The Evolving Role of Commercial Real Estate Firms
June 15, 2017
We often hear and acknowledge that it’s important for an accounting firm to be a business’ “trusted advisor,” but what we’re beginning to hear more about is the emerging role of commercial real estate professionals as trusted advisors.
While our Georgia on the Rise survey highlighted the challenges (and opportunities) that real estate firms are dealing with in our state, there is a broad effort afoot by top real estate firms to be much more than a “broker” in the traditional sense. In the Winter issue of NAIOP’s Development Magazine, Christopher Lee said, “Perhaps the biggest role change over the next decade will be within the brokerage industry. The title of broker will slowly disappear and be replaced by an advisor or business advisor, whose role will shift from transactional to a strategic advisory function.”
In a recent conversation with Stephen Bridges*, Executive Vice President at JLL in Atlanta, Georgia, we discussed his view of the most pressing issues real estate firms face and talked a little about how JLL is tackling them.
First, Bridges said the most pressing issues are:
Not surprisingly, Bridges said the most important step in successfully addressing both of these pressing issues is building relationships. To achieve the real estate goals aligned with the client’s business, he says the real estate professional “must understand the pain points and future obstacles that connect to each area of the business.” Real estate decisions are affected by:
At the same time, there is usually a fairly quick timeframe for real estate decisions and implementation of solutions. This doesn’t leave much time for long-term relationship building, so real estate professionals must create an understanding of their value in a short time frame and must be accessible, knowledgeable and easy to work with. And, of course, trustworthy.
In part two of this series, we will discuss how real estate firms are using technology to help clients (and themselves) make better real estate decisions.
*Stephen Bridges is a member of the Atlanta Chapter of the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance along with Smith and Howard and other Atlanta professional service providers who serve the needs of Georgia’s manufacturing businesses.
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