Limited experience isn’t necessarily a resume highlight, but for Matthew Miller, it made all the difference. When he was making a name for himself nearly 20 years ago, his youth made him attractive for local tech companies. Today, the 50-year-old is among the top Westside tech brokers. He’s the lead broker for database giant Oracle Corp. in North America. Other clients have included video game maker Activision Blizzard.
How did you begin your career?
I joined Metrospace right after graduating from UCLA (in 1984). Metrospace eventually became one of the founding four firms of Cresa.
How did you start with tech companies?
In 1994, I was still too young to compete effectively against more seasoned brokers, and I looked even younger than I was. But Internet startups saw my age as an advantage, as I was their same demographic. And since I didn’t wear a suit, which was an anomaly back then, tech firms saw me as more like them.
What’s the best part of working with them?
In the mid-1990s, the Internet was new and I was able to work closely with innovative and interesting firms. Deals moved very quickly and we had to reinvent our service model to keep up. CEOs were very interested in the relationship between space and human relations.
What’s the most challenging?
Credit is a big challenge for startups and sometimes even middle-market firms. Most landlords simply don’t understand how to underwrite the risk. Parking is also always a challenge
What makes them different from other tenants?
Engineers, developers and software teams are more interactive and fluid than traditional businesses. Understanding their culture is critical, but so is understanding their infrastructure.
How long will the industry rapidly grow?
It has always been rapidly growing, just the sectors will evolve. Once upon a time, e-commerce was hot; social networking has had a busy few years; it won’t stop. Remember, the first iPad is still only 30 months old.
It’s always the next deal, the one you don’t have yet.
– Jacquelyn Ryan
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