Unico property manager shares his property management and networking philosophy
DENVER (April 11, 2019) — One can say that commercial real estate is Matt Pavlakovich’s heritage. His father, John Pavlakovich, and uncle, Nick Pavlakovich, are giants in Denver’s close-knit commercial real estate community. Growing up, Pavlakovich could remember accompanying his father to work visiting properties. Nine-year-old Pavlakovich would help pick up trash around properties his father managed and sometimes deliver light bulbs to building engineers. His career path seemed certain, destined even.
“I wanted to be a broker and chase the money,” said Pavlakovich, citing his early ambitions.
In 2008, Pavlakovich graduated from the University of Denver with a dual major in commercial real estate and construction management. Though recognizing and respecting his family’s accomplishments in the industry, Pavlakovich strived to make a name for himself and create his own legacy. But before commercial real estate, a detour.
For a year after college, Pavlakovich worked for Wells Fargo as a personal banker. However, when the first opportunity to enter the commercial real estate industry presented itself to him, he jumped at the chance. In 2009, he began managing a medical office for InSite Medical Properties. With his foot in the door, Pavlakovich worked his way up in the industry managing various properties for different companies. According to Pavlakovich, he shared a personality trait with his father that proved successful in his career in property management: meticulous attention to detail.
In 2015, Pavlakovich joined Unico’s Denver office and began managing Writer Square. Before long, his portfolio of managed properties grew to include 1660 Lincoln, 1875 Lawrence, the Platte Street portfolio, and the Circa Building, totaling over 860,000 square feet of office and retail space. His “meticulous attention to detail” netted the buildings he managed “The Outstanding Building of the Year (TOBY®)” Awards in 2017 in their respective categories (1660 Lincoln for renovated buildings, Root Building for historic buildings). Also in 2017, he was awarded Unico’s highest honor: the Summit Team Award. The award recognizes employees who have achieved meaningful success in their position, and who consistently personify Unico’s mission and values.
While Pavlakovich was achieving great things professionally for Unico and his tenants, he was also very involved in Denver’s commercial real estate community. An active member of BOMA Denver since 2013, he is the current co-chair of the organization’s Speed Networking Committee and member of its board of directors. His participation and contribution to the organization were recognized in 2018 by BOMA Denver when he was named the “Principal Member of the Year.” However, his contribution to Denver’s commercial real estate isn’t finished. In the last weeks of 2018, Pavlakovich was elected President-Elect in 2019 and will become President of BOMA Denver in 2020.
The interview below with Matthew J. Pavlakovich, Unico Property Manager and BOMA Denver President-Elect 2019, was edited for clarity.
Congratulations, Mr. President-Elect! How do you feel?
It’s been a little overwhelming, but also very exciting!
Is it too early to ask about your 2020 agenda?
Not at all! In 2019, we’re looking to build a pipeline for emerging professionals and implement a mentorship program which will continue during my presidential term in 2020. It’s our goal for younger professionals to get involved in the organization and that means connecting with them during and straight out of college.
What is the lack you were trying to solve?
It’s the lack of knowledge about getting involved and lack of awareness that operations and property management are viable career options within the commercial real estate industry. We’re creating not just a pipeline of professionals for BOMA Denver to engage with, but also create a pool of talent that building owners like Unico can tap into.
You were recently recognized by BOMA Denver with a “Principal Member of the Year” award for your contributions to the organization, what does it mean to you to receive this award?
Receiving this award means a great deal to me and that I’ve been able to make an impact in BOMA Denver. To have been recognized by my peers, I think it’s extremely important because, at the end of the day, it was an opportunity to really represent Unico in a positive way including as President-Elect of BOMA Denver. It is truly an honor for myself and Unico.
What motivates you?
For me, the biggest motivation is striving for success and creating a positive reputation within our industry and also within Unico. We are fortunate enough to be in an industry and market that is growing and constantly changing and for me, it is exciting to be part of both.
What are some of your favorite things in the commercial real estate industry?
It’s the people—the relationships we’ve cultivated within BOMA and within Unico, it’s fantastic. That piece alone is one of the biggest drivers of getting involved. There are no two days that are the same in this industry—with a unique office environment, you never know what the next day holds and that’s exciting.
But really, one thing I really enjoy is the customer service I’ve been able to provide. At the end of the day, the customer service piece is key to our success as a company, and essential if you truly have a passion for commercial real estate.
What is your property management philosophy?
For me, it’s coming from a place of “YES!” and providing quality customer service to tenants with our service partners. It’s absolutely impossible to be successful without our service partners, engineering teams, and organizations like BOMA. Only by working together can we effectively solve problems and provide customer service to make people who office in our buildings happy.
There is never a reason why we can’t say “YES” to our tenants and Unico has empowered us to make those decisions.
What is the best piece of advice you have received regarding property management?
To get involved! Whether it be in your company or in organizations like BOMA. You are able to tap into a network of individuals and cultivate relationships to be more successful on a day-to-day basis. It’s the most influential, truly sound advice I’ve received and it has truly projected my career in a positive direction.
As the co-chair of Speed Networking Committee, how do you network?
Be involved in LinkedIn Groups, be open to working with new people, or even just listen to their pitch. Take the lunch or coffee meeting.
One thing I’ve taken to heart is what our VP Austin Kane has said, “I’ll always take a meeting.” You might not be able to guarantee someone work, but we can always find ways to collaborate.
And finally, what are you reading?
I’ve been reading Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”
What is Unico Achievers?
“Unico Achievers” is a series of interviews and stories of the exceptional people who personify Unico’s mission and values, and who are making a significant impact in their communities and industries.
Are you a Unico Achiever? Share your story with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Our values-driven culture empowers employees to be their best self. Learn about Unico’s values on our careers page.
- Learn more about the Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) via their chapters in Seattle/King County, Denver, Portland, Spokane, and Salt Lake City.
- Want to join our team? Check out the multiple openings available at Unico.