Reflecting on the 2023 Spring Event recently in Montreal, SIORs, trusted commercial real estate experts, and leading industry representatives from across the globe all gathered at the Queen Elizabeth Fairmont Hotel and experienced four days of nonstop networking, educational sessions, and social events that will live forever in their memories as yet another amazing SIOR Event.
The opening general session featured inspiring duo Justin Skeesuck and Patrick Gray, lifelong friends who tackled the Camino de Santiago, one pushing the other in a wheelchair. We continued to be wowed by foreign policy expert Anja Manuel, and the conference was closed out by an insightful forecast from futurist and economist Andrew Busch.
Aside from the unforgettable general sessions, bustling exhibitor hall, and boundless networking opportunities, the event also boasted several educational sessions for a wide range of specialties. From interest rates and investment properties to digital marketing and practical advice, these sessions highlighted key topics of the CRE world today.
Here are just a few significant takeaways from each session.
Thriving in the New Abnormal: Making the Most of the New Interest Rate Regime
- For the smarter practitioners in the modern world, there may be great opportunity. SIORs and other senior practitioners should make themselves available as a resource for the C-Suite.
- Regional banks are still looking very favorably on industrial but they’re nervous about their office buildings.
- Five years from now, mobile home parks, RV parks, and truck terminals may be even more mainstream, with tighter cap rates at a greater scale. Self-storage has become a commoditized asset class—and there are still a lot of opportunities there.
- There’s a big risk for developers right now. Negotiations are tricky and rates are changing constantly.
- The biggest issue is volatility of the market, which can make it hard to know what to expect. Consistency is what we need.
- It's all about the existing relationships and nurturing them.
Beyond Brokerage: An Independent Brokerage Group Session
- The real advantage in your business is gaining more control and having happier clients, which will eventually lead to more revenue and overall success.
- A critical role to play for your clients is overseeing construction, helping the client find vendors, and becoming an expert on understanding costs.
- Project management is a critical element of working as an independent broker.
- Inevitably, clients want RPM to do the IT work. The RPM is essentially the conductor of the orchestra.
- Location quotients and densities are useful in finding areas that meet the criteria for your client. One can narrow it down to specific areas based on wage rates, existing workforce, and more.
The British are Coming! (& the Germans, New Yorkers, etc.) Working Across Markets
- In the U.S. and Canada, the information highway is in the stratosphere and information is outsourced. For firms that exist in areas like Mexico that don’t have that luxury, the data is all manufactured within.
- The Asian-Pacific region can be difficult to transact in. There are a lot of third- to fourth-tier markets. One has to rely on finding very local firms.
- The SIOR network is useful for finding reliable connections internationally. There’s a lot more people in your marketplace that you might think, and they can come from anywhere.
- In terms of performance, quality of service, ethics, and rules of engagement, your expectations should be no different than what you expect to encounter in the U.S. and Canadian markets. You can and should behold people to the same rules.
- Knowing the structures of how businesses operate will help you and your clients to navigate different countries’ legal systems.
- There’s a tremendous amount of growth happening for SIOR, internationally.
Investment Property Market
- Rates will likely continue to be high, at the 4-6% range they are currently in, for a while. Therefore, cap rates will remain to be high.
- Similar to the 2009 market, the best piece of advice for now is this: raise as much liquidity as you can because in the next two years, there will be lots of opportunity to buy real estate at lower than replacement costs.
- An existing building with an existing transformer has value in any market right now in the entire country.
- Investors will sometimes invest outside your market if they know they know there is really good project management and someone that cares about the deal.
Maximize Your Profits: How Digital Marketing Can Save You Time & Money
- Social media is really an online forum for networking and growing a network. You have to treat social media the same way you treat networking at an event. So, treat social media as a conversation, because you’re trying to engage in dialogue the same way as you would at a networking function. It just happens to be online.
- Go back to your existing vendors, and see what new assets or resources they have.
- The old adage of “you need to spend money to make money” still rings true. Instead of cutting costs, lean into digital marketing, and become a market leader. Differentiate yourself from everyone you’re competing against in the market.
- When you set yourself apart as a brand, you make a lasting impact.
Tough Questions from Prospects? Great Answers!
- Talk about business first, real estate last. Demonstrating knowledge about their business, industry trends, and market trends makes an impact on the prospect.
- “Why should I hire you over the other guy?” — Reframe questions back to the prospect, get them to think about it differently.
- These calls should be less transactional and more about service. Find the best fit; Who do you want with you through the long haul?
- Can you do a deal internationally? Yes, through a proven network of the world’s leading brokers, SIORs!
Did you attend the Spring 2023 Event in Montreal? If so, what was your favorite session and/or takeaway?
And if you weren’t at the Spring Event— Don’t worry, there’s still more to come! Registration is already open for the Fall 2023 Conference in Chicago. Sign up now to take advantage of our early bird rates; we have a whole new roster of insightful and informative sessions in the works.