There have been many changes in the market. What are some of the largest changes that you have identified?
We have seen many changes in the market, for instance the change in digital marketing and the services provided through the internet. Commercial and business marketing has become a virtual business marketing for an online reality. The situation has changed dramatically, and that will affect the real estate market. All these huge shopping centers and malls will experience a transformation and a redesign. Stores will become smaller, and customers will be able to go, see products, order them, and have them delivered to their homes. Home deliveries have increased, and many people are now used to buying things online. This will change the quality and location of spaces. Right now, retailers are working with distribution centers and areas to deliver their products to their customers better and faster.
What real estate options are in your portfolio, and are your readjusting?
Commercial real estate is not just retail alone; it also includes office, industrial, and hospitality. When talking about commercial real estate, we are referring to those properties that generate rent. That being said, retail is definitely changing. Many stores will not survive this period. Many restaurants are also closing their doors, so we will no doubt also see a downturn in that business. We are also in the office, retail, industrial, and hospitality sectors. Another big are that is changing rapidly is the office sector, which is experiencing a redistribution and a new way of working. The trend now is more technology but fewer offices. In the next two years, we will experience a downturn in terms of demand, which will translate into softer prices, and companies will plan offices with less space for less people. On the other hand, others are seeking to redefine their spaces into larger spaces per person. We were reaching an average of 10m per employee, and in the future we will have 13-15m.
What would you identify as the main investment opportunities?
We see several opportunities. Those that have the funds right now have excellent opportunities in the market. Many are trying to diversify the risk. We have some groups selling a portion of their portfolios and are extremely aggressive in terms of pricing. Never before have I seen so many group properties being sold in the market. Now is the time to get high-quality properties on sale. However, the owners of assets want to sell as them at the highest possible price, while buyers want the opposite. In the next six months, I expect to see these two groups meet somewhere in between.
What added value do you bring to the market?
Cushman and Wakefield constantly tries to differentiate itself from the competition. The goal is to be a tactical advisory firm. We do not want to go directly to the client and say, “we can help you sell your property." We want to see their options and evaluate the different ways to reuse or change the use of a specific property. We want to give them the best advice in terms of timing. We want them to identify the ideal momentum to maximize the value of their properties. We strive for a holistic approach, not only for brokerage, but also for appraisal, advisory, and capital markets. We try to give our clients as much information as possible so they can make the best, most accurate, and beneficial decision for their group. We are sellers, but we seek the best advisory approach for our clients in every area, including project management, capital markets, financial, appraisals, and other services. This can help owners better understand the market.