Follow us:

Three Take-Aways From ICSC’s RECON 2011

June 3rd, 2011

My feet are killing me as they usually are at this time every May. A small price to pay for three and a half days of intense deal making, trend spotting and making valuable connections at ICSC’s annual convention in Las Vegas. This year’s programs were upbeat with a vibrant optimism that has been lacking in recent years for obvious reasons. My focus was on the information, trends, technologies and deals that would be of greatest interest to commercial real estate brokerage professionals. Here are three takeaways I got from RECON 2011 that every commercial agent and broker should pay attention to:

  1. THE BUZZ IS BACK – This year’s convention was attended by more than 35,000 commercial real estate and retail professionals, up significantly from last year. There was a cautious optimism throughout the convention. Deals were getting done on the Leasing Mall and in the hallways, I could hear brokers, developers, landlords and tenants burning up their cell phones talking about transactions. Ah yes, transactions….those illusive little activities that we have all missed so much over the past couple of years. There was no doubt that everyone had a bit of a bounce in their step as well as a few more smiles and better moods all around. While everyone acknowledged challenges ahead, positive momentum was in the air and that will feed on itself creating more opportunities for commercial brokers to see deal flow.
  2. THERE IS A RISING SOCIAL REVOLUTION IN COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE – If you think that Facebook and Twitter are just places where college kids tell their friends about last nights concert, you’d better think again. Social Media is the new branding mechanism for commercial real estate pros across all segments of the industry. When organizations like Walmart Realty, Loopnet and our own CCIM Institute are focusing time and resources toward creating a major social media presence, you’d better follow their lead and start to get familiar with this medium if you’re not already. Learn the nuances of what makes a good social media branding campaign and start “tweeting, posting and sharing” today.
  3. SKILL MATTERS – The fallout from the “Great Recession” has caused an end to the loose and somewhat risky business practices that caused unsustainable transaction volume during the buildup of 2000 – 2007. Commercial real estate brokers have to bring a more sophisticated skill set to their client service approach. To get deals done, clients will require their agent representatives to provide more detailed and defensible market data, greater knowledge of local market dynamics and stronger negotiating skills. This will require a more disciplined approach to how we as commercial brokers build the relationships with our clients that will result in closings. New technologies are finding their way to the market that are focused on helping commercial real estate professionals provide more in depth information and greater operational efficiencies. Agents and brokers will need to invest in these resources if they expect to compete and win client business going forward.


Leave a Reply