From his position as a Colorado Springs commercial real estate broker, Stanton Kensinger says 2015 looks to be a good year. Kensinger, 31, has been a broker for Olive Real Estate Group for three years and specializes in tenant representation. He said he is hopeful that as industry and commerce continue to boom in Denver and northern Colorado, the “wave of momentum” will travel this way. Kensinger spoke about that, his family, his career and why he chose to settle down in his hometown of Colorado Springs after years of travel.
Can you tell me a bit about your education and professional background?
I was born and raised in Denver, lived in Colorado Springs the majority of my life, went to District 12 — Cañon Elementary and Cheyenne Mountain Junior High School and High School — then I went to an East Coast boarding school my junior year of high school for hockey. I played out in Salisbury, Connecticut, and then went to Hobart College for hockey. I was there for all four years and then drove to Alaska, did commercial salmon fishing, drove down to San Diego and eventually found my way back to Colorado and haven’t left since.
What brought you back to Colorado Springs?
I worked in Boulder for a while at a restaurant called Sushi Zanmai before I got a job in Colorado Springs working for Strategic Financial Planners doing 401K consulting. I worked there for about two years. From there, I did about two years working for Blue Sky Restoration as their national catastrophe coordinator, so I ran operations for all of the disasters from Hurricane Irene to the tornadoes in Tuscaloosa and Joplin.
I did that for two and a half years, got married and decided it was time to stay put and make Colorado Springs home. I interviewed with almost all of the commercial real estate firms in Colorado Springs, knowing that I wanted to get into the industry here. I interviewed with all six partners at Olive and just really found it to be the right fit and where I wanted to go with my career.
It being the largest locally owned commercial brokerage firm in the Springs was also enticing, specifically regarding the business side of things and representing buyers and tenants who don’t want to be tied down to a national brokerage and who want that local feel, local presence and local knowledge. That’s what I was going for.
What drove you into real estate and to Olive?
With my old man doing it for 30-plus years, I think it was kind of ingrained in me. I think development is something that is both the history and the future of Colorado Springs, and I think it’s what enticed me — the control I might have in building a bigger, brighter future in this town. I think 2015 is going to be a big year for Colorado Springs.
I see my part as minimal, just trying to learn from the partners at Olive and trying to do my part for the clients I represent, but I just believe that the developers have big plans for next year.
I feel a good wave of momentum coming down this way. With Denver becoming too expensive and with Northern Colorado booming, we’re just here for the taking.
How has your role at the company evolved since you joined the team?
Part of the reason I chose Olive is because they let you create the position for yourself, so you’re really an entrepreneur. They don’t say you have to do just office, or just industrial, or just multi-family, but that you can discover what it is you want to end up doing. That has been hugely beneficial to my own development and understanding of the market as a whole. I would say my expertise is probably tenant representation. I’m getting more involved in seller representation. That’s really the majority of what I do in the office, industrial and retail markets.
What do you think of the Springs in terms of development as a YP?
I think it’s a wonderful city to develop as a young professional. I feel like it is a good way to see how involvement in a community can truly help your development as a professional in the Springs. If you really, truly give time to the wonderful nonprofits, causes or even fighting for city government, you can quickly come up on top as a leader. I feel that more people need to step up. I really think 2015 will also be a big year for young professionals.
What do you do in your spare time?
I’m on the executive board for Junior Achievement … I’m also on the foundation board of the Better Business Bureau and help them with their scholarship money and support. I also just try to help the BBB and make sure the money is going to the right place. I’m married, my wife’s name is Kristy, and we have an 8-month-old little girl named Elle. Our spare time is spent trying to enjoy the Colorado lifestyle — enjoying the mountain biking, skiing and fly fishing whenever I can and just trying to enjoy the great outdoors.
What is in the near future for yourself and the market?
I think multi-family housing has been the biggest piece of the market for the past few years, and it’s not showing any signs of slowing down. My partners and I have really reached out to the market and found a lot of out-of-state investors for properties. We’re just trying to find sellers to at least look at opportunities to sell their properties. n CSBJ