Blake Okland is vice chairman, head of US multifamily for ARA, A Newmark Company, acquired in December 2014 by BGC Partners Inc. and now a part of Newmark Grubb Knight Frank. Mr. Okland is responsible for identifying and executing on strategic initiatives, recruiting, business line and geographic expansion and business development.
Prior to the formation of ARA, A Newmark Company, Mr. Okland had served as president of ARA for four years. He also led the company’s governing body, the National Executive Committee, during this period. Before his role as president of ARA, Mr. Okland served as a member of the National Executive Committee for five years.
Additionally, while holding these company-wide positions, Mr. Okland served as a principal and partner of ARA Carolinas. Taking control of its business development activity and day-to-day operations, he and business partner Dean Smith grew the business into the dominant multihousing brokerage in the Carolinas.
Since 2000, Mr. Okland has led or been meaningfully involved in multihousing transactions worth more than $10 billion. He also has extensive experience in leading multimarket portfolios as well as multiple institutional grade “one-off” transactions.
Mr. Okland joined ARA in February 2004, after five years of working with CBRE’s Atlanta based National MultiHousing Investment Properties team. A key member, Mr. Okland was involved in more than $450 million in apartment brokerage transactions during his tenure.
Before joining CBRE, Mr. Okland was an acquisitions/dispositions analyst with ArchstoneSmith Communities Trust, where he was directly involved in transactions in various stages of the marketing process totaling more than $450 million, and monitored acquisition opportunities in specific Southeast markets (Raleigh, Charlotte, Washington, D.C. and Atlanta).
Mr. Okland is an active member of the National Multifamily Housing council. He graduated from Point Loma Nazarene University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Political Science.
As National Marketing Manager, Amy Morris brings a background of both Marketing and Real Estate experience to ARA, A Newmark Company . She is responsible for the development and coordination of national marketing initiatives for ARA Newmark's offices across the country, as well as the monitoring of the company's brand program. Amy manages and executes all of ARA Newmark's internal and external events, while also providing support and management for key components of the company's PR program.
Prior to joining ARA Newmark, Amy was a senior manager with CoreNet Global, Inc., a professional association for corporate real estate and workplace strategy executives, where she was responsible for the national partnership and growth of five of the largest key chapter relationships across the country. She oversaw the use of the company's Global marketing and branding programs on behalf of her chapters, while helping to develop and support communications, events, technology and tactical business execution.
Amy received a Bachelor of Business degree in Marketing at North Georgia College & State University, where she also minored in Spanish.
Jeff Ober has worked in institutional multi-housing brokerage since graduating college in 2004. He began as an intern at CB Richard Ellis with such responsibilities as conducting rent surveys, contributing to market write-ups, compiling sales comparables and maintaining a development pipeline report. He later became an analyst, then senior analyst, and finally team manager when his team moved to HFF, overseeing all team marketing and analyses. He joined ARA, A Newmark Company in late 2011 to oversee the company’s national efforts of data collection, analysis and dissemination. He also contributes analytical and strategic expertise to brokerage activities across several ARA Newmark offices on select assignments.
Jeff holds undergraduate degrees in Business Administration and Economics from UC Riverside, and a MBA from UC Irvine.