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Expert Insights: KB Yabuku

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Diverse experience alongside a unique and global perspective

Based in Atlanta, KB Yabuku currently serves as Vice President, Enterprise Client Solutions, Occupier Services at Colliers. The breadth of his experience gives him a unique perspective of the business, which enables KB to help accelerate his clients’ success.

KB has served on the Terry Young Alumni Board at The University of Georgia, is a graduate of Urban Land Institute’s Center for Leadership Program and was in the inaugural class of The Atlanta BeltLine University. KB is an active mentor and contributes to many diversity initiatives both inside and outside of Colliers, including African American Real Estate Professionals (AAREP).

How long have you been in commercial real estate and what led you to join Colliers?

When I was growing up, I always had an intense fascination with city skylines and architecture. Looking back, it was an early indication of a passion that would lead me to a career in commercial real estate (CRE). I was unaware that this industry even existed until I enrolled in a real estate elective course in my undergrad, which prompted me to switch my major from marketing to real estate – here we are 17 years later!

After meeting Scott Nelson, Occupiers Services’ Global CEO, early on in my career, we stayed in touch. In January of 2022 I ended up joining the Occupier Services group as a senior business development executive within the Enterprise Client Solutions Group.

Throughout my career, my focus has always been to build and cultivate client relationships, uncover strategic solutions for their real estate challenges, and to ensure that those solutions are effectively executed and implemented. At Colliers, I receive the resources and support to carry these duties out.

What do you love most about your job?

I have the privilege of partnering with incredible clients, such as global banks and leading tech firms. No two days are alike, and there’s always something new or exciting to be working on – I love not knowing what each day will bring. I may be touring a luxury office space in the morning, and in a strategy session working on creative marketing solutions that afternoon.

What is your advice for people starting off in the industry?

CRE is a small, close-knit industry, so building relationships early on, and maintaining those connections, is key. In my own career I’ve seen things come full circle based on those I’ve met and stayed in contact with. Additionally, learning how the business fits together will guide you on the right path. There’s a lot of moving pieces, but the more of a bird's eye perspective you can gain, the better. The more knowledge you can gain around brokerage, lending, occupier services, macro/micro economics and the different types of real estate such as retail, office, industrial, multifamily, etc., the more well-rounded it makes you as a professional who can provide solutions to clients for their real estate needs.

How does Colliers Occupier Services provide value and differentiate from its competitors?

Colliers Occupier Services offers all the resources and depth of a large firm, but with a close-knit, fully integrated organizational feel as clients receive a more personalized touch to the level of service we deliver. We work together with our clients, collaborating closely with them on strategy to advance their initiatives. Scott Nelson, CEO, Occupier Services | Global, empowers everyone in his Occupier Services team to be nimble and take action for our clients. He is actively involved in the day-to-day as a hands-on and supportive leader that is only a call away when there’s a challenge, question or a quick decision to be made.

One of my primary goals related to the industry is to increase and elevate the diversity in the business and impact other professionals to continue to lead the way. Colliers is an organization that sees the value in diversity of race, culture, gender, and thought, and while there is always more work to do, I am optimistic about the future.


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KB Yabuku

Vice President - Solutions Development

Atlanta

KB Yabuku currently serves as Vice President, Enterprise Client Solutions, Occupier Services of Americas at Colliers International. Occupier Services makes up the platform of tools and talent that supports our clients directly and through transaction advisory professionals leading Occupier client relationships.  These engagements include tenant representation and project management assignments, multi-market accounts, to Corporate Solutions outsourcing.  Occupier Services includes service lines such as Account Management, Client Experience, Consulting, Technology Services (including our Colliers360 technology), Lease Administration, Transaction Management and Project Management.  Occupier Services is directly accountable for the major client engagements based in all regions of Americas, EMEA and APAC.  

Prior to working with Colliers, KB  worked with Atlanta based full service real estate firm, Ackerman & Co., where he served as Vice President of the investment sales team advising buyers and sellers in the acquisition and disposition of retail and industrial property throughout the country. 

Prior to Ackerman & Co., KB served as Associate Director for Stan Johnson Company, where he specialized in the sale of net-lease retail properties throughout the country. His clients included programmatic developers, institutional owners and high net-worth investors worldwide.

Prior to joining Stan Johnson Company, KB worked in the commercial banking arena for BB&T (now Truist), where his roles included commercial relationship manager and underwriter for the commercial real estate group, working primarily with local and regional developers of office, industrial, retail, and multifamily property types.

KB began his career with Jones Lang LaSalle in 2006, working as an office tenant representation broker in Atlanta

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