Steve Dils of Avison Young Atlanta on workspace design

Managing Director and Principal of Avison Young Atlanta Steve Dils is in the studio for the All About Real Estate segment of Atlanta Real Estate Forum Radio. Dils joins co-hosts Carol Morgan and Todd Schnick to shares insight into how businesses are adapting and innovating their workspace design to meet the shifting circumstances caused by the pandemic.

Dils opened the Avison Young Atlanta office in 2010, which was the firm’s third office in the US. Over the years, the firm has grown profoundly, and today, the Avison Young offices internationally number over 120, with 55 offices here in the US. Avison Young is currently the largest privately-held, principal-led real estate services firm in the world. The firm’s goal is to allow its principals to hold ownership in the company and to engage with its clients through unique approaches as a private organization.

In business for over 40 years in Canada, Avison Young is comprised of privately-held, independently-owned offices in 15 countries. As a principal-led company with over 650 principals, Avison Young is highly collaborative and provides its principals with a voice to help shape the organization with a long-term vision rather than a transactionally-driven focus.

“We want people to bring in the best resource to help their clients as possible. And that’s a vision that has resonated with a lot of people,” said Dils. “It doesn’t make us the answer to everything, but it does differentiate us, and it is appealing to both the producers and the people who work for us, but also to our clients.”

During the pandemic, Avison Young saw clients with both positive and difficult impacts. The industrial market saw incredible e-commerce growth, while other sectors experienced times of uncertainty. In these instances, Avison Young worked to understand clients’ businesses and assisted them to adapt to circumstances and challenges. Despite obstacles caused by the pandemic, Avison Young saw highly positive results during 2020 due to pent-up demand.

As more businesses start to utilize coworking spaces, Avison Young has been working with clients who specialize in coworking. The firm has played a role in both engaging with building owners interested in forming spaces and coordinating with coworking firms that are looking for a suitable location. Looking forward, Dils expects to see building owners partnering with coworking firms to manage the space and collectively share profits.

Hoteling has also become a popular option for many businesses to provide more flexible work times for employees. Dils anticipates that practically every large firm will have flexible space options rather than long-term leases to become more adaptable.

As COVID-19 restrictions lessen, Avison Young has seen a variety of approaches to returning to the office depending on the risk-aversion levels of different companies. Avison Young has noted that many firms feel obligated to resume in-person work in order to maintain company culture, nurture younger employees’ growth and acquire new hires. Office spaces are not expected to disappear, but they will likely function differently than before and vary for each company. Several Avison Young offices have reopened with flexible measures, but the firm remains in the process of returning to full function at every office.

Avison Young and its partnering firms go beyond simply finding businesses a good location fit to also assess the company’s workflow and business goals in order to create workspace designs based on the company’s values and functional needs. Not only is the overall company vision incorporated into the workspace, but the needs and wants of employees are also taken into consideration when forming the design to create a sustainable space.

“It’s not one size fits all. Whether it’s how often you come in or what your space looks like, it really depends on the industry you’re in,” said Dils.

As Avison Young moves forward, the changing industry environment provides the firm with new opportunities to accelerate its investments and service clients in diverse ways. The firm prides itself on being able to offer clients valuable opportunities and assist in important decisions during the past year of uncertainty.

Listen to the full interview above for full details and learn more about Avison Young’s services by visiting www.AvisonYoung.com.

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Georgia Residential Mortgage Licensee, License #22564. NMLS ID #6606. Subject to borrower and property qualifications. Not all applicants will qualify. New American Funding and Avison Young are not associated. Click here to view the terms and conditions of products mentioned during the show. Corporate office 14511 Myford Rd., Suite 100, Tustin, CA 92780. Phone: (800) 450-2010. (July/2021)


New American Funding is a family-owned mortgage lender with a servicing portfolio of over 123,000 loans for $30.4 billion, 198 branches, and about 3,100 employees. The company offers several niche loan products and has made Inc. 5000’s list of Fastest-Growing Companies in America six times. It has a state-of-the-art career training facility and develops innovative technology, including the GoGo LO mobile application. For more information, visit www.branch.newamericanfunding.com/Atlanta.

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