Legacy—with restaurants, fitness options, banks, hotels, and pharmacies. You see the rates thriving there for a reason. They are the best markets in town. 

 

We’ve seen a shift toward focusing on employee and building wellness. Why is that?

BUTLER: People want it. Everybody is focused on their health.

LANTZ: All employers are looking at their insurance costs and wellness. So if you can, as an employer, provide a fitness center, it helps them on their insurance costs. And, it helps get their employees healthy, and then the employees are happier. It helps them on multiple bottom lines.

WITTORF: And [makes them] more productive.

LANTZ: It’s not just the old fitness centers. Remember the old ones in the basement or dark spaces that you can’t lease?

BRIGGS: It would be a converted room with three added pieces of fabric.

LANTZ: These [new fitness centers] are like spa fitness centers that are high-end and in a prominent, leasable space.

WITTORF: And people use them. They work. They make sense. 

BRIGGS: To me, it’s not live, work, play. I think it’s work, eat. That’s what people want.

BUTLER: Work, eat, exercise. 

ARLEDGE: Work, eat, drink coffee.

BRIGGS: Work, consume ... how about that? A lot of offices want food options.

BROKAW: When people say amenities—I think you’re right. Where can I eat? Where can I drink, or where can I get coffee?

BUTLER: That’s number one, clearly.

 

How do you satisfy the demands of all generations in the workplace?

LANTZ: We all want the same things as everyone else. 

BUTLER: I don’t think they are that different, frankly.

WITTORF: I think that’s changing a little bit. I agree with you, Kim. They are merging a bit, and the millennial thinking is winning out. You still have examples of where it’s in stark contrast, but some of the changes driven by the millennial mindset are being embraced by baby boomers. 

BUTLER: With technology, it allows you to work anywhere, anytime. We take advantage of that just as much as millennials do. When is the last time you put your head down at 8 and worked until 6 without going and doing something?

BROKAW: Baby boomers are embracing change a whole lot more than maybe their parents did. But, the old-school mentality of “this is the way we used to do it” — that’s not the norm anymore. People like to be modern. Baby boomers are a good example of that.

ARLEDGE: The biggest issue is not philosophical. The differences between the two—it’s just a numbers game. In five to six years, 75 million baby boomers will leave the workplace, and there’s not enough of the millennial generation coming in to backfill that. We don’t have enough people. In eight or 10 years, that creates a zero-sum game. If you want to hire someone, you’re going to have to steal them from your competition, and that’s the environment everyone wants to get away from. They can’t afford to be trapped in a loser location, or in a market where if they’ve got to hire somebody, they have to steal them. So the focus is creating a workplace millennials want to work in. I think it’s less about the philosophies. 

BROKAW: Gen Xers are going to be wanted next.

 

How is technology impacting the brokerage side of real estate?

ARLEDGE: It used to be about the cost of real estate. Now it’s about the science of where and why. Someone will say to me not, “What does it cost to be here?” But, “What are the tangible differences between this location and that location? Show me why.” That means drive times, commute analysis, all of these factors. There’s a lot of data and analytics that now goes into the justification of why.

WITTORF: You have better intelligence on the labor, and it enables you to validate and make more convicted decisions — and sometimes pay out more for your real estate because you can really understand that the cost is worth it.

BUTLER: As an owner, technology has provided tools that help us show employers how we create that environment. Virtual reality is a perfect example. When a building isn’t finished, how do you show them what their environment is going to be like? They can see it in the glasses. You can only tell people so much. People are mostly visual. Technology has improved the tools that we have to show people what we can do for them.

BRIGGS: Technology is helping us on the markets side like crazy.

LANTZ: I agree.

BRIGGS: It’s absolute magic. The real estate industry as a whole is in the Stone Age when it comes to the CRM — the data base management — and integrating everything we want technology to do from a CRM side to our reporting. Every company spent a lot of money, and we still don’t have the right solutions. We have components that we’re trying to link together. And, if I hear “open API” one more time, I think my head’s going to fall off. We’re all struggling to get the perfect back-end piece to help our companies run efficiently.

WITTORF: I couldn’t agree more.

 

What’s your market outlook as things stand right now?

ARLEDGE: I think Dallas is going to continue to be on the top of corporate relocation lists for the next few years until we get to that zero-sum point, but right now the workforce is there. We have the fourth-largest job growth of any city in the U.S. 

WITTORF: Second, only behind New York.

ARLEDGE: If we ride that wave for the next two or three years, it’s going to be up to our regional area to try to find ways to solidify that growth, retain more of our students that are graduating from here, and be able to prove that.

BROKAW: I agree. The outlook is still strong. The fundamentals are there. Construction has been managed by lenders. Equity still wants to invest in DFW. Banks want to loan here, and people want to move here. Those are all the ingredients to be a good real estate market.

BUTLER: I don’t think I’ve ever seen supply and demand balanced so well in my career. That makes for a good future.

WITTORF: What sticks out to me in Dallas is the diversification of the demand base. If you couple that with a few other things—being in a business-friendly state, the relative low cost of doing business, and living in Dallas and in Texas—I think Dallas is poised to do extremely well in the future. It would take some macro event to throw it off. 

LANTZ: I think it’s going to continue to be strong. We’re still seeing a lot of activity from companies looking to relocate here. We’re looking forward to a good ’18 and ’19.

BRIGGS: We are right where we should be, I think. We’re a completely different city than we were five years ago. We were a 12-hour city. We’re not quite a 24-hour city ... we’re an 18-hour city. Therefore the rules have all changed. 

And who knows where we are, but let’s keep running.