Real Estate Brokerages Meet And Adopt Tech They Like

Stephen Rutchik went paperless when he joined Colliers International 1 ½ years ago. That’s big deal for a broker in the commercial real estate field, an industry that has historically lagged behind others on the digital front. Colliers has begun to fill the disconnected line between the commercial real estate industry and technology. The fourth-largest real estate brokerage in the nation joins global companies CBRE Inc., JL.L and Cushman & Wakefield in what agents describe as a speedy digitization of a traditionally old- school industry. Companies large and small are placing a priority on software upgrades.

Rutchik and his South Florida team were early adopters of View the Space, or VTS, a cloud-based leasing and asset management platform. Both property owners and brokers have access to VTS, which allows them to manage property from any device 24 hours a day.

Colliers also uses similar software called Hightower to streamline reporting and communication among its brokers and clients. On Hightower, agency brokers instantly share updates like new lease deals and property tours with clients on the collective platform.

“It’s about getting more time with your clients and spending less time at your desks.” Rutchik said.

Now that information is easily accessible on both platforms, the Miami-based broker said he no longer needs to call his team members every morning and ask, “What happened yesterday?”

Blanca Commercial Real Estate uses Hightower across its entire portfolio,(JLL’s Alan Kleber is amazed at the speed of tech transition in the real estate industry and the focus on innovation. one of the first companies in Miami to do so, said chief marketing officer Diana Pubchara, who advises on the company’s tech initiatives. The company manages over 25 buildings with the software and gives landlords complimentary access. Pubchara applauds the company’s adoption because it has helped boost Blanca’s market intelligence. She said Hightower streamlines communication between brokers and clients, tracks building performance and helps identify trends. If several law firms have signed leases or are touring space in a particular market, the software picks up on that and hands over the data to its users.

Brokers who were at first hesitant quickly embraced Hightower, Pucbchara said.

“They like the comfort of being able to do it from their phone, “she said. “ Aside from logging tours they can share floor plans and spaces with other brokers. It makes the exchanging of information so easy. They get hooked on it once they start using it.”

DRIVING DATA

Leading the commercial real estate realm in high-tech investment are brokerage giants JL.L. and Cushman & Wakefield, which have spent large sums adapting to the newest software and creating proprietary technology

“It is very amazing how quickly the business has transformed and how organization like JL.L are focusing on technology and innovation, ”said Alan Kleber, who became a managing director at J.L.L’s Miami office when the company acquired Cresa South Florida late last year.

Kleber left Cushman & Wakefield to join the smaller Cresa in 2011. The Broker said “his jaw hit the floor” when he joined JL.L. four years later. He Said it’s almost “mind-blogging” how quickly the company is “involving into a tech savvy real estate services organization.”

The industry has realized that different results are achieved when data is leveraged to inform brokers and client, he said. And that data is now available anytime at your fingertips.

“It’s too important to not innovate and evolve. Kleber said.

JL.L launched its own innovation team to sift through the latest and greatest, and began acquiring tech companies, he said. The company recently purchased BRG, which helps companies successfully integrate new technology systems, and Silicon Valley-based Corrigo Inc..,a web-based facility management software.

Both JL.L and Cushman also have invested heavily to develop their own proprietary technology.

Kleber is Most excited about Blackbird, a JL.L-created tool that gives clients a virtual 3-D tour of individual markets while visually integrating relevant data points for prospective buyers, landlords and tenant.

“Think of Google Earth on Steroids with lots of real estate data,” the broker said.

Meanwhile at Cushman & Wakefield, brokers operate on the company’s own web portal coined Fusion. Mark Paterman, a director at the company’s West Palm Beach office, pointed out the new tools are only as good as the data entered by brokers.

“The more we rely on technology, the more accurate data should be,”Paterman said. Paterman predicts mega-partnerships will form between fledgling businesses like Hightower and long-established customer relationship management or CRM, systems like Salesforce.com. Ultimately everything will merge onto one collective CRM platform, he said. If those partnerships crystallize, very broker in the country could one day be looking at same screen.

ONLINE MARKETPLACE

The vast availability of online data has heightened competition in a notoriously competitive business, especially with the rise of virtual marketplace like LoopNet.

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TECH

Which give owners the ability to list properties for sale without broker. LoopNet-like platform are making it easier for building owners to sell directly, said Greg Matus, regional managing partner with Franklin Street. Tamp-based Franklin Street tracks LoopNet listing on a daily basis. Rather than wait for an owner to contact the company, he approaches sellers listing properties on the site, saying, “We’d like to market this property for you, We have a buyer.”

“Because of technology, it’s easier now for investors to cut a broker out of transaction, “Matus said. “ But smart clients understand that a good broker will add value to a transaction. That’s why groups like [Ten-X] don’t market property without a good broker.”

Ten-X is an online marketplace that partners with brokers to market their listing nationwide. Formerly known as Auction.com, the Irvine, California-based company is dominating the online real estate transaction arena.

“We’re positioned between the seller, the brokers and the buyers in the market,” said Justin Latorre, vice president of business development in Florida. When Matus scores a listing, he shares it with Ten-x, which markets the property to its expansive audience. Ten-X does everything a broker would traditionally do to market a property but on wide scale. The company also underwrites the deal and completes an environmental assessment and property condition report and it’s all done online. Matus said connecting with out -of-state buyers interested in his clients’ properties is easier than ever before. At times, the relationship between and online platform like Ten-X and brokerages gets characterized as competitive, but Latorre said that’s not the case. “we’re not replacing brokers. “ he said. “We’re re-enabling more transparency in the market for sellers, buyers and brokers.”

LoopNet-like platforms are making it easier for building owners to sell directly, said Greg Matus, regional managing partner with Franklin Street.

Every piece of real estate is different, so Ten-X highly leverages brokers for their local market knowledge. While brokerages are evloling into data-driven machines to stave off competition, brokers say relationships are still key. Because at end of the day, a client will always look beyond the data for behind- the-curtain information, said Paterman, the Cushman & Wakefield brokers. For example, an investor eyeing an office building will want to know if law firm occupying the top floor will stay or go when the lease expires in five year.

“Technology can’t tell you that, “Paterman said, But an agent who has spoken to the firm’s junior partners can. A mobile app also can’t negotiate lease terms between a landlord and tenant with competing interests. “I get that a broker’s job can become more commoditized,” he said. “But there’s a part of the job that I don’t [think] can be done by software-yet.”

Contact Carla Vianna at cvianna@alm.com. On Twitter:@CarlaOVianna

Companies Seek Next-Generation Office Space to Attract, Retain Millennials

September 6, 2016
With millennials currently positioned as the largest demographic of our nation’s workforce, a growing number of traditionally conservative companies, including law firms, financial services firms and other professional services firms, are trying to court them with new, innovative workspaces that speak to this generation’s unique desires.

In doing so, these firms are quickly learning that developing next-generation office environments is more complex and requires more strategy than merely finding a modern-looking space in a trendy neighborhood. Here is some insight and a methodology proven to help companies align their real estate decisions with their business goals.

Begin by considering a base set of criteria:

1. Your decision makers: Get consensus early and establish a small group of decision makers to select the space. It also may help to assign an office selection committee to develop a narrow list of potential properties for the decision makers to consider.

2. Your brand identity and business goals: This should be a main filter as you evaluate your options. The right office space will integrate with your overall brand experience and support your business goals by appealing to your target audiences. How well is your brand currently positioned to attract millennials, who seek forward-thinking companies? To what extent should you reposition your brand to appeal more to millennials while balancing the preferences of legacy generations and/or more traditional demographics you also seek to target? Skilled marketing and business-development consultants can help you answer these questions.

3. Your budget: Do not assume a relocation or reconfiguration of your existing space will have to cost more. On the contrary, an efficient workplace design incorporating features that millennials seek can often reduce your footprint and maintain ample room for growth while increasing productivity. The key is to work with experts, including experienced commercial real estate brokers, architects and space planners, who can identify creative, customized solutions to meet the needs of your workforce and clients.

4. Your firm culture: Your office space is a vital part of your firm culture. Increasingly, professional services and tech firms are creating environments that foster teamwork and utilize workspace concepts where team members can collaborate at high levels. In addition to boosting productivity and client and employee satisfaction, these environments are supporting recruitment of millennials.

Knowing that millennials like working collaboratively, taking mental breaks throughout the day, accessing the latest technologies, and enjoying amenities like fitness centers, collaborative spaces and open floor plans with natural light, you should determine the extent to which these elements should be incorporated into your office experience. How would these features impact your company dynamics?

5. Your advisers: Finding the right office space can be a daunting task for business owners to assume alone, so it is important to identify the right advisers, including a commercial real estate broker with a proven track record working with companies like yours. Your broker should conduct a comprehensive assessment, including a thorough financial analysis and forecasting to understand your current situation and identify solutions to support your business goals. Your broker should guide your key decision makers through a brainstorming session to help define your needs today and in five, 10 and 20 years. As part of the process, the benefits of being connected to mass transit and having convenient vehicular access and attractive on-site amenities also should be evaluated.

Better Positioning

After this preliminary work, you should address your office search in three phases:

Phase One: Your leadership team should reach consensus on vision, space criteria,timeline and a recommended strategy. You may want to issue a request for proposals to identify an architectural firm to conduct an occupancy analysis and confirm your optimal space programmatic needs. At this stage, it is important to build internal consensus on the ideal design and utilization plan.

Phase Two: Create a scorecard that informs your decision-making process and helps you make the best selections. This scorecard should evaluate numerous factors including geographic location, parking, onsite amenities, tenant services, walkability and access to public transit. These are all critical components in attracting and retaining the millennial workforce. At this point, engage the market with your office requirements. By touring your top options and creating a short list of locations, you can position yourself to secure the best outcomes and seize immediate opportunities. You also can obtain leverage for your future tenancy and strengthen your position in negotiations with your current and prospective landlords.

Phase 3: When you have consensus on the top two or three options, your broker should negotiate terms based on the filters established in phases one and two. Then your broker should help you complete a lease or renewal amendment, and remain engaged with you until you move into your new space. Transitioning to the workplace of the future is an exciting, transformative endeavor. If done right, it can provide you with a significant competitive advantage and better position your company for continued success.

Tere Blanca is CEO and founder of the Blanca Commercial Real Estate brokerage. She may be reached at tere.blanca@blancacre.com.

Eight Office Park Tenants To Create Over 100 Jobs

August 22, 2016

An estimated 113 jobs are expected to be created at the Royal Palm Office Park in Plantation after seven new tenants and one expanding tenant signed leases there over the past six months.

The transactions at 900 and 1000 S. Pine Island Road totaled 28,175 square feet. Blanca Commercial Real Estate’s Tere Blanca and Danet Linares represented landlord Lincoln Property Co. in the deals.

The most recent lease was for 6,157 square feet with Port Consolidated, which relocated from a space near Port Everglades, Linares said. The floor plate it leased was designed for 25 jobs, Blanca CRE said. Linares said Port Consolidated, a fuel supplier, wanted to upgrade its office space with a new look.

Royal Palm Office Park has amenities such as a free fitness center, shared conference center, training room, cafe, and an outdoor lakeside relaxation space with Wi-Fi and music.

“Tenants like the training room and conference center because they don’t have to utilize their expensive real estate for a conference center that will rarely be used,” said Linares, vice chairman of Blanca CRE. Pediatric Associates of South Florida added 7,500 square feet to the 27,000 square feet it already had in the building. Its floor plate was designed for 55 employees in the expanded space. The medical practice has 28 locations. Chris Coots of Flagler Investment represented Pediatric Associates in the deal.

The other six new tenants to the office park were:

  • Digital marketing company Digital Coco with 3,600 square feet and seven employees. It was represented by Sal Bonsignore of Colliers International.
  • Cleaning products provider Green Earth Supply with 3,010 square feet and nine employees.
  • Norwegian telecommunications company Telenor Global with 2,441 square feet and six employees. It was represented by Charlie Exelbirt of Mattis Advisors.
  • Transamerica Premier Life with 2,227 square feet and four employees. It was represented by SA Commercial.
  • Law firm Adelman & Wagner with 1,839 square feet and four employees. It was represented by Kathryn Gillespie of SVN Commercial Real Estate Advisors.
  • Law firm Frankel & Associates with 1,401 square feet and three employees. It was represented by Eddie Quinon of JLL.

Linares said Royal Palm Office Park, which totals 465,592 square feet, is 92 percent leased.

“Plantation is very centrally located right off Interstate 595,” Linares said. “It has executive and mid-level housing. It’s in the center of the Palm Beach and Miami markets so companies can tap into different employee bases.”

All-female lineup of real estate power players on transportation and affordable housing

July 29, 2016

During an event Thursday morning featuring an all-female lineup of prominent real estate professionals, developersLissette Calderon and Avra Jain voiced their support for a Miami-Dade County legislative proposal that would require builders to set aside units for blue collar workers currently priced out of the South Florida market.

“We have to have housing that is affordable,” Jain, CEO of the Vagabond Group, told attendees. “This is not a new idea. It’s been done in New York.”

In September, the Miami-Dade County Commission is set to vote on legislation that would require developers in the unincorporated area of the county to provide at least 10 percent of their projects for workforce housing. In exchange, the county would grant builders a 15 percent density bonus on to of the maximum number of units allowed by current land use and zoning regulations.

Half of the units classified as workforce housing would be made available to residents who make 60 percent to 79 percent of the median income in Miami-Dade. The other half would be set aside for people who make 80 percent to 140 percent of the median income.

Similar laws have been passed in the five boroughs of New York City and neighboring Long Island. Jain, a guest speaker at the Bisnow Power Series: Women of Influence panel discussion, said the lack of affordable housing in Miami has to be addressed.

She noted that her company purchased and renovated apartment buildings near the Vagabond Hotel Miami to provide affordable housing for her employees. “They couldn’t afford to live close by,” Jain said. “I had people who were taking two buses to get to work.”

Calderon, the Related Group’s president of international and strategic projects who was also on the panel, agreed with Jain. “These are the assistants, the teachers, the police officers and the firefighters,” Calderon said. “When you set aside 10 percent, you can attract a true community.”

In addition to Jain and Calderon, the panel included Tere Blanca, CEO of Blanca Commercial Real Estate; Beth Butler, president of Compass Florida; and Cristina Sullivan, chief operating officer of Gables Residential. Held at the Miami Beach Woman’s Club, Women of Influence also featured panels on transportation, design and construction with Miami Beach Commissioner John Elizabeth Aleman, Miami-Dade transportation director Alice Bravo, 13th Floor Investments Vice President Nicole Shiman, and Meg Daly, founder and president of Friends of the Underline, among others.

During the transportation discussion, Shiman talked about working with Miami-Dade County to create transit-oriented mixed-use projects. Earlier this month, county commissioners approved a deal with 13th Floor and the Adler Group to build 970 residences, a 150-key hotel, 70,000 square feet of retail space and a public plaza on a 7-acre site at the Douglas Road Metrorail Station.

Known as Link at Douglas, the project will be built in four phases with the first consisting of residential tower, the hotel and a portion of the retail section that will include a “premium supermarket.” The developers claim the project will create 1,400 construction jobs and a minimum of 223 permanent jobs once it’s completed. The Miami-Dade Department of Transportation and Public Works will also reap $464 million in revenue during the first 30 years of the 99-year lease.

“We are big believers in migration to urban centers,” Shiman said. “We will develop a really exciting mixed-use development to drive ridership up and encourage people to get rid of their cars.”

A Trio Of Influence: Nicole Shiman, Meg Daly And Tere Blanca

July 27, 2016

It probably comes as little surprise that the brawn behind 13th Floor’s various projects—VP Nicole Shiman—comes from a real estate family. And she’s just one of the featured speakers at our Power Series: Women of Influence this Thursday, 7:30am, at the Miami Beach Women’s Club.

Nicole grew up in commercial real estate, her family involved in development and investment in Canada. That exposure planted a seed of interest in the business at an early age, she says. Nicole’s first job was in her teens when she worked on job sites and in property management. Soon after school, Nicole took a post with The Boston Consulting Group, where she was a financial analyst.

That eventually led to 13th Floor, where Nicole went full-bore into development on such projects as the 1010 Brickell condo (here) and the Motion @ Dadeland apartment tower projects, and the project she’s proudest of to-date: Link @ Douglas, a mixed-use development in JV with Miami Dade County and Transit for 7.5 acres around Douglas Station. Nicole, an avid runner and yoga aficionado, says women entering the business should seek out mentors. “Prioritize thinking through your career trajectory, future opportunities and the steps to take now to get you to where you want to go,” she says.”Don’t be scared to fail.”

For Meg Daly, it took a bike accident and two broken arms to become a Woman of Influence. The head of the Underline project, Meg crashed her bike four years ago, and the injuries required her to go to physical therapy without the ability to drive a car. One hot July afternoon, as she was taking the Metrorail, Meg says she was shaded beneath the elevated tracks. “It was comfortable. I noticed how much land was there and that I was the only one there. I thought this should be Miami’s High Line [the famous NYC park].” And thus began the great effort to create a new trail path beneath the Metrorail, the one thing she considers her legacy beyond her family. And it’s an idea that has caught fire in Miami.The Underline’s master plan has been completed as has the economic impact study. She has hunted down more than $7M to fund the first phase of the park trail at Brickell, with construction slated to begin next fall. Meg, as the founder and president of Friends of The Underline, has also been instrumental in raising funds from notable donors, including $600k from Swire Properties, more than $500k from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and $50k contributions each from Pinnacle Housing Group, Banyan Street Capital, Mary Brickell Village and Publix Charities (to donate, click here). Meg’s advice to young women “Work harder than anyone else. Never compromise your integrity. Be firm but fair.”

A native of Cuba, Tere Blanca was one of those who never planned to get into real estate. But upon moving to San Diego after graduating with an MBA from the University of Miami, Tere took a job with a CRE company and was immediately hooked. “The fact that you meet so many interesting people that connect you to the community and allow you to learn new perspectives is always exciting,” says the founder of Blanca Commercial Real Estate. “Soon after, I came back to Miami and decided to dedicate my career to commercial [real estate] and still feel just as motivated and hooked as I did from the day I started my career,” she says. When it comes to young women looking to enter the business, Tere says she has simple advice: “Actively seek continued learning, identify and cultivate greamentors and sponsors, and always be ready to embrace change,”she says. “Just as important, find causes you believe in and generously give back to the community.”

Codina tops off luxury rental and office building in Coral Gables

Leasing for the apartments is expected to begin next year

July 21, 2016

Codina Partners and its affiliate CC Residential just topped off 2020 Salzedo, an office and luxury rental tower in Coral Gables.

General contractor Facchina Construction broke ground on the 16-story early last year and is speeding toward an expected completion date of this fall.

Located at 2020 Salzedo Street, the tower is split into three distinct sections: a parking garage with 566 spaces, 213 luxury apartments and 49,379 square feet of Class A office space. The building also has 6,882 square feet of retail on the ground floor. Its office and residential portions will also have separate lobbies at street level.

Leasing has already begun for both the office and retail portions under brokerages Blanca Commercial Real Estate and Koniver Stern Group, respectively.

According to a recent LoopNet listing, the retail space is asking $45 per square foot annually, while prices for the office space is listed as “negotiable.”

The residential section, however, won’t start looking for tenants until the first quarter of 2017.

In June 2015, Codina scored a $53 million loan from Regions Bank to help finance 2020 Salzedo’s construction. The Mediterranean-style tower was designed by BC Architects, a Gables-based firm that’s worked on projects like the upcoming Biscayne Beach condo tower in Edgewater.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated Koniver Stern Group was handling leasing for the project’s apartments. The brokerage is instead representing the developers for retail leasing.

Writing The Next Chapter

July 6, 2016

Millennials may have earned a reputation for changing jobs often, but seasoned CRE professionals, too, are making career moves, albeit on a more strategic level

Millennials are known for frequent shifts from one job to another. A recent LinkedIn study found that members of this generation have, on average, changed employers—and, often, industries—four times during their first decade out of college. That’s a faster pace of change than Generation X managed during the same life stage, let alone Baby Boomers, and the pace is increasing among more recent college graduates. However, within commercial real estate it’s not only professionals in the early stages of their careers that choose not to stay in the same place for the long term. Their more seasoned counterparts do the same, even if it entails climbing out of a comfortable berth and into something less familiar.

“There are personal and professional considerations that influence an industry veteran to be attracted to a new position, and each person is unique in what he or she is searching for,” Jana Turner, principal with Newport Beach, CA-based recruiting firm RETS Associates, tells Real Estate Forum. “One of the top considerations is culture. People wantto be part of a culture that is complementary to where they are in life.”

Another key consideration for many industry veterans is family and quality of life. “Whether it’s important to be near kids, parents or other relatives, many employees are considering the needs of the family when looking to move positions or accepting new ones, says Turner. “In a recent proprietary study, we discovered that 60% of real estate employees have considered relocating to new cities across the west. The survey found that quality of life and accessibility to outdoor activities were among the top drivers” leading employees to consider relocating.

Separately, Turner adds, “professional factors greatly drive a seasoned employee’s decision to seek or accept a new job.” In the same RETS study, “a defined career path was the number-one consideration when looking to relocate.” Other common factors driving an industry veteran’s decision to seek a new position include “exhausted growth opportunities with a current company, changes in compensation components and/or packages and company reorganizations,” says Turner. The veteran may find that such a reorganization takes the form of a merger, an initial public offering “or a change in leadership or management that causes concerns that misalign with his or her desired career path. Depending on personal preferences, people may enjoy a nimble, entrepreneurial company with more opportunity or an employee may prefer to be in a structured, large company with defined roles.”

When Barry Polen, a finance veteran with nearly three decades’ experience, joined Hunt Mortgage Group this past November, “it was to move from a bigger shop to a smaller shop,” he tells Forum. “I think it’s natural to want to get out of a bigger organization where you’re kind of a cog in the wheel and part of the chain, as opposed to a smaller place that’s more entrepreneurial, where the experience you gained in larger organizations can be put to use” and the ability to influence the outcome is greater.

Before joining Hunt Mortgage as a managing director, capital markets in its New York City office, Polen served as managing director with Guggenheim Securities and before that headed the CMBS capital markets desk at Credit Suisse. Often in the financial services sector, he says, “you come to the job on the ‘sell’ side and it’s a daily sprint. You’re trying to get a lot of things done, but there isn’t a lot of thought process on the longer-term ramifications of what you’re doing. You’re buying something with the idea that you’r going to be selling it in a very short period of time.”

By contrast, “in a ‘buy’ organization like Hunt, there’s more use of your brain power” to determine how a particular transaction “achieves value for us in a long-term hold.”

In common with another industry veteran who took a senior role with a major services firm earlier this year—Mitchell LaBar, now COO at Marcus & Millichap—Jim Underhill came to his current position via a consultancy. For both men, their current posts represent a return to the fold: LaBar rejoined M&M, for which he’d worked for 24 years beginning in 1984, while Underhill’s position as CEO of Cresa entailed returning to the tenant-rep sector. He’d founded and led the Staubach Co.’s Northeast division before the Staubach organization was sold to JLL in 2008.

In the interim, Underhill served as Americas CEO at Cushman & Wakefield. “After I left Cushman at the end of 2014, I wasn’t necessarily looking to get back into this type of role,” he told GlobeSt.com, sister organization to Forum, earlier this year. “But I’ve had a lot of respect for the Cresa organization,” and he knew some of the partners and leaders in the firm’s Washington, DC operations. “They asked if I’d be interested in an advisory post, knowing that I came with a good perspective on the industry and had roots in tenant rep.”

Cresa’s invitation was motivated in part by the company’s interest in developing a strategic plan, on grounds that it was “an important time for them to take advantage of the fact that they had built what today is the largest tenant rep firm in the world but with a lot of growth potential.”

While serving on Cresa’s board as a strategic advisor, Underhill got to know the firm better “and found that there were things I just loved about it. Part of it is the culture, which is very different from where I was. It’s a 100% employee-owned company that didn’t have outside shareholders or private equity that was driving us to do things. Everybody sitting around the table had a significant ownership stake in what we’re trying to do.

“I also loved the focus that the firm had,” he continued. “Today, everybody is trying to be the biggest firm in the world, and I think it’s really hard for them to differentiate themselves. I’ve been in that role. But I came here and had meetings with clients; they loved the fact that Cresa was focused on doing one thing and doing it very well.”

Miami-based Blanca Commercial Real Estate today is among the most successful independent brokerages in the Southeast, but founder and CEO Tere Blanca’s 2009 departure from her position as head of Cushman & Wakefield’s South Florida region was seen as a risky move in the middle of the country’s worst recession in decades. “The biggest driver for me was missing the closer interaction with clients,” Blanca tells Forum.

Prior to joining Cushman & Wakefield, Blanca spent 14 years with Codina Real Estate/ONCOR International, where she was consistently among the firm’s top producers. The interaction, she says, “fueled my creative abilities in terms of helping clients succeed. I really wanted to get back to that side of the business, as opposed to playing only a managerial leadership role.” She opted to make this return by launching her own firm, rather than taking a job elsewhere. “I enjoy the freedom and decision-making and the ability to be very proactive about how we approach the business.”

Although Blanca CRE was launched amid the downturn, Turner cites reasons why career moves are more likely to occur in an upcycle. “Most prominently, when there is more money in the industry due to a healthy economy, more job opportunities are created,” she says. “More opportunities in turn create an increase in competition for top talent that leads to a ‘talent war,’ similar to the one that we are currently experiencing.”

As demand for top talent increases and supply decreases, companies compete by offering “more growth opportunities, appealing office cultures and increases in compensation packages,” adds Turner. “In this type of environment, the candidate is most often in control and has the ability to ‘job hop’ every few years as more job opportunities arise.”

Naturally, growth within organizations can create more such opportunities, yet Underhill states, “Smaller firms are always trying to get bigger, but with a bigger firm come a lot of challenges and complications. One of the biggest is that at some point you grow to a size when you’re overcrowded and you’re too big. That’s one of the issues driving all the musical chairs in the industry—it’s not just money being thrown at people. Rising stars in particular want to see career progression, growth opportunities and a chance to be a significant person in the organization.”

Rising stars could learn a fair amount from the “veterans” on making smart career-change decisions, Turner and others agree. The key, Turner says, is to do one’s due diligence. “Younger industry professionals need to step back from the appeal of more money and assess the company and opportunity as a whole. This assessment includes understanding the capitalization of the firm, the culture, its industry specialization, people and management and more. We advise talent of all ages that the ‘grass isn’t always greener on the other side’ and continue to stress the importance of doing your homework and understanding all the components” of the assessment, in particular the company’s growth plans.

In terms of knowing when it’s time to consider finding other opportunities, Blanca counsels that regardless of whether it’s earlier or later in one’s career, “The impression that you make coming into a role, how you play that role and then how you exit that role are really critical. It’s important to understand that in our business, as in many other businesses, the relationships that you build early in your career are always there for you as you progress and people move around. So you always want to do the right thing.”

She notes that “there’s this eagerness for immediate results” among the current younger generation of professionals. “In an industry like ours, the advisory world of commercial real estate, it takes time to build your career. It takes a number of years for you to become an expert. Some patience is important to allow yourself the opportunity to learn and grow.”

Polen takes a fairly dim view of job-hopping, citing his own career trajectory—three employers since college—as an example. “When you change jobs, almost by definition you’re going to get an increase in pay, but it’s a short-term gain for a long-term loss,” he says. “When you make inroads into an organization and you’re well liked, you could go elsewhere and maybe get a 10% pay raise, but the relationships that you build internally are very valuable. People shouldn’t take lightly the fact that when you go to a new place, you have to establish yourself all over again.”

That being said, the new organization can benefit from filling a vacancy with an outside hire, even one who was strongly identified with another brand. “In addition to transferable skills, a new employee brings a fresh set of eyes, ideas and experiences that can potentially shape a new way to do business and attract new clients and employees,” Turner says. “It is important for the hiring company to understand what they have, what they don’t have and what they’re looking for in a candidate to best understand the key attributes that they require to achieve their business goals.”

A 2015 report from executive search firm Korn/Ferry similarly makes the point that a fresh perspective from an outside candidate can be beneficial. “When it comes to driving execution for businesses, it turns out that a deep knowledge of the lay of the land—in this case, the relevant industry—is vitally important,” the report states.

Data from Korn Ferry’s CEO Readiness Assessment indicate that “executives with longer tenures in the same industry are more likely to be skilled at driving execution compared with those who have jumped between industries. At the same time, it helps to have changed companies within that industry too.”

 

Real Estate Forum

Real Estate Forum

June 2016

Millennials are known for frequent shifts from one job to another. A recent linkedin study found that members of this generation have, on average, changed employers and often industries four times suring their first decade out of college that’s a faster pace of change that Generation X managed during the same life stage, let alone baby boomers, and the pace is increasing among more recent college graduates However, within commercial real stages of their careers that choose not to stay in the same place for the long term. Their more seasoned counterparts do the same,even if it entails climbing out of a comfortable berth and into something less familiar.

Move positions or accepting new ones says turner. In a recent propeietary study, we discovered that 60% of real estate employees have considered relocating to n ew cities across the west. The survey foung that quality of life and accessibility to ourdoor activities were among the top drivers leading employees to consider relocatiing.

Separately, Turner adds, Professional factors greatly drive a seasoned employees decision to seek or accept a new job in the same rets study,a defined caree path was the number-one consideration when looking to relocate. Other common factors driving an industry veteran’s decision to seek a new position include exhausted growth opportunities with a curent company changes in compensation components and packages and company reorganizations, says turner the veteran may find that such a reorganization takes the from of a merger an initial public offering or a change in leadership or management that causes concerns that “ I think it’s natural to want to get out of a bigger organization where you are kind of a cag in the wheel and pat of the chain as opposed to a smaller place that’s more entrepreneurial.”

Ferentiate themselves. I’ve been in that role. But I came here and had meetings with clients they loved the fact that caresa was focused on doing one thing and doing it very well.

Miami based Blanca Commercial real estate today is among the most successful independent brokerages in the southeast, but founder and CEO Tere Blanca’s 2009 departure from her position as head of Cushman & Wakefield’s south florida region was seen as a risky move in the middle of the country’s worst recession in decades. The biggest driver for me was missing the closer interaction with clients, Blanca spent 17 years with codina Real Estate ONCOR international, wher she was consistently among the firm’s top producers. The interaction,she says, Fueled my creative abilities in terms of helping clients succeed. I really wanted to get back to that side of the business as opposed to playing only a managerial leadership role. She opted to make this return by launching her own firm rather than taking a job else where. I injoy the freedom and decision making and the ability to be very proactive about how we approach the business. Although Blanca CRE was lunched amid the sownturn, turner cites reasons why career moves are more likely to occur in an upcycle. Most prominently when there is more money in the industry when there is more money in the industry due to a healthy economy more job oppornities are created she says more opportunities in turn create an increase in competion for top talent that leads to a talent war similar to the one that we are currently experiencing.

As demand for top talent increases and supply decreases companies compete by offering more growth opportunities appealing office cultures and increases in compensation packages adds turner. In this type of environment the condidate is most often in control and has the ability to job hop every few years as more job opportunities arise. Naturally growth within organizations can create more such opportunities yet underhill staes smaller firms are always trying to get bigger but with a bigger firm come a lot of challenges and complications one of the biggest is that at some point you grow to a size when you are over crowded and you are too big. That one of the issues driving all the musical chairs in the industry it is not just money being (Millennials may have earned a reputation for changing jobs often, but seasoned CRE professionals, too are making careeer moves, albeit on a more strategic level) misaling with his or her desired career path. Depending on personal perferences, people may enjoy a nimble, entrepeencurial company with more opportunity or an employee may perfer to be in a structured, large company with defined roles.

When Barry polen, a finance veteran with nearly theree deacdes, experience, joined Hunt Mortagge Group this past Noember, it was move from a bigger shop to a smaller shop, he tells forum, I think it’s natural to want to get out of bigger organizaton where you afe kind of a cog in the wheel and part of the chain, as opposed to a smaller place that’s more . enterperneurial, where the experience you gained in larger organizations can be pupt to use and the ability to influence the out come is greater. Before joining hunt mortagge as a manasing director captal markets in its new york city office polen served as managing director with guggenheim securities and before that headed the CMBS capital markets desk at credit suisse. Often in the financial services sector,he says you come to the job on the sell side and it’s a daily sprint. You are trying to get a lot of things done but there isn’t a lot of thought process on the longer-term ramifications of what you are doing yu are bying some thing with the idea that you are going to be selling it in a very short period of time by contrast in a by organization like hunt theres more use of your brain power to determine how a particular transaction achivers value for us in a long term hold. In common whte another industry veteran who took a senior role with a major services firm carlier this year michell labar now COO at marcus and millicchap jim underhill come to his current position via a consultancy. For both men their current posts repesent a return to the fold labar rejoined M and M for which he’d worked for 24 years beginning in 1984,while underhill’s position as CEO of cresaentailed returing to the trant rep sector He’d founded and led the staubach co’s northeast division before the staubach organization was sold to JLL in 2008. In the interim underhill served as americs CEO at cushman and wakefield atter I left cushman at the end of 2014, I wasn’t necessarily looking to get back into this type of role, he told Golbest.com sister organization to forrum earlier thes year but I’ve had a lot of respect ofr the cresa organization and he knew some of the thron at people rising stars in particular want to see carer progressinon growth opportunities and a chance to be significat person in the organization. Rising stars could lern a fair amount form the veterans on making smart career change decisions turner and others agree the key turner says is to do ones due diligence younger industry profissionals need step back from the appeal of more money and assess the company and opportunity as a whole. This assessment includes understanding the capitalization of the firm the culture its industy specialization people and management and more we advise talent of all ages the the grass isn’t always greener on the other side and continue to stress the iportance of doing your homework and understanding all the components of the assessment in particular the companys growth plans in terms of knowing when it’s time to consider finding other opportunitis Blanca connsels that regradless of whether it’s earlier or later in one’s career, the impression that you make coming into a role how you pay that role and then how you exit that role are really critical it’s important to understand that in our business- “ I really wanted to get back to that side of the business as opposed to playing only a managerial leadership role.”

There are personal and peofessional considerations that influence and industry veteran to be attracted to a new position, and each person is unique in what he or she is searching for Jana Turner,peincipal with Newport Beach, CA-based recriting firm RETS Associates, tells Real Estate Forum. One of the top considerations is culture. People want to be part of culture that is complementary to where they are in life. Another key consideration for many industry vetrans is family and quality of life Whether it’s important to be near kids, parents or other relatives, many employees are considering the needs of the family when looking to “ We advise talent of all ages that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side and continue to stress the importanc of doing your homework”.

Partners and leaders in the firm’s Washington DC operations. They asked if I’d be interested in an advisory post knowing that I come whth a good perspecive on the industry and had roots in tenant rep cresa’s invitation was morivated in part by the company’s interest in developing a strategic plan on grounds that it was an important time for them to take advantage of the fact that they had built what today is the largest tenant rep firm in the world but with a lot of growth potential, while serving on cresa’s board as a strategic adisor underhill got to know the firam better and found that there were things I just loved about it. Part of it is the culture, which is very different from where I was it’s a 100% emplyee owned company that didn’t have outside shareholders or private equity that was driving us to do things. Everbody sitting around the table had a significant ownership stake in what we are trying to do. I also loved the focus that the firm had he coninuedd today everbody is trying to be the biggest firm in the world and I thind it’s really hard for them to difness as in many other business the relationships that you build early in your carerare always there for you as you progess and people move around so you always want to do the right thing. She notes that there’s eagerness for immediate results among the current younger generation of professionals. In an industry like ours the advisory world of commercial real estate it takes time to build your career it takes a number of years for you to become and exoert. Some patience is important to allw yourself the oppourtunity to learn and grow.

Polen takes a fairly dim view of job hopping citing his own career trajectory theree employers since college as an example. When you chane jobs almost by definition you are going to get an increase in pay but it is a short term gain for a long term loss he says when you make inroads into an organizaton and you are well liked you could go elsewher and maybe get a 10% pay raise but the relationships that you build inermally are very valuable. People shouldn’t take lightly the fact that when you go to a new place you have to extablish yourself all over again. That being said the new organization can benefit from filling a vacancy with an outside hire even one who was strongly identifide with another brand in addition to transferble skills a new employee brings a fresh set of eyes ideas and experinces that can potentially shape a new way to do business and trrract new clients and employees turner says it is important for the hiring company to understand what they have what they don’t have and what they are looking for in a condidate to best understand the key attributes that they require to achieve their business goals. A 2015 report from executive search firm korn ferry smmilary makes the point that a fresh perspective from and outside condidate can be beneficial when it comes to driving execution for business it turns out that deep knowledge of the lay of the land in this case the relevant indusrty is vitally important the report states data form korn ferry’s CEO readiness assessment indicate that executives with longer tenures in the same industry are more likely to be skilled at driving execution compared with those whow have jumped between industries. At the sme time it helps to have changed companies within that industry too. that side of the business as opposed to playing only a managerial leadership role. She opted to make this return by launching her own firm rather than taking a job else where. I injoy the freedom and decision making and the ability to be very proactive about how we approach the business. Although Blanca CRE was lunched amid the sownturn, turner cites reasons why career moves are more likely to occur in an upcycle. Most prominently when there is more money in the industry when there is more money in the industry due to a healthy economy more job oppornities are created she says more opportunities in turn create an increase in competion for top talent that leads to a talent war similar to the one that we are currently experiencing.

As demand for top talent increases and supply decreases companies compete by offering more growth opportunities appealing office cultures and increases in compensation packages adds turner. In this type of environment the condidate is most often in control and has the ability to job hop every few years as more job opportunities arise. Naturally growth within organizations can create more such opportunities yet underhill staes smaller firms are always trying to get bigger but with a bigger firm come a lot of challenges and complications one of the biggest is that at some point you grow to a size when you are over crowded and you are too big. That one of the issues driving all the musical chairs in the industry it is not just money being (Millennials may have earned a reputation for changing jobs often, but seasoned CRE professionals, too are making careeer moves, albeit on a more strategic level) misaling with his or her desired career path. Depending on personal perferences, people may enjoy a nimble, entrepeencurial company with more opportunity or an employee may perfer to be in a structured, large company with defined roles.

When Barry polen, a finance veteran with nearly theree deacdes, experience, joined Hunt Mortagge Group this past Noember, it was move from a bigger shop to a smaller shop, he tells forum, I think it’s natural to want to get out of bigger organizaton where you afe kind of a cog in the wheel and part of the chain, as opposed to a smaller place that’s more . enterperneurial, where the experience you gained in larger organizations can be pupt to use and the ability to influence the out come is greater. Before joining hunt mortagge as a manasing director captal markets in its new york city office polen served as managing director with guggenheim securities and before that headed the CMBS capital markets desk at credit suisse. Often in the financial services sector,he says you come to the job on the sell side and it’s a daily sprint. You are trying to get a lot of things done but there isn’t a lot of thought process on the longer-term ramifications of what you are doing yu are bying some thing with the idea that you are going to be selling it in a very short period of time by contrast in a by organization like hunt theres more use of your brain power to determine how a particular transaction achivers value for us

in a long term hold. In common whte another industry veteran who took a senior role with a major services firm carlier this year michell labar now COO at marcus and millicchap jim underhill come to his current position via a consultancy. For both men their current posts repesent a return to the fold labar rejoined M and M for which he’d worked for 24 years beginning in 1984,while underhill’s position as CEO of cresaentailed returing to the trant rep sector He’d founded and led the staubach co’s northeast division before the staubach organization was sold to JLL in 2008. In the interim underhill served as americs CEO at cushman and wakefield atter I left cushman at the end of 2014, I wasn’t necessarily looking to get back into this type of role, he told Golbest.com sister organization to forrum earlier thes year but I’ve had a lot of respect ofr the cresa organization and he knew some of the thron at people rising stars in particular want to see carer progressinon growth opportunities and a chance to be significat person in the organization. Rising stars could lern a fair amount form the veterans on making smart career change decisions turner and others agree the key turner says is to do ones due diligence younger industry profissionals need step back from the appeal of more money and assess the company and opportunity as a whole. This assessment includes understanding the capitalization of the firm the culture its industy specialization people and management and more we advise talent of all ages the the grass isn’t always greener on the other side and continue to stress the iportance of doing your homework and understanding all the components of the assessment in particular the companys growth plans in terms of knowing when it’s time to consider finding other opportunitis Blanca connsels that regradless of whether it’s earlier or later in one’s career, the impression that you make coming into a role how you pay that role and then how you exit that role are really critical it’s important to understand that in our business- “ I really wanted to get back to that side of the business as opposed to playing only a managerial leadership role.”

There are personal and peofessional considerations that influence and industry veteran to be attracted to a new position, and each person is unique in what he or she is searching for Jana Turner,peincipal with Newport Beach, CA-based recriting firm RETS Associates, tells Real Estate Forum. One of the top considerations is culture. People want to be part of culture that is complementary to where they are in life. Another key consideration for many industry vetrans is family and quality of life Whether it’s important to be near kids, parents or other relatives, many employees are considering the needs of the family when looking to “ We advise talent of all ages that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side and continue to stress the importanc of doing your homework”.

Neighborhood dive: Plantation blooms with development

New projects include Broadstone at Plantation, Invesca’s Strata, Mill Creek’s Cornerstone Corporate Center and redevelopment of Fashion Mall

June 10, 2016

In 1931, potato farmer Frederick Peters escaped the harsh Missouri winter to South Florida, where he purchased 10,000 vacant acres along State Road 441. Peters retained architect Russell Pancoast to come up with a master plan for a city where no house looked alike and two-thirds of the one-acre lots were dedicated to vegetable gardens and fruit trees.

Two decades later, city leaders officially adopted the name Plantation, which honored the community’s agricultural roots.

Today, Plantation is one of Broward County’s booming suburban markets for corporations looking to avoid the congestion of downtown Fort Lauderdale. The city’s major employers include American Express, Motorola, Florida Power and Light, University of Miami Sylvester Cancer Center, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, DHL, Plantation General Hospital and Westside Regional Medical Center.

Plantation has been able to attract big name tenants to western Broward County by offering the type of amenities that cater to a corporate clientele. For instance, the city is home to the Plantation Preserve Golf Course and Club that features an 18-hole championship golf course with an Everglades-inspired wetlands situated throughout the back nine, and a 55-acre trail that bisects the front and back nines.

Signs of Change

In 2007, unable to recover from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and then the economic recession, the Fashion Mall in Plantation shuttered its doors, dealing a major blow to Plantation’s business district. A year later, city officials renamed the area the Plantation Midtown District, and renovated it with brick pavers, widened sidewalks, bicycle paths, bus shelters, pocket parks and street lighting. The efforts soon attracted new commercial development into the city that began with the construction of The Residences at The Fountains, a 251-unit housing complex with 5,000 feet of retail space, located behind The Fountain Shoppes on University Drive.

In 2013, Stiles Corporation completed One Plantation, a luxury apartment complex consisting of two 12-story towers with 321 units, a clubhouse and a parking garage. A year later, the company finished the redevelopment of theUniversity Shoppes which is located adjacent to the apartment complex. Renamed the Shoppes at One Plantation, the center’s tenant roster includes World of Beer, Tijuana Flats, IHOP, Fedex, McDonald’ s, and Xfinity. The entire project is a joint venture with Prudential Real Estate Investors.

“We foresee continuing, strong demand for amenity-rich rental residences just steps away from shopping, dining, services and entertainment,” said Stiles Vice Chairman Douglas Eagon in a statement. “A Stiles partnership acquired the site several years ago, recognizing its potential as a cornerstone location in the city of Plantation’s vision for Midtown.”

In response to the growing demand for amenity-abundant properties, Lincoln Property Group invested more than $4 million in renovations since acquiring Royal Palm Office Park in fall 2014.  Renovations include high-end finishes to common areas, a newly created tenant lounge and fitness center, and an upgraded state-of- the-art conference center.

In the past 12 months, Plantation’s commercial real estate market has seen 15 new companies move into the city, including Virgin Cruises, Movement Mortgage, Camso and Thornton Construction.  Investors are also taking notice of Plantation’s attractiveness, as evidenced by recent sales.

For example, Gramercy Property Trust acquired a two-building office complex totaling 246,549 square feet in March of last year for $52 million, or $211 per square foot. The property, which includes Kaplan University, previously traded for $44 million in 2010. A month later, affiliates of Indianapolis-based Duke Realty sold nine office properties to a partnership between Starwood Capital, Trinity Capital Advisors and Vanderbilt Office Properties for $178.3 million. More recently, Grand Peak Properties purchased a 481-unit community, including apartments and townhomes, called Solero at Plantation for $122.7 million in January, making it the first sale in South Florida exceeding $100 million this year.

Transportation

Plantation does not have its own public transit system. Instead, residents and visitors must rely on Broward County public buses that service the city. Plantation’s main road running north to south is University Drive, which connects to I-595. The main artery running east to west is Broward Boulevard, which can funnel motorists to I-95 and the Florida Turnpike.

Most Expensive Residential Sale

Hawks Landing, 6,841-square- foot home at 380 Sweet Bay Avenue with six bedrooms and seven-and- a-half bathrooms sold for $2.4 million in March

Commercial broker’s take

“In addition to the competitive rates, accessible location and diverse space options, Plantation also offers several amenities including ample residential offerings, a highly educated talent pool, and a top-notch education system, Danet Linares, vice chairman of Blanca Commercial Real Estate said in a statement. “This combination positions Plantation as a favorable option for companies looking to relocate to the South Florida region or those who are looking to expand their workforce with highly educated talent,” Danet Linares of Blanca Commercial Real Estate

Demographic changes from 2000 to 2015

Population: 92,560, up 10% from 2010 and up 15% from 2000

Median age: 38

Median income: $66,886, a 24% increase from 2000

Average household net worth: $577,055

Price trends

Median sales price per square foot: $151, nine percent higher than the rest of Broward County

Increase in average rent over the last year: 22% for a one-bedroom to $1,388; 25% for a two-bedroom to $1,875

Most expensive on the market: Plantation Acres, 6,903 square-foot residence with 8 bedrooms and seven bathrooms for $3.9 million.

Least expensive on the market: Townhouses at Jacaranda Condominiums, 2,080 square-foot residence with four bedrooms and two-and- a-half bathrooms for $102,500.

New development

Since fall of last year, Plantation’s luxury residential market has experienced a flurry of new projects that have either been announced or broken ground. Last October, Arizona-based Alliance picked up a 12-acre property at 6901 West Sunrise Boulevard for $7.5 million using proceeds from a $33 million Wells Fargo loan. Alliance plans to build a 250 garden-style project that surrounds a lake on the property. Called Broadstone at Plantation, it will include a community clubhouse, pool, fitness center and dog park.

In February, Plantation-based Invesca Development Group won unanimous approval from the city council to develop 147 townhomes on vacant land located at 4350 West Sunrise Boulevard. The project is called Strata. Invesca is offering two-bedroom and three-bedroom units starting in the mid-$200,000s with amenities that include fitness trails, beach volley courts, three parks, resort style pool with its own cafe and a fitness center. The developer is aiming for a 2017 completion date.

Roughly six miles west of the Strata site, Mill Creek Residential is also getting in on the multi-family action in Plantation. The firm, which specializes in luxury apartment development and management, is seeking city approval for its 58-acre Cornerstone Corporate Center at 1240 South Pine Island Road, which includes a 300-unit multifamily component.

And last month, Encore Capital Management CEO Art Falcone unveiled his bold plan to redevelop the shuttered Fashion Mall property into a walkable “small town.” After purchasing the 37-acre site at auction for $37.7 million in April 2015, Falcone plans to spend $300 million to create 224,104 square feet of new commercial and retail space, 247,305 square feet of office space, and 700 apartments, he recently told The Real Deal.

¿Cómo ser beneficiario de Habitat for Humanity?

June 1, 2016

Danet Linares, de Habitat for Humanity, nos habla de un evento muy importante para recaudar fondos para familias de bajos recursos de Miami.