Colin Greenhalgh of Truss on Helping Startups Find Homes
Updated: Jun 24, 2020
Colin Greenhalgh is a true Bostonian – born here, raised here, and continues to live here. He has been in commercial real estate for almost 11 years, primarily working in the downtown markets.
Colin joined Truss, an online marketplace for commercial real estate, in October 2018 to open their Boston office because of his continuing compassion to help startups find the right office space or coworking space for their budget and company culture. He has found that a lot of entrepreneurs who are looking for a space don’t know where to start. And he loves to be a sounding board for those entrepreneurs, supporting them in better understanding their own needs and finding space through the Truss marketplace that can serve their company’s short and longer-term goals as they grow.
Steph: What is your favorite thing about Boston’s startup scene?
Colin: The Boston startup scene is intimate. If you’re a positive member of the ecosystem and you continue to pay it forward, then you’ll do well. Boston is a big city in a lot of ways, but it’s also a small, tight-knit community. You need to do the right thing and help other entrepreneurs along the way.
S: What is one piece of advice you have for startups looking for office space?
Starting your search on Truss allows entrepreneurs to see all of the spaces that fit their needs, along with complete price transparency, which is a first for our industry.
Entrepreneurs and small business owners can search and tour the spaces for free – there’s no cost to search – and we help you from start to finish in finding the right space and signing a lease. You can tour and search different areas within Boston or outside of the city and compare the costs for each space and their amenities – all right from our platform.
Plus, Truss has local brokers like myself to help throughout the process since finding a space and the lease terms itself can be confusing. For example, as your broker, I can help you with negotiating favorable terms for your lease.
S: Any other tips up your sleeve?
Having an office space in Boston is great, and I strongly encourage it. But if you’re looking to attract an even larger talent pool in your recruiting processes, I’d strongly recommend having a satellite office outside of the city, in addition to having office space in Boston, for those that can’t easily commute into the city.
Additionally, we can help you with determining what’s the best type of space for your business. Oftentimes, once entrepreneurs consider the additional costs of standalone spaces, such as purchasing office furniture, they decide to look at alternatives such as flexible space or co-working can be the same price or less than standalone office space.
Lastly, don’t get overwhelmed. With our online marketplace, you can search and tour the spaces for free right from the platform, which is a huge time saver for you. On average, business owners save 19% on their leases when they work with us and find the right space 60% faster. Net net: You found the space faster and for less.
S: What do you consider one of your proudest accomplishments so far?
Starting the Truss branch here in Boston is definitely my proudest accomplishment, where we now have more than 1,500 office spaces and 89 co-working locations available for startups looking for space. Doing something predicated on your background and the relationships you built is scary, and also rewarding. I take personal pride in watching the startups that I met when they were younger succeed now. I had absolutely no role to play in their success necessarily, but I loved knowing them and watching them grow.
S: What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career to-date?
Maintaining who I am as a sales person. It’s important to remain organic and yourself in an industry that can sometimes be very competitive. Sometimes you’ll see people change because they’re just trying to close a deal. I try to figure out what’s best for the clients – the small business owners and entrepreneurs – because I know if they ultimately like the experience, they’ll return when the need office space again or refer me to other business owners. To me, that’s the biggest compliment — a referral.
S: What is one thing you wish you knew in the beginning of your career that you now know?
That you can be yourself and still be successful. In many sales roles, you’ll get a script or work for somebody that does something differently than you. That may not work for you and that is okay.
Rapid Fire Questions
Favorite thing to do in Boston?
If you could have one superpower, what would you choose?
What is one myth about real estate you wish you could dispel?
That people think their real estate broker doesn’t have their best interests in mind. That’s simply not true. We represent you and want to sustain an incredible relationship with you.
Choose a movie title for the story of your life.