Ask The Expert: Nathan Stattmiller
What is the Tech Advisory Services Group?
Our Tech Advisory group spans the country, working on aligning workspace solutions to business strategies at all stages of growth, whether it be start-ups to Fortune 500 tech giants. Our specialized industry expertise translates into best practice solutions that help technology companies find tailored spaces that can accommodate specific technical requirements, all the while balancing factors such as optimized capital allocation, ideal locations for desired talent, and growth trajectories aligned to business plans.
What differentiates Tech Advisory from general commercial real estate and office advisors?
Our specialization enables advisors like me to provide unique and creative solutions for our clients. Some of our services include solutions to integrate technologies, refreshing antiquated clauses, and the incorporation of modular furniture technologies to adapt to hybrid work innovations.
My depth of experience has allowed me and my local team to become well-versed in the unknown challenges your average real estate agent may overlook. Our role goes beyond knowing the market. It is about understanding the challenges and mitigation of specific risks in the tech-focused office space, whether it’s HVAC for server rooms or proper electrical supply for heavy technologies. Knowing what questions to ask and advising our clients accordingly ensures the transition into their new space is seamless.
What are some advantages of working with the Tech Advisory team at Colliers?
As an advisor with expertise in Tech Advisory, we monitor trends within various tech verticals to identify and adopt best-in-class solutions. A current trend we are seeing is what is called ‘flight-to-quality’, oftentimes coupled with the downsizing of operations. More than ever, occupiers are starting to prioritize buildings that invest in enhanced services such as concierge, restaurants, and conference centres.
Leveraging Colliers’ research and data teams, my colleagues and I have a pulse on the migration of tech and creative talent, generally influenced by social, economic, political, and cultural trends. We use data from postal code analysis and heat maps to determine optimal locations for existing employees and our clients’ desired talent demographics.
With our specialization in the technology sector, whether the client is app-based or a visual effects studio, we know first-hand about benchmarking within their industry, such as headcount per square foot, desired amenities, and functional space.
What makes Montreal ideal for organizations in Technology, IT, Fintech and Creative Services?
Many creative and technology-focused organizations are looking to bring on the best, brightest, and most progressive talent to advance, enhance, and disrupt the market with innovation. It is no surprise that much of that talent pool skews to a younger, educated demographic looking for affordable living with a vibrant culture. Montreal has always been known as Canada’s epicentre for food, music, arts, and culture with affordable living compared to Toronto or Vancouver, making it the perfect location to attract the best talent.
Existing government incentives are a lure, particularly for start-ups with a lower barrier of entry. These incentives include salary and wage subsidies; in some cases, up to 37.5% of these expenditures can be recovered by the organization. Different sectors also provide different levels of tax incentives. This is very attractive for start-ups and even multi-nationals looking to open or expand their operations.
The city is also ripe with entrepreneurial-friendly resources like BDC, Montreal International, and Centech. These organizations, coupled with the talented labour pool, can become very appealing for businesses.
What major changes have you seen in the tech space over the past 5 years?
More so than ever, office spaces have become a tool for attracting and retaining talent. Despite many technology companies offering flexibility in working schedules and location, access to collaborative workspaces equipped with unique technical requirements still plays a vital role in growing the business.
It is no surprise that technology companies have led the market in progressive working arrangements and amenity-rich offices. A wired-in coder may not want to be distracted by the on-site games room. Consequently, finding the balance among private workspace, collaborative space, and communal space becomes more important. Purposeful spaces that map out business and employee needs symbiotically are critical to the success of our clients.
How does your experience in CRE benefit your clients?
Understanding that real estate is static, but the client’s organizational needs are elastic. The key is aligning the two.
With almost a decade of experience in commercial real estate and four with the Tech Advisory Group, I have learned that to be able to successfully find the right space, I need to understand my clients’ business, their goals, and their outlook. Developing relationships and understanding strengths and objectives of forward-thinking landlords allow our team to have a clear view of potential alternatives. It is through partnership that my team and I can craft our advice and strategies to purposely pair our clients with spaces that align with where they are, and where they want to be.
Why should technology companies and related businesses choose Colliers?
Colliers offers a suite of services and resources that go beyond finding our clients the perfect space. Our Workplace Advisory team specializes in providing strategic solutions to respond to shifting trends and employee needs. Being at the forefront of those trends gives a competitive edge in the fight for top-tier talent, particularly at progressive technology companies. That depth of knowledge and diverse service offerings may be exactly what is needed to optimize their space and positively impact employee retention and the future success of their business.