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Managing Principal


Rich Harris is a 26-year veteran of the commercial real estate industry and founder of Transcend Commercial, a boutique advisory firm where Rich continues to serve a select group of clients.  Rich formerly served as the Managing Principal of the Raleigh-Durham office of Cushman & Wakefield. During his tenure, Rich doubled the production team, tripled revenues, and led C&W Raleigh-Durham to be recognized by the Triangle Business Journal as a 'Best Place to Work' for six consecutive years. 

Rich has completed over 1,800 transactions in his career, has won numerous ‘top producer’ awards, and is widely regarded as one of the leading tenant representation brokers in the Triangle. In the last five years alone, Rich completed over $850M in transaction volume on behalf of his tenant clients. Rich specializes in servicing high-growth and venture backed technology companies and has a reputation for integrity and aggressive advocacy with companies of all sizes. He has consistently demonstrated an ability to overcome significant market obstacles on behalf of his clients as evidenced by more than 75 letters of recommendation.
Rich began his career in 1996 working for what would become known as GVA Advantis, a full-service real estate company serving the Southeast. In 2008, he departed his position there as Executive Director and founded Synergy Commercial Advisors, a boutique real estate firm specializing in tenant representation and project leasing. In 2014, Synergy was acquired by Cushman & Wakefield (formerly DTZ / Cassidy Turley), where Harris was then selected to lead and grow the Raleigh-Durham office through the mergers and consolidation that followed. In October of 2010, Harris spearheaded the spin-out of Realcore Applications, a proprietary software platform designed to serve the commercial real estate industry (commercial brokers, landlords and tenants) that was originally created for his company’s internal use.


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  • Top Producer [Raleigh-Durham] 2014-2015 — Cushman & Wakefield (formerly DTZ / Cassidy Turley)

  • Top Producer 2008-2013 — Synergy Commercial Advisors

  • Top 50 [Triangle] Entrepreneurs (2012) — Business Leader Magazine

  • Top 40 Under 40 [Business Leaders] in the Triangle (2007) Triangle Business Journal

  • Top 40 Under 40 National Commercial Real Estate Professionals (2011)

  • Busy Broker Award recipient in 2009, 2011, 2012 for the most CRE transactions — Triangle Business Journal

  • Small Business of the Year [2010] — Morrisville Chamber of Commerce

  • Movers & Shakers — Business Leader Magazine (2003)

  • Top 10 Producer at GVA Advantis (12 office regional firm) 2005-2007


  • Triangle Angel Partners (TAP) — Co-Founder, President of the Executive Committee (2013)

  • Council for Entrepreneurial Development (CED) — Executive Committee — 2006-2009

  • Downtown Durham, Inc. (DDI) — Executive Committee — 2007-2008; Board of Directors — 2008-2011

  • Triangle Area Office Building Association (TRAOBA) — Board of Directors — 2004-2006

  • Band Together — Board of Directors — 2006 to 2012

  • Established and lead local Adopt-a-Highway Program (“Balance Your Life”) — 2001-2006

  • Guest lecturer at the Kenan Flagler School of Business

  • StepUp Ministries, Durham - Volunteer


With a 26-year career of advising companies both big and small on their real estate, I have learned a great deal about what it takes to be an effective advisor.  First and foremost, relationships are critical; relationships not just with my clients, but with landlords, leasing agents, contractors, architects and vendors.  I pride myself on my reputation for aggressive advocacy, while also maintaining some of the strongest relationships in the marketplace.  These longstanding relationships deliver superior concessions and flexibility to my clients, even when market conditions favor landlords.   

Having completed nearly 2,000 commercial real estate transactions in my career, I draw on a depth of experience when advising my clients on almost any real estate scenario.  I have recruited, managed, coached, and trained numerous commercial real estate professionals in my career, at boutique, regional, national and even global real estate firms.  I have served in senior leadership roles at GVA Advantis, Synergy Commercial Advisors, Cassidy Turley, DTZ and most recently, as the Managing Principal at Cushman & Wakefield in Raleigh-Durham.  The culmination of these experiences results in ultra-creative and highly effective solutions for my clients.  

I have completed some of the largest transactions in the Raleigh-Durham market over the years, including Microsoft's recent 189,000 square foot expansion at Perimeter Park and RBC Bank's ~60,000 square foot Raleigh headquarters in Brier Creek.  I have also completed anchor tenant transactions representing the likes of trialcard, Bronto Software, Pepsi Bottling, SciQuest, Cornerstone Building Brands (formerly PlyGem), Square 1 Bank and Northwestern Mutual, as well as countless Triangle start-ups. 


I am an early adopter and advocate of technology, which tends to be a clear differentiator in my service delivery model.  From customized electronic surveys to detailed financial analysis (models that I personally built and improved over my 25 year career), to a cloud-based  technology platform, Realcore Applications (a company I co-founded more than 10 year ago), that stores all important client data and documents.  I have created these tools to drive efficiencies and value for my commercial clients.  

Finally, life is too short not to bring enthusiasm and energy to each client engagement.  I like to have fun and build thoughtful and enduring relationships with my clients.  I understand that my preferences and values are not shared by everyone, and that's okay.  At Transcend, I am focused on working with those who align with my core values, and who value professional advisors.

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