Commercial Investment Real Estate

JUL-AUG 2017

Commercial Investment Real Estate is the magazine of the CCIM Institute, the leading provider of commercial real estate education. CIRE covers market trends, current developments, and business strategies within the commercial real estate field.

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Page 52 of 54

COMMERCIAL INVESTMENT REAL ESTATE 48 July | August 2017 C O N N E C T I O N S CCIM T he playing fi eld for commercial real estate fi rms is changing. While size and scale have advantages, the evolutionary trends in develop- ment, equity investment, and lending show that bigger isn't always better, according to PwC. The owners of small, independent fi rms have to decide whether to stay nimble or join with a bigger organization. Both sides of the commercial real estate industry have their advantages and disadvantages. Recently, James Huang was at a crossroads. Should he stay independent with the fi rm he founded, BRC Advisors, or become a franchisee of a large fi rm? Is Bigger Better? James Huang Based on the use of a custom-designed marketing support software system to facilitate deal fl ow and cooperation, Huang joined the newly minted Sperry Commercial Global Affi liates as its fi rst franchisee. Soon after joining, he became president of Sperry Commercial Global Affi liates LLC in the Los Angeles metro area. "The biggest trend in the commercial real estate sector is technology, technology, technology," Huang says. "Constantly listening to our affi liates and agents to help them be more effi cient and effec- tive in the market through technology, formation of specialty groups, and cooperation with other com- panies and organizations is vital." As Sperry Commercial expands in the U.S. and globally, Huang sees many key growth opportuni- ties for 2017 and beyond. "I have seen the consolida- tion of the big fi rms and the rise of the resi-mercials, and while there is a home for everyone, commis- sions are being compressed like residential," he says. "Agents need to be more advisory and consultative. The bar is raised as the service agents need to be higher than just looking on a website." In line with what Huang sees as a coming paradigm shift in the industry, owners of many small fi rms are choosing to become franchisees or join larger network groups by geographic areas or product types. "Network, network, network, and always be learning," Huang says. "Whether staying in touch with your network through existing social media platforms or leveraging new technologies, you can't afford to be a dinosaur." In the years ahead, more commercial real estate professionals will have the dilemma of staying independent or joining big fi rms. According to the 2016 National Association of Realtors Commer- cial Member Profi le report, 43 percent work in or own independent fi rms. The upcoming trends in technology, such as the internet of things, demo- graphic data, predictive analytics, and 3D printing, may shift the balance toward bigger fi rms with more resources. Stay tuned. Samuel S. Moon is media relations manager at CCIM Institute. by Samuel S. Moon

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