How Firms are Staying Agile for the Future

The Sacramento market continues to see Bay Area investors looking for quality properties with sensible returns, and TRI Commercial/CORFAC looks to capitalize on that activity with a recent management restructure.

By Lisa Brown | May 20, 2019 at 04:00 AM

SACRAMENTO—Industry veteran Ed Benoit has been in the trenches for many years as a broker and manager of the Sacramento office of TRI Commercial/CORFAC International. He’s now stepping away from day-to-day brokerage management to focus on the firm’s strategic priorities as Roseville/Sacramento regional manager. This represents a strategic repositioning effort for TRI in the Sacramento region, he says.

“The company is committed to fully developing the potential of brokers, while providing a sophisticated platform to support maximum performance,” says Benoit. “We are taking steps to be more agile as the industry evolves and prepare ourselves to make the most of any economic change on the horizon.”

In response, Cole Sweatt, vice president of TRI Commercial/CORFAC International, has been promoted to brokerage manager of the company’s Roseville and Sacramento offices. Sweatt and co-manager Rick Phillips will partner with Benoit.

Sweatt has spent nearly two decades in commercial real estate. In this new position, he plans to increase TRI participation in the CORFAC International network, encourage and incentivize cross-discipline deals, work with individual agents to set performance goals and increase revenue, mentor new brokers, and develop a companywide “boot camp” for all new recruits.

In this exclusive, Sweatt and Benoit discuss the new management team, strategic priorities, broker training, what’s on the horizon for the Sacramento market and the latest research trends. How does your joint leadership benefit the company?

Sweatt: Our leadership team has a deep bench. We each have 20 years or more in the industry with Ed Benoit and Rick Phillips having been with TRI since the beginning in Roseville. Going forward, Benoit will focus on long-term strategic goals, and Rick and I assume responsibility for day-to-day operations. With our range of experience, we’re well positioned to understand and balance the concerns of brokers in various disciplines. This multi-focal perspective also prepares us to maximize the company’s market position regardless of any economic fluctuations. How do you balance the competing concerns of day-to-day management with strategic priorities?

Benoit: We focus on intentionally incorporating the strategic priorities of the company in our daily management. Sharing management responsibilities as a team, we recognize collaboration and attention to detail as critical functions. Serving the needs of our brokers is our number one priority. Moving forward, what are the goals for the office? 

Benoit: Our unwavering goal is to equip our clients for success by delivering critical market information. We focus on representing the people and businesses in our local communities, while other brokerage platforms prioritize corporate users in the market. We balance our local roots with global reach, leveraging our connections in the CORFAC network to provide national/international coverage for our clients. How do you incorporate new talent? What type of training does TRI provide for rookies?

Sweatt: As a company, we are always in recruitment discussions with seasoned brokers, but we’re also building an emphasis on growing brokers organically, i.e., hiring and training young agents to fit our entrepreneurial model. Drawing from our experience and the experience of our CORFAC affiliates, we developed our own brokerage “boot camp” and training guidelines. The goal was to create a more detail-oriented collaborative training program than many of the larger brokerage houses provide. What’s on the horizon for the Sacramento region? Do you foresee any impending downturn?

Sweatt: The Sacramento market has long been a hub for companies seeking affordable, quality commercial real estate and an attractive housing market at all price points. Currently, inventory is down across all disciplines. Medical office space has dominated most of the recent construction. On the investment side, we’ve seen an increase in Bay Area investors looking for quality properties with sensible returns. This influx has driven our cap rates down and building prices up. Beyond that, being in the capital of California with an ever-growing population has led to the increased presence of state government in our region, which will continue into the foreseeable future. What types of trends are you seeing in the market as of first quarter?

Sweatt: Both the rising costs of housing and doing business in the Bay Area are causing a net migration to the East Bay and Sacramento/Roseville area. There are over 6,000 workers who commute each year into the San Francisco and Oakland markets from the Sacramento area. And, more than 7,000 commute to the Peninsula and Silicon Valley.

The Sac office market continues to move forward in 2019 and we anticipate the strong activity to continue, as Bay Area firms continue to look to the region as a viable option that offers a strong talent pool for hiring.

Investors also will continue to focus on the region as they seek quality real estate options with better returns on investment. Overall, Northern California continues to be a dynamic job generator and unemployment for the greater Sacramento region stood at a healthy 4.1% at the end of February.

At the start of first quarter 2019, the Sacramento industrial market sat at a record low vacancy rate of 4.13% due to high demand for logistical centers. There is approximately 900,000 square feet less than a year prior, and over 4.3 million square feet less than 24 months ago. This is due to leasing activity remaining high, as net absorption remains positive for the 15th consecutive quarter.

View original GlobeSt. Article here.