Because people are at the core of Stream’s success, we’ve learned to identify the most talented individuals that contribute to our unique culture of service and leadership. As Stream continues to grow its business and people, we are taking this opportunity to spotlight our talented employees from all service lines, cities, and departments. These individuals are selected because they have had a significant impact on Stream, the commercial real estate industry and the local community.
For those that don’t already know him, we would like to shine a spotlight on:
Matt Pacinelli, Managing Director for Stream in Washington, DC. Matt is responsible for leading the Washington, DC leasing team and further developing the company’s platform throughout the region. Matt’s expertise and diverse background in institutional leasing, asset management, acquisitions, development, construction and tenant representation allow him to offer a unique skillset to commercial real estate investors in Washington, DC. Matt was named a 2021 Top Broker in Washington, DC by Connect Media.
What first intrigued you about real estate, and the CRE industry in particular?
The idea of “value add”—the opportunity to create value out of something that was viewed as obsolete or lacking value—was very interesting to me. Real estate was a tangible thing. When it came to CRE, I always found it compelling that you can change the fabric of an urban environment, improving and impacting a community in a practical way. I was inspired by the opportunity to create places that generate meaningful returns and are also a place the broader community can enjoy.
How did you get into the business?
I was recruited by a company that was a “disruptor” in the real estate space. Today that may not sound very interesting or unique, but this was 1998. At that time few people were using the words technology and real estate in the same sentence. Most people didn’t even have cellphones at the time. I was intrigued at the opportunity and ended up taking that job. The company was called Realty Information Group and they had a product called CoStar. So, I was at CoStar before it was CoStar. It was a very small company at the time, small enough for us to have company-wide Happy Hour every Friday. It was effectively an analyst job, and my role was to track the market and understand the deals. As I started to get to know people on the deal side, I found that really interesting and began focusing on a career in brokerage. After a lengthy pursuit process, I ended up on the corporate services (tenant rep) team at CBRE in downtown DC. Thereafter, I ran the DC region for Glenborough Realty Trust and then joined a local developer in an asset management/leasing role prior to joining Stream.
What brought you to Stream?
I saw what Kyle Luby (Executive Managing Director and Partner at Stream DC) and his team were doing, and I was very impressed. Kyle presented me with the opportunity to grow the business by leading the agency platform, and at the same time, offering the opportunity to work on direct investments in our investment management services business. It was the perfect fit. I got along incredibly well with the team—all quality people—and the platform was aligned with my experience, both on the direct investment and management side of the business, as well as leasing.
What is a pivotal lesson you’ve learned in your career?
One phrase that pops into my head is “measure twice, cut once.” Proofread whatever you are putting in writing. Be very careful about what you’re saying and to whom. Make sure you are communicating clearly and think about how you might be received on the other end. Take the time. Take a deep breath. Take a few seconds more to ensure that what you are saying and what you are doing is what you intend. I have learned this lesson more than once.
What is your greatest accomplishment to date, career-wise?
When I decided to take the opportunity with Stream, I didn’t have many supporters. And that was intimidating for every broker I knew to effectively say, ‘no one has ever done it before—you’re going to fail.’ But I did it anyway because it felt right to me and because I believed in the team, and I believed in us. And ultimately, through working with Kyle Luby, John Klinke and John Hannon, and later Josh Kreider and Andy Eichberg, it became clear to me that these were not only the people I wanted to win with, but that these were the people I’d be happy losing with, too. I believe in them, and I knew we would be successful. I think our greatest accomplishment was that—contrary to conventional wisdom—we quickly became one of the top agency leasing teams in the city and are representing practically every major institution that invests in DC. A lot of people told us it couldn’t be done.
How did you do it? What’s the magic recipe?
Part of it is about leveraging relationships and working your network. You might not know the person you need to connect with, but you likely know the person who is two steps removed from them. But more importantly, when you have the opportunity to engage, you really need to bring something to the conversation that is substantial and actionable for them, in order to demonstrate the value you have as a service provider.
One of the reasons this side of the business is more intriguing to me now is that clients and asset managers have much higher expectations of their service providers than they did a decade or two ago. In the past as a leasing person, you were only expected to lease space. Now the expectation is for you to be a fully well-rounded real estate advisor, providing multiple services and in a proactive fashion. I felt there was a need there that was not very well-filled in the market.
How do you define leadership?
I always think of leadership as effectively being able to identify your team’s strengths and to put them in a position for success. Your job is not to be a delegator or inflexible, but rather the greatest possible facilitator.
I have two daughters—ages 7 and 11. One of my favorite things about being a father is providing guidance and allowing them to accomplish things on their own. Giving them a little push and seeing it go a long way and watching them becoming more independent. It’s very rewarding and inspiring. Human beings are far more capable than most of us realize.
What do you see a year from now for Stream in DC?
I could see our agency leasing portfolio grow to be more than 10 million square feet, and I expect our new DC office to be staffed at nearly full capacity. Increasingly so, I think the investment world looks to us as a group that you must talk to if you are investing in an urban office in downtown Washington.
What are your recommendations for someone visiting DC? What would you say to go do?
We have an amazing food scene in DC that many people don’t know about. There is incredible diversity of cuisine and a number of local Michelin star chefs here, Jose Andres being one. You also have to see some views of the monuments from different vantage points: For example, the top of the Hay Adams hotel with a view of the White House is pretty special.