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Jason Hughes

Chairman, CEO, and owner of Hughes Marino

San Diego
West Coast
Tenant and Buyer Representation
Jason Hughes
San Diego (92101) United States (California)
Professional Status
Just looking around
About Me
Jason Hughes is chairman, CEO, and owner of Hughes Marino. Jason began his commercial realty career in the 1980s working for Cushman & Wakefield in the Century City area of Los Angeles. He later moved to San Diego where he has represented corporate, non-profit, and municipal tenants in their lease and purchase negotiations for nearly thirtyyears.
For more than 20 years, Jason Hughes and his wife Shay have been very influential in the commercial real estate industry. With roots originally in San Diego (where Hughes Marino is the largest exclusive tenant and buyer representation company), the tenant representation firm has become a prominent player in the industry with offices throughout the nation. As market leaders, Jason and Shay have focused on providing deeper client services than ever experienced in the industry before, adding service and results guarantees to all of their customer relationships.

Recognized as a key figure in the tenant representation field, Jason Hughes pioneered new legislation known as the real estate broker Dual Agency Disclosure Bill, or SB 1171, which was signed into law by Governor Brown in August 2014 and went into effect on January 1, 2015. The new state law increases transparency and fairness for California commercial tenants, who now must be advised in writing when working with a broker who represents both tenants and landlords, creating a potential conflict of interest.

Over the years, Jason Hughes has transacted leases and purchases for tens of millions of square feet. He has experience negotiating complex and high-value leases; early renegotiations; expansion and contraction negotiations; office, hotel, and condominium purchases; participating loan structuring; lease and loan workouts; government negotiations; anchor high-rise lease negotiations; build-to-suit developments and project finance negotiations. Jason has negotiated many of the largest tenant lease transactions in Downtown San Diego, Sorrento Mesa, Carmel Valley, and the UTC area over the past thirty years—and is regarded as one of the preeminent commercial realty experts in San Diego and throughout California.

Jason Hughes received his Bachelor of Science in business administration from Pepperdine University and his Master of Business Administration in finance from the University of San Diego. He has also taken numerous executive programs at Harvard University, UCLA’s Anderson School of Business, and UCSD’s Rady School of Management, and he has appeared on numerous television programs and business publications as an industry expert.
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Today’s Trends in Law Firm Office Design — Hughes Marino Seattle
06 Aug 2022

Today’s Trends in Law Firm Office Design — Hughes Marino Seattle

Less square footage, more collaborative space and a “tech-like” feel.

That’s the verdict, as they say, in new research conducted about law firm leases over the past year in the post-pandemic era. Led by the popularity of working from home, the survey indicates many law firms have embraced the hybrid work model, and are taking the opportunity to reimagine their spaces to appeal to the multi-generational and newly embraced work life integration habits experienced over the past few years.

Since many attorneys now work from home two-to-three days a week, the overall square footage needs for many law firms has been reduced by 25%, with some individual offices decreasing by 40% — from 200 to 120 square feet. Another redesign revealed is that a number of firms are doing away with large and private offices for attorneys who are only in the office twice a week, moving instead to a hoteling system, by which office users can just “plug & play” in a specifically designated space.

Another trend impacting the industry is that more firms are now opting for universal office sizes. This new concept is not only more efficient -creating 50 private offices in the same space that used to have 42, for instance — but it removes the sense of hierarchy, and the large corner-office status of leadership. Overall, workstations are shrinking too, with the average unit being reduced by 33%.

Evolving technology has also inspired other changes in law firm office spaces. The once-ubiquitous law library has been digitized, allowing for the transformation of the space that used to be dedicated to shelves of books, to becoming a lounge area with high-end comfortable seating and coffee tables — a place for connection and collaboration. Traditional conference rooms have also undergone a tech transformation as Zoom calls have become the norm. Many meeting spaces have been specially outfitted for video meetings with sophisticated audio and video capabilities, to maintain legalese performance.

Along with these physical changes has come an innovation in visual design as well. Gone are the dark woods and solid walls of yesteryear. Today’s offices are outfitted with glass walls and doors, allowing for the flow of natural light to brighten the entire space. Walls are decorated with colorful works of art and modern interior design elements. High-end, upgraded and full-size kitchens give the office a feeling more like home, and also allows for cooking and a place to connect with colleagues.

Having communal spaces for interaction is important for younger attorneys who are always seeking mentorship and acceptance opportunities with all levels. Being able to attract and retain younger legal talent is one reason for this new design trend of less “conservative corporate” and more “cool tech titan,” and is very much needed within the industry. Think about it — if you’re signing a 10-year lease today, the junior attorneys you’ll have in 10 years are currently in high school! To attract new talent, a space needs to be modern, high-tech and exciting, and should provide the same elements and features they’ve grown accustomed to at their high schools and universities.

These trends are all aspects of a reinspired office space that law firms should to consider to be the most competitive and successful. A best approach is to start the renovation process at least 18 months prior to the current lease expiration, having decision-makers connect with an architect, who may need to spend two or three months analyzing the square footage needs.

Another major concept to consider is how a firm will embrace remote work. What will that look like at your firm? Will you convert to standard-size offices or keep a few larger spaces for senior partners? How does the technology capacity and utilization need to evolve? This process can take longer than you might expect, depending on how quickly the decision-makers can come to an agreement.

We encourage you to take a look at the research and know what the trends and possibilities are while keeping your future needs at the forefront. The model of hybrid work has already brought many changes to the law office landscape, and other transformations could be right around the corner. To create a space that will retain and attract the brightest legal minds of tomorrow, it’s best to start planning today.

At Hughes Marino, we pride ourselves on being a valuable partner in negotiating a lease, planning, design and construction project management. Our experts are knowledgeable about today’s law firm leases and trends, and know the best practices to guide your firm to the best spaces for your continued growth and success.

Gavin Curtis is senior vice president at Hughes Marino, an award-winning commercial real estate company with offices across the nation. Contact Gavin at 1–844–662–6635 or to learn more.

Originally published at on August 2, 2022.

Repurposing Retail Space: Two “Win-Win” Solutions
06 Aug 2022

The massive glut of retail space likely has commercial developers nationwide scratching their heads for a solution. Mega-malls sit mostly vacant while many tenants calculate how long they can hang on. Neighborhood strip centers also have plenty of spaces for lease. I think I can safely say that the retail leasing business really is a buyer’s market.

Amid the large-scale carnage, two unlikely solutions have appeared. ECommerce fulfillment centers are appearing in large metro areas and small towns alike. Retail incubators are also springing up in all sorts of settings. Both developments have emerged from the country’s ongoing economic roller coaster. Here’s a deep dive into both growing trends.

What’s Behind the Surplus of Retail Space

The COVID-19 pandemic was the catalyst behind an unprecedented realignment of the retail landscape. In the pandemic’s early days, millions of workers were idled as thousands of businesses closed their doors indefinitely. Retail big box stores and locally owned shops alike were affected. Some employees occupied their time by working remotely. However, everyone found themselves with endless unstructured hours at home.

To alleviate their boredom, consumers browsed eCommerce sites and ordered massive amounts of merchandise. Online retailers ramped up their fulfillment operations, adding extra shifts and streamlining shipping cycles to meet demand. In fact, many companies were able to deliver their products almost anywhere within a couple of days.

Retail in the Post-Pandemic Era

Today, the pandemic’s effects have diminished, and the retail industry is again open for business. However, an interrelated series of events continues to completely shake up the retail landscape.

Thousands of retailers have closed their doors for good, unable to sustain operations without any sales for months. Other retail businesses have downsized, shrinking store sizes and/or consolidating outlets to eliminate marginal performers. The net effect: countless retail space has become available for rent or purchase.

Many consumers have also decided that they prefer shopping online from the comfort of home. In fact, eCommerce sales have continued to explode with no end in sight. This rapid growth has led online retailers to search for venues that could be converted into strategically placed distribution centers.

On a related note, a record number of entrepreneurs developed small business concepts during the pandemic. Now that the economy is fully open, many business owners are looking for brick-and-mortar space to expand their operations.

Two Innovative Uses for Vacant Retail Space

Two distinct markets contain much of this vacant retail square footage. Together, they can help to transform local retail wastelands into thriving business hubs.

ECommerce Distribution Centers

Online retailers’ growing need for distribution space appears to mesh with the increased amount of available retail space. Each individual space is a blank slate that can be configured to meet each eCommerce business’ specific needs. Even better, the vacant retail spaces range from single storefronts to large department or discount stores. In other words, there’s literally something for everybody.

To add another wrinkle, many surviving brick-and-mortar retailers have ramped up their eCommerce sales. These businesses also need more space for their fulfillment operations. The solution: mini-fulfillment centers located on each retailer’s premises. Ideally, these centers will be situated near customers’ communities. This helps to ensure a more efficient “last mile” in the delivery experience.

Each fulfillment center’s configuration will be different. In every operation, however, a good warehouse management system will help to streamline picking and shipping tasks. Managers should understand how eCommerce order fulfillment works. Finally, workers should receive training that enables them to efficiently perform their job tasks.

Retail Incubators

The term “retail incubator” refers to a space in which new or micro-scale retail entrepreneurs can get an initial foothold. Equally importantly, they can gain this traction without breaking the bank.

In a retail incubator setting, multiple tenants share space and operating expenses in good locations they couldn’t otherwise afford. Vacant retail spaces (especially ground floor locations) are ideal for this purpose. Bold signage and visual design will help to draw customers to each business.

Like a business incubator, a retail incubator operation provides tenants with financial, technical, business, and marketing guidance. Submarket rents are also a hallmark of retail incubator operations. Some incubator managers permit tenants to hold community events and/or engage in micro-scale manufacturing operations.

A commercial property owner or local community development corporation can launch a retail incubator. Sometimes, business partnerships spring up between unlikely collaborators with the same vision. In my view, the sky’s the limit here.

Not surprisingly, a retail incubator offers significant benefits to the community. A small-scale manufacturer can become an anchor business that draws foot traffic to nearby small retailers. A co-op vibe can energize creators and customers alike. Each business will gradually develop its own identity. As the company grows, they’ll build a following that continues to widen their circle of influence.

Most importantly, a retail incubator offers business opportunities to everyone in the community. Business owners’ wide-ranging skills and talents often complement each other. As the businesses grow, they create jobs for community residents. Taken together, these factors help to enrich the entire community for the long term.

Four Tips to Consider When Relocating Your Business — Hughes Marino San Diego
31 Jul 2022

Four Tips to Consider When Relocating Your Business — Hughes Marino San Diego

Moving a business can be a major project to say the least, and anyone who has relocated their company location can attest to the massive challenge. Over the many years of representing companies in their lease negotiations, as well as assisting in planning, build out, tenant improvements and expansions, our team at Hughes Marino has gained extensive knowledge observing the intricacies of moving a business, and we love sharing as much insight as possible to help our clients feel prepared and informed. Planning ahead and remaining organized throughout the process proves essential to ensuring the move goes as seamlessly as possible and will have your team feeling excited to take the next step in the journey.

In order to help our clients navigate their complex relocations, we have developed an extensive and free downloadable checklist to help companies get started on the right foot. Along with our handy checklist, here are four takeaways to consider as you relocate your business:

1. Plan Ahead

The more time you allow for planning, the better, and the more successful you will be when moving day arrives. We recommend planning a minimum of three months to a year before making a move, based on your needed move-in date. When establishing this timeline, companies should focus on appointing a moving committee or move champions, who are typically comprised of team members from facilities, IT, HR, operations and other interested and qualified contributors to establish a relocation budget. We recommend considering whether a third-party move management consultant should be hired to help alleviate the time burden so your team members can focus on their normal role and responsibilities. We also suggest talking with your tenant representative to review the existing lease for restoration requirements to return the current space, as well as meet with the landlord to inform them of your intention to relocate and planning to end your existing lease on its expiration date.

2. Create Moving Teams by Department

There are plenty of logistics to cover when nearing two months out from the moving date. This includes gathering furniture layout plans for team members’ new workspaces, scheduling meetings with each department lead and moving team, and working with your IT department on moving tech gear properly and safely. For biotech companies, it’s critical to prepare any lab equipment that may need to be transported to the new location, considering any unique transportation requirements for a safe relocation. Another pro-tip for staying organized-we highly recommend assigning numbers to a moving plan that correlates to a particular location, workspace or teammate, which will help expedite the load-in and move-in process day of. By labeling spaces and correlating boxes by number, the move team can quickly determine which boxes and furniture items go where, ensuring nothing gets lost during the transition.

3. Create an Internal and External Communication Strategy

Communication is key and will help your team have a smooth transition from one space to another. A few months out is also a prime time to begin crafting a communications plan for social media, clients and press releases announcing the move, scheduling and begin the planning of an office-warming event, finalizing security protocols for the move, locking in storage if needed, and more. This is also the time to go over any moving insurance needs. About a month before moving, we advise that companies make sure the new location is added to the lobby directory and also fine-tune any parts of the moving schedule that might need adjusting. Two weeks prior to the move, we recommend planning tours of the new space, as well as prepping welcome packets and swag bags for your team members. In the days leading up to a move, we encourage providing new security ID cards and entry passes, and organizing general on-site help for move-related support.

4. Create a New Location Support Strategy

The day has come, and your team is excited to begin the next chapter in your new space. Moves can be as exciting as they are challenging in getting into a routine and feeling established in a new environment to tackle your work. This is why it is imperative to continue to communicate and provide access to teammates who understand the lay-of-the-land and can answer questions, and provide direction and support as everyone gets settled in. During the week of the business move, we suggest distributing on-site contact lists and establish a central common center to assist team members as they get acclimated to the new location.

Whether you enlist the help of an external team or handle your business move in-house, proactive communication and organization are key. Our team has extensive experience and is happy to offer our services both to find and build out the perfect space before your office move. We look forward to assisting your team, and hope these tips (and our checklist) help you on your journey!

Hughes Marino’s industry leading Construction Management team has unmatched expertise in every type of commercial building project from tenant improvements to ground-up build-to-suits. With decades of experience in California and beyond, our project managers, engineers and LEED APs offer practical insights for the construction management professional.

Originally published at on July 20, 2022.

How a Business Mentor Can Jump-Start Your Company’s Growth
31 Jul 2022

Starting (and growing) a small company means wearing multiple hats every day. On any given day, the business owner may oversee production or provide a professional service. Quite often, they’re also involved in sales, marketing, operations, and/or information technology tasks.

While getting my company off the ground, I was typically involved in numerous tasks every day. I answered phones, interacted with clients, and even purchased office supplies on occasion. Today, my highly effective team members handle many company functions. However, I certainly jump in when it’s “all hands on deck.”

Although the business owner is likely skilled in a specific area, they can’t possibly be an expert in everything. Business colleagues, consultants, and online resources can fill in some gaps.

However, the startup business owner would benefit from real-world advice from someone who has been down in the trenches. This feedback is even more important when it relates to big-picture issues.

What a Typical Business Mentor Does

A business mentor can take many forms. Think of them as a trusted adviser who has realized real-world business success. Ideally, they have specialized experience in the start-up business owner’s industry. They donate their expertise to a freshly minted mentee who needs guidance to help move their company forward.

For example, a successful Certified Public Accountant might mentor a new business owner who provides small business accounting services. A website development business owner may take on a brand-new niche website designer. The start-up owner has the technical skills but lacks business know-how.

Alternatively, a mentor may prefer to work with start-ups in any field. Perhaps the mentor enjoys the challenges (and rewards) of bringing a start-up from floundering to flourishing over time. I have seen firsthand how a dedicated business mentor truly did make the difference for a fledgling business owner.

Benefits for the Mentor

A mutually beneficial business mentorship also provides three important advantages for the business leader. First, many successful business owners look for opportunities to give back to their communities. This is especially true when the mentor’s guidance can positively impact the mentee’s business experience.

Business mentor relationships also enable the mentor to hone their teaching, strategic, and consulting skills. Finally, a mutually beneficial mentorship agreement provides the mentor with exposure to their mentee’s fresh strategies and ideas.

6 Qualities of Effective Business Mentors

A good business mentor can come from any business background. Ideally, they’ll have a good mix of the following attributes.

Business World Background: Successful business owners can typically provide advice for a wide range of business scenarios. An especially well-rounded mentor is likely to provide the most benefit.

Relevant Experience: In a perfect world, the mentor will have experience relevant to the start-up business owner. If not, the recipient should consider this factor during interactions with their mentor.

Collaborative Problem-Solving Skills: A good business mentor doesn’t order the start-up business owner to take certain actions. Instead, the mentor listens to the mentee’s opinions and offers sincere, thoughtful feedback. Based on that, the mentee can develop a targeted plan of action.

Easy Approachability: Regardless of the mentor’s background, the start-up business owner should be entirely comfortable approaching them for guidance. If not, I would recommend searching for another mentor.

Personal Humility: Without exception, the most accomplished business owners have retained a level of personal humility. They can talk about their failures along with their successes. In my view, that’s an invaluable trait that every business owner should cultivate.

Consistent Availability: A mentor must be able (and willing) to devote time to the mentorship effort. If not, they are depriving the start-up business owner of guidance and leadership when it’s needed most.

Finding the Right Business Mentor

Historically, business mentors would be located within easy driving distance of their mentees. Often, both business owners would be members of an area Chamber of Commerce or other business group. Working with an out-of-area mentor would be the exception rather than the rule.

In today’s highly digital world, however, business mentorships can take place in person or via convenient video calls. Stated another way, an effective business mentor could be located halfway around the world.

Working with a Local Business Mentor

A person-to-person business mentorship has two upsides. First, the mentee’s professional contacts can help them to find a mentor in their local business community. In addition, I find that meeting with someone in person is more satisfying on a personal level.

However, an in-person mentorship means the mentee can only select from local candidates. These business owners may (or may not) have the expertise the mentee would find most beneficial.

Working with an Online Business Mentor

Finding an online mentor is usually easier, as the mentee can choose from a global talent pool. A full range of subject matter experts should be readily accessible. The two parties can easily meet via smartphone, tablet, or other electronic device with an Internet connection.

However, working with a mentor halfway around the world means the two parties are in different time zones. Brainstorming sessions and round table discussions will certainly be a challenge.

Putting the Wheels in Motion

From what I’ve seen, a good business mentor can literally be a game-changer. In essence, the new business owner has guidance from someone who has weathered multiple storms. By soaking up every bit of knowledge available, the start-up entrepreneur has a good chance of success.

A Thorough Lease Audit Can Benefit a Client’s Bottom Line
23 Jul 2022

Executing an office lease seems like a straightforward proposition. First, the landlord spells out the leased property’s details and states what the lease includes. They also include language about the tenant’s portion of the operating expenses (or pass-through expenses). For illustrative purposes, let’s assume my business is the tenant.

Next, the landlord states the monthly rate my company must pay for leasing the property. If I’ve done my homework, their number and mine are about the same. If the two figures differ quite a bit, we’ll have an interesting discussion about the reason. Hopefully we can come to a meeting of the minds and move forward.

Now, let’s assume we’re on the same page with the lease specifics. Before I sign the lease agreement, I read it carefully — even the fine print. I don’t want any surprises later. Assuming there are no red flags or deal breakers, I sign on the dotted line.

The Commercial Lease Audit’s Purpose

A lease agreement’s “operating expenses” are one of the least-understood parts of the contract. These expenses pertain to costs associated with the property owner’s business operations. For example, a typical business tenant leases an office in a large office building or office park.

Here, the pass-through expenses include building maintenance and common area costs such as landscaping. Building management services and tax expenses are also included in the “operating expenses” category.

Many commercial landlords are deliberately vague about discussing the operating expenses. In addition, they usually don’t itemize them in the lease. The landlords are aware that most business owners know very little about these expenses.

However, every business owner deserves to know the details on all charges included in their lease. This is where a professional lease audit can help. My company performs these audits for all types and sizes of businesses.

The Professional Lease Audit’s Two Goals

A well-executed lease audit has two important goals. First, the lease auditor examines the landlord’s books to ensure that all pass-through expenses comply with the lease agreement. The auditor’s expertise and objectivity enable them to easily identify any discrepancies.

In addition, the auditor wants to ensure that the expense calculation methods are accurate and fair. Stated another way, the auditor doesn’t want their client to be overbilled. If past overpayments have occurred, the auditor wants the landlord to return those funds to the business tenant.

What the Lease Audit May Uncover

Sometimes, the lease audit reveals that the landlord made some simple calculation errors. Maybe they’re not complying with industry standards for a certain type of business. Perhaps the landlord is using boilerplate language that doesn’t apply to the individual business tenant.

On other occasions, the landlord may be attempting to conceal expenses they shouldn’t be charging at all. Quite honestly, they’re hoping the tenant won’t notice. My lease audit team has seen all these scenarios — multiple times.

When a Lease Audit Should Take Place

A business tenant with a multi-year lease should obtain a lease audit on a regular basis. An upcoming lease renewal or termination is also a good reason to perform an audit. I also recommend going through the lease with a fine-tooth comb whenever one of several events occurs.

First, let’s say the landlord is performing building renovations. Alternatively, there may have been a substantial change in the building’s occupancy rate. Both scenarios alter the makeup of the original operating expense structure and should trigger a lease audit.

Next, maybe the landlord sold the building to another entity after the lease term began. On the flip side, the same company may still own the building but has changed property management firms. This oversight change means anything is possible regarding lease terms. A lease audit will uncover any “red flag” issues.

Next, the business tenant’s current charges may differ substantially from the previous year’s costs. A good lease auditor is determined to find out what’s behind that significant change.

Finally, building owners with financial difficulties may use varied means to get additional funds in the door. Arbitrarily hiking business tenants’ operating expenses payments shouldn’t be part of that strategy.

Specific Tenant Audit Rights

The business tenant’s lease agreement often includes terms about the tenant’s audit rights. The tenant is responsible for reviewing the lease clause that pertains to lease audits’ frequency and duration. Some leases also detail who may conduct the audit and who must cover its cost.

Equally importantly, the tenant should determine their window for auditing specific charges. A 30- or 60-day timeframe is common, although some leases may provide for shorter or longer windows. The business tenant should confirm whether they can audit previous years’ leases or only the most recent year’s leasing agreement.

Time-crunched business owners often turn to professional lease auditing firms with a record of results. A skilled auditor’s due diligence ensures that each client’s operating expenses are fair and accurately assessed. And in the grand scheme of things, every dollar helps to improve the bottom line.

Jesse Itzler Shares What it Means to be a “Spiritual Billionaire” — Hughes Marino San Diego
15 Jul 2022

Jesse Itzler Shares What it Means to be a “Spiritual Billionaire” — Hughes Marino San Diego

The words “spiritual billionaire” don’t exactly conjure up thoughts of an entrepreneur or author, and certainly not a former rapper, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Our friend, best-selling author and business mogul, Jesse Itzler, is the very definition of a spiritual billionaire. We’ll get into that in a minute, when we explore what he means by “spiritual billionaire” and where his inspiration comes from, but first, a little background on Jesse.

From his earliest days as a rapper with Run DMC, to co-founding Marquis Jet, partnering with ZICO Coconut Water and selling it to Coca-Cola, marrying his incredibly successful wife Sara Blakely (founder of Spanx), and writing two New York Times best-selling books, Living with a SEAL and Living with the Monks, Jesse is about as accomplished as it gets, yet as grounded, authentic and humble as they come. He is constantly aspiring to build his life resume and ultimately striving to be what he has coined a “spiritual billionaire.” The story behind Jesse’s inspiration is truly heartwarming, and we were lucky enough to hear it firsthand during an intimate conversation we hosted for our clients and friends who recently spent an hour with him.

Everyone who has a chance to spend time with Jesse knows he is a world-class storyteller and always has amazing, often funny and incredibly touching experiences to share, drawing on his own life as a father of four, ultra-athlete, husband to a genius businesswoman and serial entrepreneur himself. In his most recent conversation with us, Jesse shared that his quest to be even more spiritual came with the recent passing of his father, as he reflected on the exceptional and spiritual life that his father led. Being a spiritual billionaire like his father is something Jesse aspires to be in his own life, and he shared how he views this as an opportunity for others to do the same.

With hard-working, humble roots, Jesse grew up in Brooklyn, where his father owned a successful plumbing supply business. It wasn’t glamorous work, but his dad provided a stable life for Jesse’s family. Jesse said his father was never a billionaire in financial terms, but his father was the ultimate spiritual billionaire, the only currency that really matters in life. This was profoundly represented to Jesse when he was researching retirement homes for his mother after the passing of his father. The evaluation process didn’t include analysis of bank accounts, connections or social status, but was based on a retirement grading system of wellness, known as “SIPPS”- social, intellectual, physical, purposeful, and as Jesse emphasized,Jesse explained the value of being a spiritual billionaire is the ultimate multiplier in life. One can have billions of dollars in the bank, but if they don’t have anything else of value in their life, they ultimately have nothing. In other words, being a financial billionaire multiplied by zero spiritual wealth equals zero. He encouraged everyone to spend more time on the spiritual side of the equation, as that is the true multiplier of life.

Jesse’s father practiced random acts of kindness before they were popularized, by hosting extended family, neighbors and members of the community for holidays when they had no other place to go. This made a lasting impression on Jesse to do more good in the world and recommit to being more of service to the community. Throughout his discussion, Jesse reminded us that the qualities of someone who developed their spiritual side are not skills that are taught, but rather qualities we all can choose to possess-like generosity, passion, empathy, kindness, authenticity, humility, trustworthiness and compassion.

Here are four insightful ways Jesse shared how to be a spiritual billionaire:

1. Put your SOUL into whatever you do.

To Jesse this means that if you are going to do something, you need to do it well, be present, and put your whole soul into it. He encouraged us to be “where our feet are: be focused, intentional, present and give your soul.” He explained you can’t outsource soul, and that if you aren’t going to put your soul into something, be it a presentation, a career, a new hobby, or starting a company, then don’t waste your time, because the winning competition will put soul into it, and you are only being a disservice to yourself. Jesse further explained that there is an energy to how you show up in life, in work, with your family, friends and colleagues, and they can tell when you pour your soul into it.

2. You can master a skill in one year by practicing 18-minutes a day.

Often the things we think are impossible to accomplish are actually very easy to do, and the key to success is learning strategies to help us achieve them. Jesse shared with us the quintessential “Rule of 100,” which explains that if you invest 100-hours in one year in a single discipline, you will be better than 95% of the world’s population. What a concept! His example: if you were to read for 18-minutes a day, as an average reader, you will have read 20 books a year, or could have learned a new language! The key is to be consistent, accountable and take it one step at a time. Imagine what you could accomplish, the person you could become, the experiences you could have, if you gave yourself that time each day.

3. Practice urgency with 25% of the free time in our days.

It’s human nature to have routines and schedules to stay on task and to accomplish what’s needed throughout the day, especially for so many who are parents with children, chauffeuring between work and school, life errands, social activities, sports and homework. For others it might be caring for an elderly parent or a sick family member. We all have commitments, priorities in our everyday life that need to be taken care of, and often we push those unique and extraordinary, life-changing opportunities off to someday.

Jesse explained how he approaches every day with urgency to maximize his time to accomplish what he wants, and broke it down by the numbers: 75% of our time equates to working, eating, sleeping and screentime (for most of us). What are we doing with the other 25% of our time? Jesse expressed that it’s important to have urgency and be particular with that remaining 25% of our time by spending it with the people we love and doing the things we love to do. Further explaining that time is undefeated-the only way to beat time is to take action and when you do so, time can’t take that away from you. So take that trip with your family or put down the phone to do something memorable with your kids, because time can’t take away that experience and the life resume you build.

4. Don’t underestimate the joy of volunteering and giving back.

In those moments where you are overwhelmed or feeling down, the one thing to help stop that feeling is to help someone, and to flip the momentum around by performing an act of service. By volunteering for a local organization, paying the tab at a restaurant for a family, serving meals to those in need, or giving back in any small way, you can instantly feel more uplifted and help make the world a kinder place. The healing power of volunteering and helping others has been studied, and benefits both parties tremendously, and will build your life resume as a spiritual billionaire.

Jason and I have always believed in being of service in the community, and have implemented a volunteer program at Hughes Marino, providing volunteer time off to every team member to help causes that mean the most to them. We support many nonprofit organizations and have made this a high priority as one of our core values is to generously give to others.

In addition to making time for ourselves and our life experiences as a spiritual billionaire, Jesse also reminded us to prioritize our life first, put on our schedule what we want to experience first, and then execute-and most importantly, be mindful and strategic with our precious time, because it’s a scarce resource that should not be wasted.

After listening to Jesse’s incredibly inspiring ideas on how to increase our opportunities to be a spiritual billionaire and positively impact others, we all left feeling more energized and inspired to invest more time in ourselves, those we love and our communities, and seize every opportunity we have to live a generous and fulfilling life. It was a wonderfully reflective message to share with our clients, friends and team, and we hope Jesse’s message inspires you too.

Jesse Itzler-Entrepreneur. Author. Keynote Speaker. To learn more, please visit or connect with him on Instagram at @jesseitzler.

Shay Hughes is president, COO, and owner of Hughes Marino, an award-winning commercial real estate company specializing in tenant representation and building purchases with offices across the nation. Shay writes about business leadership and company culture on her blog, Lead from Within. Contact Shay at 1–844–662–6635 or to learn more.

Originally published at on July 12, 2022.

The Industrial Real Estate Rollercoaster-Buckle Up! — Hughes Marino Orange County
15 Jul 2022

The Industrial Real Estate Rollercoaster-Buckle Up! — Hughes Marino Orange County

The industrial real estate market has been on a fast-moving rollercoaster ride through the pandemic, and it’s not slowing down just yet. While the general public is pausing cautiously for a recession-like dip, industrial developers are feverously battling for the front seat of the ride. Most leaders and business owners who lease space in manufacturing and distribution have heard “your rent is going up”-but behind the scenes, the institutional real estate owners have given cause for concern. If you’re looking to engage in the industrial real estate market soon, here are a few trends impacting this high-flying industrial market that seems to only be blindly speeding up.

Supply Chain Disruption

We’ve been talking about supply chain disruptions and the impacts on goods and materials since March of 2020. As the pandemic quickly spread, it changed how items moved throughout the global economy. Goods shipped overseas caused months-long delivery delays, drastically increasing freight costs. Every industrial product type from last-mile distribution centers, raw land for containers and trucks, and cold storage space continued to be in high demand causing rental rates to soar.

Land in Short Supply

One of the primary reasons behind the increasing cost of developable land is a shortage of land. In Southern California for example, land scarcity is particularly noticeable in areas where warehouse space is desperately needed, as most of the area has already been developed. This results in companies competing over the limited supply available, driving up costs and even pushing out smaller players. In areas like Orange County, the Inland Empire and Los Angeles, which are close to both ports and residential areas, it can be particularly challenging to find a good spot to develop. In response to this shortage of land, we have seen some of the larger institutional developers turn to building multi-story industrial buildings, increasing the value of the land by increasing the total property square footage-they are building “up, not out.”

Development Costs Increasing

Raw land is not the only facet of the industrial real estate market experiencing a jump in pricing. We have also seen the cost of raw materials and construction labor increase as well. Costs for concrete and steel have doubled and even tripled over the past couple years, and construction delays due to supply chain issues are causing havoc on initial estimates.

Onshoring from Asia Impacting U.S. Border Markets and Mexico

Supply chain disruptions have caused manufacturers to rethink their production strategy. Major manufacturers have set up production closer to home so that goods are created near the buyer. This helps manufacturers avoid bottlenecks at the ports and any other supply chain issues that may be caused by COVID outbreaks in other countries. Mexico has been a major winner in the effort to make supply chains more resilient. In 2020, Mexico saw a 514 percent increase in bids from U.S. companies looking to bring production closer to home, and that trend is continuing. Developers are finding wide open development opportunities in rural border towns from Calexico, California to El Paso, Texas.

Up to the Challenge

While the industrial real estate market has its challenges, it is possible to enter or change your position in the market. We can’t stress enough how critical it is to utilize a tenant representation expert that specializes in the industrial sector to ensure companies reach the best outcome for their requirements and teams. The experienced team at Hughes Marino is not only staying on top of market trends, but is also thinking outside-of-the-box to help our clients meet their current needs. With confidential, no conflict driven guidance and specialized tactics, we are proud to be able to help our clients navigate their complex buyer and tenant needs effortlessly.

Mike Paleo is a senior vice president of Hughes Marino, an award-winning commercial real estate company specializing in tenant representation and building purchases with offices across the nation. Contact Mike at 1–844–662–6635 or to learn more.

Originally published at on June 29, 2022.

32 Stories and Growing (Again) — Hughes Marino San Diego
10 Jul 2022

32 Stories and Growing (Again) — Hughes Marino San Diego

Looking back and charting the course ahead for leadership development and continuing growth at Hughes Marino

As a reflection of where we were when Hughes Marino first began, where we are now, and where we are headed, This article was originally published April 17, 2013. here is a fun look back to when I first stepped into my leadership development role in 2013, when we were just 32 wonderful human beings with shared core values

and a roadmap for how we would grow.

As one of the founding brokers at Hughes Marino, I work as a licensed commercial real estate broker and a project team leader. We help companies to make great real estate decisions. After 26 years doing this work I am happy to report that I really love what I do. In 2012, I was asked to take on additional responsibility as Vice President of Leadership Development. There was no job description. It would be up to me to define the role, and I accepted the challenge.

First, let me say, I am not a very good cheerleader. I would not make a good “in your face” personal trainer. I am not that guy. But I am a people person and curious by nature, I am always thinking about leadership, and about personal growth, so it is a natural fit for me to work with our team to define our leadership development goals together. Since I get to choose, we are going to talk a lot about leadership and about storytelling.

We launched Hughes Marino in 2011, with 11 original wonderful team members. In just two years, we have grown to a collection of 32 ultra-high performers who play well together as a team. 32 teammates, each with a wonderful story to share. 32 stories and growing. Love the idea that every person has a story. Let’s get better at sharing our most authentic stories with one another. How many stories will we grow to over time? Honestly, the sky is the limit. Currently, the tallest building in the world is the Burj Khalifa at 163 stories, but buildings are constrained by physics and weather-we aren’t.

How Will We Grow?

How will we grow as a company? We will grow as a company when we grow as individuals. This is a cool concept with tremendous power. It reinforces the message that we are interested and vested in one another’s growth and development. It also reminds us that we cannot grow unless our people are growing. We have borrowed and adopted from author Joe Calloway, the edgy and accurate phrase, “If you are as good as you are going to be, then you can’t work here!” Love that. Not every workplace could get away with saying that. We can, and we do.

We invest a tremendous amount of time and energy in our culture. We are all about trust, communication and an absence of fear. We strive for excellence, authenticity, appreciation and humility. Successful speaker, author and coach Mike Robbins has helped us with a few of these concepts. Thanks Mike. And on our own we also decided to rally around three core competencies. We call it “Lead-Write-Present,” and it goes something like this.


Each of our team members has an opportunity to practice leadership through community service. Stepping forward and accepting a leadership role on a non-profit board is a perfect opportunity to practice leadership. First and foremost, it must be an authentic commitment by an individual with passion for the organization. We don’t join boards to get business. And once you are on the board, why not step forward and lead a committee, or an event, or become the board chairperson! The leadership role will take you deeper into the mission of the organization where you can make a bigger impact, and it will also force you to organize a team, and lead. Every experience makes us stronger and smarter, and better at working with people. This is how we grow.


2022 Update: The tallest building in the world is still the Burj Khalifa, and Hughes Marino is catching up, having now grown (in spite of a pandemic) to 120 stories. While our company has expanded tremendously over the past ten years, we have remained true to our core values, and that feels good. By encouraging each other to lead, write, and present, we have grown as a team-and we have grown as individuals-a lot. I thought this would be a good moment to reflect on this. Now I am excited to see what the next 10 years has in store! Yep, this is how we grow!

Each of our team members is expected to write. Some write better than others, and we all need the practice. And the more we write, the more we realize that the hard part isn’t the writing. The hard part is the thinking. What are you going to write? What do you have to say that is fresh and interesting? And how are you going to say it? Once you get your thinking straight, the writing is easy. We expect our team members to be thought-leaders in the commercial real estate field, moving the conversation forward. We expect our team members to write, and to practice thinking and writing all the time. Not all of that writing gets published, but a lot of it does. Our website is loaded with great content and recent articles written by our teammates. We are moving the conversation forward, and it feels great. This is how we grow.


If you think about it, we all make a living presenting, from the moment of our very first job interview. Whenever we meet new people, we introduce ourselves, we tell them what we do, hopefully we make some kind of connection, and if we are on our game, we have a chance to convey a sense of who we really are at our core. It isn’t always a formal “presentation,” and make no mistake we are always “presenting.” These first opportunities are precious, and it is paramount that our team is able to convey in that moment who we are, what we are all about, how we add value, and why the work that we do is so important. Robert Frost said, “All the fun’s in how you say a thing.” And that is the point. We all have a story to tell, and a good stories bring people together. Yeah, let’s get better at storytelling. This is how we grow.

How am I doing? Do you like my writing? Hey, at least I am practicing, right? Hopefully some of these ideas are fresh. Hopefully they move the conversation forward. If you want to hear more, reach out and let’s find a time to get together. I’d love to hear your story.

John Jarvis is a senior vice president of Hughes Marino, an award-winning commercial real estate company specializing in tenant representation and building purchases with offices across the nation. Contact John at 1–844–662–6635 or to learn more.

Originally published at on June 28, 2022.

3 Green Building Technologies that are Gaining Traction
10 Jul 2022

Helping my clients achieve their vision is one of the most exciting parts of my business. Maybe they’re building new offices or revamping an old industrial facility into a biotech lab. Perhaps they’re transforming an old warehouse into a technology hub. Regardless of their goal, I thoroughly enjoy watching the process unfold from start to finish.

Over the years, I have observed the evolution of construction materials and techniques. Not too many years ago, the term “green building technologies” raised many eyebrows in the construction world.

Today, some of these technologies are becoming more mainstream while others are just making their way onto the scene. Here’s a look at three green building technologies worth serious consideration.

Cool Roof Construction

A dark shingle roof can get as hot as 150 degrees Fahrenheit. That heat transfers into the building’s interior, making the HVAC units work harder to keep the building cool. That translates into increased energy use, more emissions releases, and higher cooling costs. Regardless of the business’ utility budget, a more efficient roof would certainly make a difference.

Fortunately, new cool roofs are engineered to reflect a larger portion of the sun’s rays. This means the roof temperature is knocked down by over 50 degrees. In addition, the cool air inside can’t escape through the roof. This improves the HVAC system’s efficiency and translates into substantial cost savings.

A cool roof also works efficiently during the winter. Because the roof keeps the warm air inside the building, the HVAC units don’t have to work as hard to heat the interior. Again, this translates into lower energy emissions and costs.

Cool roof materials include purpose-designed shingles and tiles. Specially formulated reflective paint magnifies the cool roof’s efficiency.

Green Insulation Product Development

From an energy efficiency standpoint, building insulation is a necessary part of any construction project. Historically, fiberglass insulation has been the “go to” material for residential and commercial builds.

However, fiberglass insulation can be messy to use under the best conditions. Breathing these tiny bits of glass can result in respiratory problems. And I certainly don’t want to get fiberglass shards stuck underneath my skin.

For years, the construction and remodeling industry has been ripe for a better alternative. Today, “green” insulation utilizes recycled materials to line a building’s walls and enhance heating and cooling efficiencies.

Types of Green Insulation

Two types of green insulation are gaining traction in the construction industry. Soft blue cotton insulation is mostly fabricated from recycled denim jeans. It’s interesting to think that the insulation in a client’s building might come from someone’s well-worn blue jeans.

Cellulose insulation is made of recycled newspaper and generally contains 75% to 85% recycled material. This product more efficiently prevents airflow compared to fiberglass insulation. Several forms of cellulose insulation are available, with spray-in insulation the most widely used product.

Although fiberglass insulation often includes recycled glass, it’s not considered a green product. The process of melting the glass and forming the insulation is a rather energy-intensive operation.

Smart Glass Window Technology

When I travel into the city, I see dozens of tall office buildings along my route. Collectively, these commercial structures likely contain thousands of windows that provide good natural light to the buildings’ interiors.

However, windows also draw the sun’s heat inside, triggering the HVAC system to cool the building down. The system’s energy-intensive operation causes emissions releases and runs up the company’s cooling bill.

The commercial construction industry already has a partial solution: low-emittance windows. These specially constructed windows block a portion of the sun’s radiation. This cuts down on energy use and expense.

The Smart Glass Solution

However, smart glass (or electrochromic glass) windows go one step further. This emerging product utilizes a very small pulse of electricity to charge a window layer’s ions. As a result, the window’s light-reflective ability changes. Simply put, smart glass windows enable the user to decide the amount of light that’s blocked or allowed inside.

Looking at the big picture, smart glass windows can be integrated into smart building control systems. Using this logic, a skyscraper’s thousands of windows will automatically tint during peak sunlight hours. The windows will regain their transparent qualities in the evenings. Developers say smart glass windows will result in a 25% decrease in HVAC system operation costs.

Manufacturers are still adapting electrochromic glass for commercial applications. However, this technology is expected to be available for widespread use within the next few years.

Other Potentially Applicable Technologies

Other green technologies have been integrated into many residential construction projects. Examples include active and passive solar installations and geothermal heating systems. Technically, these technologies are applicable to commercial projects. However, contractors will have to determine if the technologies are economically feasible on a larger scale.

Over time, I think green technologies will play a bigger role in the commercial construction arena. I will continue to consider them for my clients’ projects.

5 Ways Gen Zers Will Influence the 21st-century Workplace
30 Jun 2022

Navigating a multigenerational workplace gives me the chance to interact with team members from several age groups. Every week, I speak or meet with baby boomers, Gen Xers, Millennials, and Gen Zers in offices across the country. I gain useful insights from each one, and I thoroughly enjoy having all of them on our company team.

Within the past couple of years, an increasing number of Gen Zers have joined our company. The fast-growing Gen Z cohort includes everyone born after 1997. Gen Zers will comprise 27% of the global workforce by 2025.

Hands down, Gen Zers are the most diverse generation to ever be part of the workforce. They bring a vibrant new energy to my company and the workplace. Here’s a snapshot of their work-related values and priorities.

Preference for Socially Conscious Employers

Gen Zers evaluate a potential employer in different ways than previous generations. These young professionals do pay attention to the traditional salary and benefit considerations. However, a company’s values and morals (and how the business puts them into action) are far more important.

Not surprisingly, Gen Zers aren’t just paying lip service to this philosophy. Less than 20% of this group would work for a company that doesn’t share their core values. Stated another way, they want to work for a socially conscious employer that “walks the talk” every day. If the company doesn’t stack up, these young employees are likely to find one that does.

Desire for a Completely Flexible Workplace

Many of these young employees started off their careers in a hybrid work environment. Older Gen Zers may have worked remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. In other words, they’re accustomed to a workplace that offers autonomy and flexible work schedules. They expect employers to continue offering those perks.

In reality, Gen Zers have taken it a step further. They often balk at eight-hour workdays, preferring to establish a work schedule that suits their preferences. They also don’t want to be required to come into the office every day. In their view, they can perform their jobs from any location with a good Internet connection.

Insistence on Company Transparency

Despite their young ages, Gen Zers are not easily fooled. They’ll see right through an employer who makes promises about company transparency but doesn’t follow through.

In my company, we believe that transparency comes first. We freely share our values and priorities with all our team members. We always keep them posted on current and upcoming projects. And, we encourage feedback on every aspect of our operations. My door is literally always open to our team members.

I also think a flow of employee-focused initiatives is key. Some offerings pertain to skills development while others involve good old-fashioned fun. Together, they encourage transparency and good communication, and that helps everybody win.

Expectation of Professional Development Opportunities

Gen Zers place a high value on career advancement opportunities. Over three-quarters of these young professionals view skills development programs as the best way to grow in their careers. Most Gen Zers would exit their company if they didn’t think it offered adequate career growth programs.

Employers can keep Gen Zers engaged by offering diverse skills development options. These offerings should include exposure to varied disciplines within the company. With numerous choices available, employees can pursue the opportunities that most intrigue them. Over time, Gen Zers will become higher-value team members in every respect.

Demand for Better Work-Life Balance

Working hard toward a predetermined goal can bring amazing results. In fact, my company’s talented team members meet — and exceed — their goals every day. While this certainly supports business growth, it also provides employees with a sense of accomplishment.

However, I’m also aware that non-stop work can lead to increased stress and eventual burnout. When that occurs, a team member becomes progressively more unhappy and unproductive. This mindset can gradually affect other areas of their life.

Gen Zers have seen the effects of job burnout on their family members and friends. These young professionals are taking steps to avoid this undesirable outcome. Specifically, they are clearly stating that they want (and expect) a better work-life balance. They want to spend quality time with their families and friends. They also want plenty of free time to pursue other interests and devote time to social causes.

However, some employers might think Gen Zers’ work-life balance preferences mean they don’t want to work as hard. This is very often not the case. To achieve mutual agreement on this key point, both parties should engage in a “meeting of the minds.” Then, employers may learn that Gen Zers want to work when they think they’re most productive.

Cultivating More Effective Team Members

Looking at the bigger picture, rested and focused team members are more confident in their jobs. More confident employees are more creative and productive, and they are better collaborative partners.

Therefore, Gen Zers’ good work-life balance preferences can translate into more job satisfaction and career longevity. From a personal standpoint, I look forward to having them on my team for the long term.