In this edition of THE HIRING SQUAD, Kent Elliott, principal at RETS Associates, a leading national real estate recruiting firm, connects with Jason Krotts, founder and principal at Real Estate Development Associates, LLC (REDA) on hiring in the industrial sector amidst Southern California’s hot development market.
REDA is actively growing its platform with more than five million square feet of industrial development in the pipeline throughout Los Angeles County and the Inland Empire. According to Jason, “the bench needed to be expanded.”
Kent Elliott (KE): Hiring is extremely difficult – especially in the industrial sector – because candidates have either already made a move or are approaching an equity payout that they don’t want to walk away from. Do you have any lessons learned to share from your recent talent search?
Jason Krotts (JK): Talent is extremely hard to find! We were looking for a jack-of-all-trades candidate, and it was challenging to find one that had it all. There are candidates out there, but the quality candidates are so limited. You can try to keep costs down during the search process by posting to job boards and sifting through the candidates that come to you, however the quality candidates are the ones that pros like RETS source. It’s about networking, who you know and a culture match. It was important that we found the skillsets, but it was critical that we found someone that aligned with our culture.
KE: Industrial is arguably the hottest asset category in real estate, thanks to changing consumer lifestyle trends. Can you shed light on your activity to meet development demand?
JK: Development is not slowing down; in fact, we are experiencing demand for both industrial and medical office buildings. Our current industrial pipeline consists of five million square feet of development in Southern California that is going through entitlements, in pre‑development or is about to break ground.
In the medical office space, we are nearing shell completion of Newport Heights Medical Campus in Newport Beach, CA – a project that is under lease negotiations for more than 50% with a que of users interested in the remaining space. We are also actively seeking build-to-suit medical office development opportunities for single or multi‑building users.
With this amount of activity, it was critical to partner with a CRE search firm that could find another team member to add to our bench and support our development efforts.