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Giovanni Palavicini: Emerging Retail Real Estate Trends

It's often said that who you know is more important than what you know. By staying connected with key relationships over the past several weeks I have seen, heard, and realized some important developing trends in the retail sector for 2012.
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Giovanni Palavicini

It’s often said that who you know is more important than what you know. As I have spent the first part of 2012 setting strategies for the year, I’ve discussed the current state of the economy and real estate market with friends, colleagues, and mentors. This has helped remind me of how important relationships are in our business. They truly do make the difference.

It becomes easy to forget how important these relationships are to us. We get so wrapped up in the daily grind that we forget the critical need to stay connected. But our relationships can often be the key to new opportunities. By staying connected with key contacts over the past several weeks I have seen, heard, and realized some important developing trends in the retail sector for 2012:

• Retailers seem to be preparing to ramp back up and are looking for key personnel to add to their real estate and development teams. I think we will see more shifting and moving among real estate managers in the first part of this year.

• It also seems that more and more retailers are tapping into their strong relationships with their most trusted brokers. They are allowing these brokers to represent them in larger territories, in whole or as master brokers.

• Private equity and investors seem to be more confident than we have seen in recent years, and they are eager to see more commercial real estate deals. The key is going to be to find off-market deals in order to avoid the “feeding frenzy.”

• Banks and lending institutions also seem to be prepared to loan for good deals with strong investors and credible developers. This is a great time to take advantage of great rates.

There are a lot of signs that 2012 will be a better year for commercial real estate as we continue to climb out of this recession. Make building and really nurturing your relationships a priority this year—and reap the benefits of the success this can generate for you.

Giovanni Palavicini, a native of Mexico City, is founder of Fronteras, a Dallas real estate firm that specializes in the Latino market. Contact him at [email protected].

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