Kevin Simpson joined commercial real estate brokerage, rsf LA at its inception. Kevin represents both Landlords and Tenants, tech startups, institutional investors, and everything in-between. Erik Huberman, CEO of Hawke Media, talks to Kevin about rsf LA, being an entrepreneur and Santa Monica.
Erik Huberman: How did you become an entrepreneur?
Kevin Simpson: Born and raised in LA and third generation real estate, I grew up touring commercial and industrial buildings throughout the city with my father. That is what first sparked my interest in real estate. After college, I worked in the entertainment industry before switching gears and focusing my efforts on a career in real estate.
E: So, tell me about rsf LA.
K: rsf LA is a commercial real estate brokerage founded and headquartered in Silicon Beach. We specialize in landlord and tenant representation with a focus on creative office. Our skill sets are across the board, from helping startups find their first office space to advising landlords on how to reposition their properties to meet the growing demand for creative office space.
E: You’ve put your focus on the tech scene, so tell me what you think of this whole Silicon Beach scene.
K: Silicon Beach is a thriving tech community, and a great place for any entrepreneur to call home. The name ‘Silicon Beach’ helped put LA tech on the map. Over the past few years, as companies outgrow or are priced out of Silicon Beach, we’ve seen an increase of tech companies leasing space in other parts of L.A.; including downtown where RSF opened an office earlier this year.
E: Nice. What made you originally choose Santa Monica?
K: Santa Monica (Silicon Beach) is the tech epicenter of Los Angeles. We chose to surround ourselves by the companies here that are developing technologies that are changing the world, and are the users of the type of space [creative offices] that we specialize in. And of course, there’s the weather, the restaurants, the beach, and the bars.
E: Do you have one piece of advice for an entrepreneur starting their own business?
K: From a real estate perspective: understanding the importance of the workplace. It is competitive for companies to bring on top talent, and keep them on. Investing in a space with an awesome build-out and efficient layout, that’s well located, near transit and amenities, can give a company the edge they need to hire and retain top talent, and also promote creativity and collaboration.
E: How is rsf LA changing the world?
K: rsf LA helps entrepreneurs understand their real estate needs and find the space that is going to help them succeed.
E: What separates you from another broker in Santa Monica?
K: We embrace change and challenge tradition. We share a creative workspace with serial entrepreneurs and startups, so we’ve come to understand their needs and how they think. Working alongside these companies on a daily basis, we see firsthand how the use of office space is evolving, and the newest technologies these companies develop and adapt to succeed.