Western Real Estate Business

NOV 2015

Western Real Estate Business magazine covers the multifamily, retail, office, healthcare, industrial and hospitality sectors in the Western United States.

Issue link: https://westernrealestatebusiness.epubxp.com/i/595440

Contents of this Issue


Page 26 of 32

26 • November 2015 • Western Real Estate Business www.REBusinessOnline.com CHANGING NEEDS REFLECT A CHANGING RETAIL LANDSCAPE OUT WEST A shift in buying patterns and lifestyle choices have led many investors to examine what's next on the retail horizon – and where those opportunities lie. By Casey McKeon R etail remains one of the most dynamic real estate sectors as brick-and-mortar retailers con- tinue to evaluate their physical store footprints. A variety of lifestyle and business factors are at play, infuenc- ing this growing assessment of re- tailer real estate. Some of these factors include consolidation among com- petition, continued growth in online shopping activity, direct warehouse to front-door shipping innovations and in-store pick-up options. All refect a trend toward speed and immediate gratifcation. These variables are driving retail space closures, while also allowing traditional brick-and-mortar retailers to evolve and better meet their cus- tomers' needs. Despite the negative connotation, there is opportunity for savvy investors to drive value, es- pecially in certain Western markets where underlying fundamentals re- main strong and abandoned shopping center assets boast stellar locations. Colorado The population continues to grow in Colorado as more and more fami- lies move to the state to capitalize on afordable housing, an active lifestyle and a strong job market. Quite a bit of gentrifcation is occurring, particular- ly in Denver and the surrounding cit- ies. Shopping centers that ofer signif- icant deferred maintenance provide ripe redevelopment and repositioning opportunities with strong potential for signifcant return on investment. Arizona Phoenix is the rising market star in Arizona. The city, along with the sur- rounding region, ofers a business- friendly environment with eased regulations and lower taxes. The job market also continues to improve in direct correlation to the city's role in almost 70 percent of the entire state's exports. These variables, along with a diverse ethnic demographic, make Phoenix and the surrounding region attractive to a number of national retailers. Many shopping centers of- fer deferred maintenance alongside vacancies, making the market highly attractive to investors seeking a rede- velopment play. Oceanside Plaza While Colorado and Arizona are currently ripe for these opportunistic plays, they may be found in other parts of the West as well. Heslin Holdings' Oceanside Plaza in Oceanside, Calif., is one example. The 124,000-square- foot shopping center ofers an ideal redevelopment opportunity. Well- located in a high-trafc infll site, the center provides upside potential via an adaptive reuse strategy. With multiple tenants currently in lease negotiations — some of the non- traditional variety — opportunity ex- ists to both break up larger vacancies into smaller retail spac- es, as well as to ac- commodate tenants on outparcel pad locations. This proj- ect demonstrates the creativity that goes into an adaptive re- use retail opportuni- ty. It also shows the value that may ultimately be driven through it in key Western markets. The Oceanside Plaza property is indicative of many of the retail assets currently being reassessed as lifestyle and retail behaviors shift. With con- sumers ultimately increasing online purchase activity and demanding in- creased immediacy in product deliv- ery, the physical retail real estate arena must adapt. While many retailers are reducing their physical footprints, they won't be eliminated. Instead, they must be re-imagined to meet the needs of today. Casey McKeon, Vice President of Acquisitions, Heslin Holdings in Laguna Hills, Calif. Oceanside Plaza, a 124,000-square- foot shopping center in North San Diego, offers an ideal redevelopment opportunity because of its high-traffc, strong infll location. McKeon AN INVESTMENT IN TECH IS AN INVESTMENT IN YOUR BROKERAGE Though technology always carries with it some sort of learning curve, today's tools can free up precious hours of time on a weekly basis that brokers can devote to other pursuits. By Phillip Dunn U .S. commer- cial real es- tate brokerage frms are behind the times in embracing the latest innovative technologies — yet new technology is changing the indus- try. Brokerage is all about closing deals. Players will need to research new back-shop operations software that signifcantly speeds up, smooths out and automates the pro- cess. Brokers need mobility and cutting- edge tools to access research analytics, comps, demographics, maps, etc., and they need it fast, 24/7, all in the cloud to win listings, add clients and close deals. Tracking the transaction cycle from listing to signage, marketing materials and critical process dates provides dealmakers the essential transparency needed to drive more business and more proft. Brokers, new or experienced, should be open to ways to save time, decrease or eliminate the old paper process and improve service delivery. Principals and operations executives cannot ex- pect to compete efectively today with technology from yesterday. Laptops, tablets and smartphones are only as good as the information they can quickly access. New software appli- cations are increasingly user-friendly and allow agents, their administrative staf and management to track, moni- tor and execute deals faster and much more efciently. Commercial real estate brokerage companies have the potential to con- vert to the latest technology and inex- pensively integrate amazing systems. There is no hardware to purchase, no long-term contracts to sign and these frms would own their own data. Commercial real estate software covers many areas of the industry. Some of the categories include: • Client Relations Management (CRM) software – REA and Salesforce • Data/Analytics software – Compstack and Xceligent • Marketing software – Creative Suite and Adobe's In Design • Mapping software – Arc GIS and Landvision • Operations software – RE Apps and Astro Applications • Accounting software – Quick Books and Yardi These software systems automate many diferent processes. They im- prove service delivery to clients, streamline the transaction pipeline for brokers, assist management with planning and dramatically reduce slower manual workload. Commer- cial real estate companies have the op- portunity to use very innovative tech- nology to grow, increase revenue and add more satisfed clients. Brokers are more mobile, more informed and more professional through the use of laptops, tablets, smartphones and operations software. Industry leaders know technology fa- cilitates a faster, easier and smoother process. The time and money saved can be signifcant. Brokerage compa- ny owners actively seek a competitive edge to improve marketshare. They understand there is an investment in training time for system integration. Software companies must not only market these systems but continue to innovate and upgrade that system. Customer service is critical to main- tain satisfed clients and future refer- rals. A seasoned, successful broker re- cently asked me at a convention why he should consider a new software system. I explained the change could add hours to his week that could be Dunn continued on next page

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