'); Colliers International | Experts | Dave Sandlin

Dave Sandlin


SIOR

Executive Vice President | San Jose - Silicon Valley

License #CA-00767849

About

Professional Summary

Dave is Senior Vice President and Principal at Colliers International. He joined Colliers in 1985, concentrating his leasing and selling expertise in Office and R&D product for notable clients such as Catellus Development Corporation, The Principal Financial Group, AMB, CARR America and The Matteson Company. Dave's commercial real estate experience encompasses selling and leasing commercial office, R&D, as well as industrial properties to and for businesses in the technology, biotech, and communications sectors in Silicon Valley. 

In addition to being a member of the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR), Dave has also been honored with formal induction into the Association of Silicon Valley Brokers Hall of Fame in recognition of his career achievements as a professional in Silicon Valley. In addition, he has been nominated on numerous occasions over the course of his career to receive the "Broker of the Year" award.

The things I love about the commercial real estate business are the people, and being creative during the deal making process. I love closing deals that others can’t, like the semiconductor gas supplier client I was able to put into a Fremont industrial space even though there was a great deal of concern and some outright opposition from people at different agencies. There are many aspects to problem solving, and you have to be a good problem solver to serve your clients capably in this business.

I’m known for being reliable, knowledgeable, friendly, and highly connected to the real estate industry in the South Bay. There is a great deal of rejection in our business, and over the years I have managed to deal with that by being driven. That’s also the reason why I have a reputation for finishing, and an established roster of repeat clients.

One of the things I do differently than other brokers is sell the client. You can’t just put the product on a brochure and expect to lease it up. You have to sell the client, especially when you are competing with better-known landlord brands or institutions with more capital than your client may have at its resources.

 I was inspired to get into the commercial real estate industry due to a chance meeting I had during college, when I had a part-time job working in a local car racing shop. One day the shop owner asked me to help a guy out who was bringing his car in for service. A day later this man only a few years older than me pulls up in a brand new Mercedes with his very attractive girlfriend, and right away, I wanted to know what he did for a living.

That person was one of the top office brokers with the predecessor company of CBRE in Silicon Valley and he became my mentor. I was attending San Jose State University and changed my major to real estate (I have a Bachelor of Science Degree in Real Estate). My mentor had been president of the Rho Epsilon real estate fraternity when he went to San Jose State, and he encouraged me to be the real estate club’s president, which I did in the mid-1970s.

A few years later I started my career as a commercial real estate broker in what was beginning to be known as Silicon Valley. In the early years, I was a tenant rep broker. One of my clients was National Semiconductor and I did over 1.5 million square feet of leasing on their behalf. But like a lot of the big technology companies of that era, they didn’t work with brokers on exclusive basis, so I rotated assignments with other brokers and felt that I was always competing for the work, despite the relationship and what I had done for them. So I switched my focus to landlord representation, who as a group are more likely to take care of their brokers. That choice has since served me, and my clients, well.

Another one of my mentors’ in the early days was Luis Belmonte. Luis had built Sunnyvale Business Park (1980s) and had a lot of available space when the market went south. JR (Parrish) and I went to meet with him, and even though they were projecting $1.25 a foot for the space, we told Luis the market was at $0.75. About a year-and-a-half later the entire market was down to 75 cents per foot. The work I did with Luis led to landlord representation work in Fremont, where we competed with King & Lyons, among others. That experience later helped me get listings with Met Life and other institutions, including Lincoln Property Co. Relationships I made there led to work with Catellus Development Corp. and we did a 2.1million-square-foot build-to-suit for Cisco Systems shortly after the dot.com bust. 

Even after three decades in this business, I still love coming to work every day. Seeing Silicon Valley evolve with a front-row seat and helping the companies, investors and developers make good business decisions on current real estate projects is still as rewarding as it was when I starting working in commercial real estate. 

In addition to my three wonderful (and grown) daughters, I still love cars and reward myself with season tickets to the Golden State Warriors. I’ve even gone on road games to other western cities for Warriors games. I own a ’66 Shelby GT350, a ’63 Land Rover Series II and a vintage race car, the 1972 Titan Mk6, which has been called “one of the prettiest Formula Ford’s in the world.”

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