Executive Managing Director
Cushman & Wakefield
“Constantly strive to learn more and don’t get caught up in a particular deal or making a certain amount of money. More importantly, just try to listen and learn as much as possible.”
As one of the top producing brokers at Cushman & Wakefield, Steve Billigmeier, executive managing director, has earned multiple awards including “Deal of the Year,” “Top Producer Award,” and the “Service Excellence Award.” He has also been nominated by NAIOP as a top 3 broker in Denver for the past three consecutive years.
Steve has negotiated some of the largest and most complex lease transactions on behalf of corporate occupiers over the past 16 years. He specializes in tenant representation with an expertise in lease administration, disposition, acquisition, portfolio management and strategic advisory services.
Among a long list of notable clients, including QEP Resources, WeWork, Epsilon and Sierra Nevada Corporation, Steve is most proud of the lease transactions he secured for VF Corporation and Vail Resorts. Steve represented VF Corp in their recent 280,000-square-foot lease at 1551 Wewatta Street in downtown Denver, for its new global headquarters — the largest office lease brokered in Denver, with Vail Resorts coming in second for 2018. According to Steve, VF Corp agreed to match their $27 million-dollar tax incentive package from the State of Colorado, dollar for dollar, in donations to nonprofits in Denver and across the state.
“VF Corp decided to relocate their global headquarters from Greensboro, North Carolina, to Denver and Vail Resorts expanded and renewed their lease. These were both highly sought-after transactions and involved a significant amount of negotiations,” said Billigmeier. “VF Corp’s move was a significant win for the State of Colorado and the City and County of Denver, along with a huge benefit to the entire community as we cement our reputation as a major hub for outdoor companies.”
The biggest challenge Steve has had to overcome in his career has been to establish a balance between managing and leading members of his team, while simultaneously executing deals, servicing clients and driving business. He credits much of his success in the industry to taking the time to develop an in-depth understanding of his client’s business objectives that then helps him to formulate and execute a real estate strategy that aligns with the organization’s mission.
“Over time, I have learned that balance is key and I have continuously utilized this strategy in order to ensure that every aspect of business, every client and every team member is given the attention they deserve.”
A turning point in his career came when he transitioned his focus from both landlord rep and tenant rep business to tenant rep only. “After initially working with landlords and developers, I was able to establish an understanding of how they view negotiations and transactions, which ultimately helped me when negotiating tenant deals because I had an idea of what the other side of the table may be thinking,” he said.
Steve has a great deal of wisdom to bestow on the next generation of brokers and he is proud to have had the opportunity to develop a mentor and mentee relationship with each one of the junior brokers on his team.
“Most of the junior brokers, if not all, have been straight out of college and are just finding their way in the industry. I am able to teach, guide and work with them through their first few years to help navigate through this business.”
Additionally, outside of Cushman & Wakefield, Steve feels fortunate to have participated in the Tenant Advisory Group’s mentorship program for the past three years.
“Each year, I’m assigned three to four Junior Tenant Rep brokers from various markets across North America. Together, we participate in monthly calls and online meetings to discuss and share best-in-class work the Denver team is currently utilizing, that the mentees may be able to implement in their respective markets.”
His advice for younger brokers just entering the industry is valuable; “Be a sponge for the first few years. Constantly strive to learn more and don’t get caught up in a particular deal or making a certain amount of money. More importantly, just try to listen and learn as much as possible.”
Steve graduated with a B.A. in Finance from Miami University, Ohio. He is actively involved in NAIOP, DMCAR, and the Downtown Denver Partnership’s Leadership Program.