GWA Interview: Chris Johnson of ViewPointe Executive Suites

chris_johnson

Chris Johnson

We interviewed Chris Johnson of ViewPointe Executive Suites in Las Vegas. ViewPointe weathered the recession and is now offering a new product type for their clients.

When and how did you start ViewPointe Executive Suites?

We built the building in 1998 and at the time we were one of only a few centers in town. We had a great run until everything crashed in 2008. It took some time but we were able to keep afloat and things have been great since 2013.

What makes ViewPointe Executive Suites stand out from other work spaces?

We always continue to evolve. We stay ahead of the curve with respect to technology. We just invested in a state-of-the-art Cisco phone system. Our Internet speeds have been 100 Mbps for several years now and we are eventually moving up to 1 Gbps. When other owners were cutting costs we continued to invest in the property. We installed electronic vehicle charging stations about a year ago and offer all of our tenants free charging.

How is business? Trending up, down or flat? How are you coping? What are your market challenges right now?

Business has been great the last two or three years. Rents are not what they were but they are trending up. Our virtual office business exploded during the recession and we have been able to retain most of them to this day. One of our biggest challenges is competition. The recession brought building prices so far below replacement cost that investors started buying vacant buildings and turning them into ‘make shift’ business centers. It puts downward pressure on the market. Most of them haven’t lasted more than two or three years but we still feel it.

What service or product has the most potential for growth?

We recently purchased the building next door to ViewPointe and created a new product type for our portfolio. We built two, three, and four room suites that range from 450 to 1,300 square feet. Construction took two months and we were successful in pre-leasing half of them. We will consider building more of this product type.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Every day is different and I enjoy meeting new people.

What is your proudest accomplishment in the industry?

Making it through the recession.Sorry I keep bringing that up but man, it was a killer!

When and why did you join GWA?

I attended my first meeting in Miami as a non-member. We joined shortly afterwards. I enjoy learning about what other center owners are doing in the market and I have met some great contacts to bounce ideas off of.

What is your greatest challenge over the next year or two?

Keeping up with technology will always be a struggle. Things change so quickly and if you don’t pay attention it’s easy to get left behind.

How do you spend time outside of work?

I’m an avidcrossfitter and tennis player. We travel to southern California often as well.

What was the last movie you saw in a theater and loved?

‘Fifty Shades of Grey’… just kidding. ‘Entourage’ was pretty good.

Who’s your favorite singer or band?

Sublime.

What’s your favorite guilty pleasure?

Ben and Jerry’s Chubby Hubby Ice Cream and Chicken Wings. Not at the same time.

What’s your favorite quote?

‘If you want to live a happy life tie it to a goal, not people or things.’

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