Mike Brucato, MCR

Senior Director | Northeast | Advisory & Transaction Services | Occupier


What’s your educational background?

I grew up in Andover, Mass., and went to Andover High School. Following that, I attended Boston University where I accepted under their Pre-med program. Being a liberal arts college, we had to take a variety of courses outside of our major. After taking Micro Economics 101, I realized that I really enjoyed the blend of theory, logic and math so I switched my major to Economics at the end of my freshman year. 

Tell us about your career path. Where were you prior to joining CBRE?

 My path started in college where I began working for a residential real estate shop doing apartment leasing for college students and young professionals my sophomore year. It was in this role that I fell in love with real estate and started to learn more about the commercial side. Graduating in 2009, during one of the worst economies in recent times, the real estate industry was on a sharp decline and not hiring. Fortunately, a family friend owned a uniform company so I started selling uniforms and shop rags door to door in order to pay my college loans. All the while, I kept checking for job openings and networking to try and find a foot in the door for brokerage. After relocating to North Carolina in 2010 via a promotion, I finally connected with someone who lived in my apartment complex who worked in commercial real estate. Not long after, I landed a role at what was UGL Equis (then DTZ, and now Cushman & Wakefield) as a tenant rep junior broker where I focused on business development for portfolio/corporate accounts. My parents thought I was nuts since I gave up a great-paying salaried job to move back in with them and work only on commission. About a year into the role, the senior partner on our team who led client strategy and account management left for another firm so I got moved up to take over. In 2012, the last remaining partner and I moved to Boston to build out a mid-cap portfolio team where we built the playbook on researching and pursuing this type of business. I wore a multitude of hats ranging from financial analyst, to account manager, to technology solutions. Having built the transaction tracking technology for my firm globally, I was asked to be our SME for the building, implementation and on-going use for a global task force set out to develop our company’s proprietary global technology solution.

Please share some details about your current position. What are some of the interesting things you’re working on?

I was recruited over to CBRE in 2015 in a similar portfolio brokerage helping them build a portfolio pursuit team. Still wearing multiple hats and having gained some recognition quickly through some big wins, I was asked by the head of our New York consulting practice to fill an urgent need with one of our largest global clients. Being the risk taker I am, I said yes without even asking a lot about the role. Next thing you know I am the internal North American strategy and transaction leader for a large global bank. During that time, I got recruited into the role I am at today as the Advisory & Transaction (A&T) service line leader for the Northeast division. In my current role, I have full responsibility of the A&T service/business line (P&L, sales, account management, staffing etc.). I was recently promoted to Senior Director in my first year in the role.

There are two things that are top of mind when it comes to interesting aspects of my job:

The first is a top-down organizational review and alignment of a $20 billion global company. This company has gone through a series of acquisitions with multiple fractured silos of real estate teams which causes issues around governance, integration, holistic strategy and excessive overhead. I am spearheading the review.

Second, I never thought coming to such a large firm like CBRE it would feel like such a tight-knit family with very approachable senior leaders. I have been able to spend a lot of time working with my peers to think outside of the box on ways we can continue bring value to our clients as well as our employees.

Is there a single project or accomplishment that was particularly rewarding?

 My most rewarding accomplishment was the honor of being chosen as the Young Leader nominee for my chapter for the CoreNet Global Young Leader award. We have a very rare and unique chapter where we are all truly act like a large family. I have had peers and former colleagues who have spent time with us at global summits and have made very similar comments. Service providers are friends with corporate users they do not work with and even people from their competing firms. We all have each other’s best interest at heart and it was just an unthinkable honor to be considered the person they wanted to represent the chapter considering the incredible Young Leaders we have in our chapter.

How long have you been a member of CoreNet Global? Tell us about your involvement and how you engage with the association.

 I have been associated with CoreNet Global for a little over three years now. I have treated CoreNet Global like anything else; you get out of it what you put in. To that end, I have tried to dedicate a tremendous amount of time working with the various committees and attending events to support the growth and recognition of CoreNet Global. In the past year, my job has required me to travel a lot more which has caused me to miss more events than I would like to. But nevertheless, I always try to stay in contact with my fellow members and am still actively involved with the Education and Real Advantage Committee.

Outside of the committees, I was fortunate enough to complete my MCR last year which was one of the best professional experiences ever. I still have friends from all over the country, other service providers and corporate users I have stayed in touch with. Some I have helped network for career opportunities and others have just stayed in touch with business opportunities.

Almost as significant as the MCR was the involvement with CoreNet New England’s Young Leader Development Program. It is a one-year program in which generous senior real estate leaders from other service providers and corporate real estate groups host educational seminars across a variety of topics. A small team of 13 of us were chosen as the 2nd class for this program. The team still remains very close and we try to set up impromptu get togethers which just reinforces how much of a family our chapter is.

What aspects of your involvement with CoreNet Global are most valuable? Please comment on the value that Young Leaders get from membership in the association.

 It all goes back to you get out of it what you put in. I have met other CoreNet Global members (young leaders and non-young leaders) who complain they do not see the value of the association but those are also the same people I see attend one event every year and nothing in between. And that’s not to say you have to dedicate 20+ hours of your week to CoreNet Global. I have personally found the ROI for my time spent is greater than any other organization I have been a part of. It is for that reason I have applied to join the Global Young Leader committee to help further contribute and give back to such a great organization. Aside from the friends and professional relationships I have built, I have been able to stay on top of all the latest real estate trends which is extremely valuable for both my clients and my firm.

How do you see your future career? Will it be in corporate real estate?

Without a doubt, yes. I am one of the weird ones who can honestly say I have wanted to be in commercial real estate since college. While I started out as pre-med, I knew from my first exposure to the real estate industry I was hooked and committed to being within this industry.

To help our readers get to know you on a more personal level, tell us a little about yourself (e.g., family, hobbies, 

favorite places to visit, etc.).

My wife and I got married on June 10th, 2017. We are planning to visit Italy this summer for our one- year anniversary. It will be my first time east of the Atlantic which is exciting. Italy is also a special place to me as I am from Italian descent and actually in the process of obtaining my dual citizenship. I am doing it as an honor to my family and more importantly, it is something I can pass down to my children and they can pass down to theirs.

Unfortunately, in the fast-paced world of brokerage it has been difficult to travel for leisure and with the amount that I fly, my idea of a relaxing vacation is going somewhere that I do not have to get into a plane. My wife and I find ourselves spending most of our free time in New Hampshire at her parents’ lake house and I am trying to get her into skiing during the winter as that is one of my favorite hobbies!