Women who are Inspiring the Commercial Real Estate Industry

Our Chief Marketing Director, Jamie Taylor, is a proud member of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) which is an industry networking organization. And according to a recent study published by CREW, women are advancing in commercial real estate, especially in the C-suite, and the shrinking salary gap. However, there are still areas for improvement to get more women intrigued in CRE brokerage, less of an income gap, and leasing and sales positions.

Here are 3 helpful pieces of advice to improve your professional career from respected female leaders in the Commercial Real Estate Industry.

This type of progress comes with lessons learned early on. The first few years of a career can be pivotal to future success.  Whether it is mastering the art of negotiation, relationship building, or finding your voice, these years can make or break any career.  Three women shared what they learned that helped them reach the success they have today and make their lessons work for them.

-Maryann Reid, Forbes Articles

1. Agree to Disagree

Advice given by Angele Robinson-Gaylord, President: IKEA Property, Inc.

  • As I began my career in commercial real estate, I had no idea how to build a career in this industry.  I did not study real estate in college or law school, had no family or personal connections to the industry, and was a female in a field that is overwhelmingly male. 
  • You have to be conversant in the language of real estate to do deals and build credibility.  
  • You have to recognize that every relationship is valuable. Your path will cross those of your peers time and again.  
  • When conducting transactions, you must be tough enough to get the deal done, yet you must learn to disagree agreeably to not gain a reputation as a deal killer.  
  • You must persevere in the face of any obstacle or naysayer to reach your goals.  In my case, it took 5 years to transition from practicing law to securing my first role on the business side of commercial real estate.  
  • Finally, I learned that you can’t do it alone.

2. Find Your Voice

Advice by Robin Kennedy, Executive Vice President, Acquisitions & Development: Montage International

  • Early in my career, I was put on the spot in a senior level meeting.  My opinion was different than many in the room, but I had a reasoned response. Granted, it was not the path that they chose, but that moment has had strong impact on me and served me well throughout my career.
  • Voicing my opinion was not always appropriate, as many times I wanted to learn from those with more experience.
  • But having this mindset has helped me to think about and become very practiced in how to make decisions.
  • It has helped me to take proactive ownership and move strategically forward.
  • At this point in my career, while the final decisions are often on my shoulders, I value those that can provide me with thoughtful opinions along the way.”

3. Trust Yourself

Lesley Horton Campbell, Associate General Counsel: Tiffany & Co.

  • Never be afraid to step up and trust that you are smart enough to handle a stretch assignment.
  • I made the mistake early on in my career of not stepping up for an assignment because I assumed that I was too junior and that naturally it would go to a more senior experienced colleague.
  • The next time the same opportunity came around, I quickly stepped up without hesitation and ended up knocking it out of the park.

CRE Investors! Here are 3 ways to quicken decisions in uncertain markets.

Over the last few months, news channels have been filled with stories about movements that are directly affecting the U.S. economy and real estate investments.

-Dan Dokovic Managing Partner, Co-Founder at Bamboo Equity Partners, a leading CRE investment firm.

What are the reasons for these movements?

The first is the news of rising interest rates, trade wars dominating the airways, government shutdown all leading towards business uncertainty. Second is the quick pace of advancing technology which affecting commercial real estate space. Lastly, as seen nationwide popular retailers are quickly closing down and declaring bankruptcy forcing shopping centers to clear out or shut down at rapid rates.

“The real estate industry has become the poster child for uncertainty and anxiety.”

How to overcome this as a CRE investor?

Get ahead of the curve with 3 practical applications below that will help you stay relevant and pivot quickly in response to the shifting industry movements.

1. Fill the space.

Real estate investment companies should reconsider their existing tenant mix. Long gone are the days of 10 to 15 year leases. With any uncertainty in the business market, corporations are often looking for a short-term lease.

Therefore, re-evaluate your long-term leases & business model.

While short-term leases may alter financial forecasting and real estate valuation, immediate increases in net operating income will outweigh the risk of carrying the vacant space.

A major trend is to start diversifying the tenant mixes for overall appeal of your property. An example is mall owners are lending their empty space to startup restaurants, co-working companies, or incubators in hopes it will lure more tenants into the property. These tenants don’t pay rent or nearly as much but will increase foot traffic, visibility, and popularity.

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Practical First Step: Initiate partnerships with co-working companies, entice new-age tenants by enhancing your digital strategy, and enlarge your leasing capabilities.

2. Build Relationships

In uncertain times it’s important to focus on growth capital and support from partners and peers. For future stability and success it’s vital to build relationships.

While the industry is in the growth cycle, capital is bountiful. However, as soon as the cycle turns, having capital is the difference between muddling through and controlling destiny.”


Understanding and growing capital relationships comes in two forms: existing capital sources and new prospects with unrelated capital allocations.”

For existing capital relationships, constant communication is crucial. Banking relationships vary with the economic cycles change. Investment executives need to keep in step with bank’s directions and anticipate said direction would have on business.

Here are some examples…

  • Banks that focus on real estate lending might concentrate on commercial and industrial loans after a merger which, in turn, might diminish the negotiating power of borrowers in a downturn.
  • In addition to current capital providers, real estate managers should focus on acquiring alternative sources of equity and debt.
  • A multitenant office owner might want to seek a partnership with a single, long-term tenant equity provider in order to mitigate the risk of short-term leases.
  • Alternatively, office asset managers might want to connect with industrial capital sources in order to diversify high-cost risks, like retenanting office buildings.”

3. Diversify your assets.

According to past data, these changes in real estate are not hitting all markets. An example is the highs and lows of employment rates may affect the office market but the industrial market could flourish due to the increased shift towards e-commerce.

During the last cycle, manufactured housing and self-storage sectors performed better than other property types.

According to Trepp Bank Research’s April 2017 report of historical CRE losses, self-storage had the lowest average loan loss severity of all property sectors at 1.52%, while manufacturing housing loss was at 3.53%. Comparatively, in a different sector, retail had an average loss rate of 6.17% and office at 6.13%. While taking into consideration these examples, property sectors (per research completed by Nareit in December 2018) and manufactured homes provided total returns of 24.93% and 11.43% for the years 2017 and 2018, respectively.

Gaining property sector diversity can lessen risk across your business. But be cautious in your decisions. “While diversification can provide a footing to weather storms, businesses must be prudent as diversification efforts have their own risks.

What crucial questions do you ask before making final decisions in this ages industry?

What oversights can be pulled from current practices?

Who are the allies in this diversification process?

To stay relevant, future real estate leaders need to continue on the path of innovation. While transformation is tough, the only way to continue growing is to advance with the times. As it was in previous cycles, great things come to those who are able to pivot during the hardest times.

Take Action after Big Events & Conferences

Man holding cell phone organizing contacts after big networking events and conferences.

After a major networking event or conference, it is important to take action as soon as possible to maintain the great connections you made.

Below is a 6 step guide to follow for all your Spring 2019 events.

1. Categorize and take action accordingly. 

Organize your contacts into 3 categories.

  1. Valuable leads: Contacts you believe to be an ideal client and/or that showed a high level of interest in working with you. 
  2. Qualify leads: Contacts who need to be qualified. They may be seriously interested or they might not, and even if they are you’re not sure they are qualified.
  3. Connections: Prospects you can build a relationship with. You may work together in the future, refer business to one another, or merely get together for a happy hour on the occasion.

“It’s important to follow up with “valuable leads” as soon as possible and schedule a time to meet. Show an effort to follow up with “connections” soon after — in my experience, they are the most valuable people you meet at networking events.” 

— Ryan Meghdies of Tastic Marketing

2. Follow up on Twitter.

I’ve stopped giving (and taking) cards at networking events. Instead, I  follow entrepreneurs (or their businesses) on Twitter. I prefer this approach because it allows me to see their profile and actually remember who they are. I return from networking events with new followers instead of cards. As soon as I return, I follow up with them by sending a quick DM via Twitter. I also browse through their most recent tweets and retweet or like anything that I relate to in my industry. This allows me to connect with them, understand their brand and create a more immediate connection.”

 – Uchechi Kalu Jacobson of Linking Arts Web Design & Development

3. Add them to a CRM then connect on LinkedIn.

  1. Input all the contacts into my CRM and tag appropriately. Now I can send tailored communications to them in the future.
  2. Send connection requests to every connection on LinkedIn.
  3. When connecting, include a personalized message, to remind them of how you met and try to include a memorable section of your conversation.

When messaging and connecting on LinkedIn, another tip is to ask them how you can be of help. This could mean connecting them to someone, answering a question they mentioned, sending a resource, etc. You have to give to get.

 – Zack Hanebrink of HookLead

4. Send a gratitude email.

After entering the new contacts into your CRM, email a reintroduction to the contact thanking them for their time. If the prospect shows interest, then provide them with more information as requested.

5. Make notes immediately.

While at a networking event immediately (after the conversation has ended) write on the back of their card a few notes about the conversation. 

6. Check them out & connect on social media.

Check them out on social media to learn more about who they are. What kind of content do they post? Which platforms are important to them?”

– Stephanie Cartin, Socialfly

Summarized from Forbes Article

Qualified Opportunity Zones in Kansas City

Did you know that 52 million Americans (1 in 6) live in economically distressed communities? This is a major problem that Congress recently took a step to fix. Thus, Opportunity Zones were created in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.

Opportunity Zones are an innovative, flexible, and bipartisan solution for catalyzing private sector-led economic growth. In addition, they aim to connect low-income communities with much-needed capital.

In exchange, investors get a graduated series of federal tax incentives tied to long-term holdings.

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Lastly, information provided by Ruben Alonso President of AltCap and Korb Maxwell with Polsinelli. 

End of the Year Swing is Here! We’re Ready…

You’re feeling it, because we are too. It’s the race to the finish line, the final cut of 2018 and, it’s HERE!

While you may not be ready for Christmas yet (*cough* 49 days), or the start of a new year (Hello 2019 in 56 days), the calendar says it’s time to finish those real estate deals. Close on the projects that need completion. And, if you’re like many of your colleagues, you may find yourself in need of an environmental assessment report (Phase I) or a property condition assessment (PCA).

The silver lining in the fast pace to the end of the year? UES is here… and, we’re ready for you. We have your environmental reporting and PCA needs covered. We specialize in quick turn-around times and like Santa’s elves, we work great under a strict deadline!

Don’t hesitate to take some of the pressure off by contacting us to help you close out 2018 strong!

 

 

SIOR 2018 Recap

SIOR Development Day is the biggest event of the year for UES.

This year the Western Missouri/Kansas Chapter of SIOR 29th Annual Development Day was held at Kansas City’s Union Station in September. SIOR is the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors.

Furthermore, SIOR Development Day provides an unparalleled opportunity to network with industry leaders, highlight new projects, explore opportunities and celebrate successes – all in one setting. It was a great event!Engineering Consulting Kansas City. Environmental Consulting Kansas City. Kansas City Crew. Crew KC. Phase 1 Environmental Consulting. Phase 2 Environmental Consulting. Phase I Environmental Consulting. Phase II Environmental Consulting. Environmental Consultant. Environmental Consultant Kansas City. Property Condition Assessments. Property Condition Assessment Kansas City. Property Condition Assessment Missouri. Environmental & Engineering Consulting. Site Assessment Kansas City. Subsurface Investigations Kansas City. Kansas City Business. Kansas City Engineering. Remediation and removal Kansas City. Kansas Consulting Services. Missouri Consulting Services. SIOR. SIOR 2018. Union Station. SIOR Western Chapter. Consulting Services Kansas City. Commercial Real Estate. Commercial Lenders. Community Support. Events in Kansas City. We had fun talking to booth visitors. We also hosted a football toss activity and exciting giveaway opportunities. Following the event we randomly selected 3 lucky winners for our giveaways.

Paul Fogel with Karbank Real Estate Company won the Callaway golf club. Amanda Kunze with Citizens Bank & Trust won a Travis Kelce signed helmet and last but not least, Brent Parsons was very happy with his football signed by Chiefs star Patrick Mahomes. We had a wonderful time connecting with other likeminded companies & organizations around the area. Hope to see you next year!

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2018 CCIM Kansas City Sponsorship

Kansas City boasts an active, vibrant chapter of Certified Commercial Investment Members, (CCIM). This elite corps of CCIMs includes brokers, leasing professionals, investment counselors, asset managers, appraisers, corporate real estate executives, property managers, developers, institutional investors, commercial lenders, attorneys, bankers, and other allied professionals.

UES has spent nearly 30 years working with CCIMs across the country on a variety of transactions. Therefore, it is our honor to be trusted by these distinguished professionals to get the “job done right.” As well as in a timely manner when their transactions call for environmental report assessments and engineering consulting. We specialize in providing the top professionals with the highest level of service in environmental and engineering consulting.

With our years of partnership with CCIMs, UES is proud to sponsor our local CCIM Kansas City chapter as an annual sponsor for 2018. Our team will be joining the leaders in our community for conversations about important local developments and learning about new trends in the industry. Last but not least, having a little fun, right alongside our many clients and friends.