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Western Real Estate Business: Strategic hiring in the new commercial real estate market

By August 14, 2012Media Coverage

Now that we’ve entered the ‘new normal,’ companies have re-evaluated who and how they’re hiring.

If you’re curious about the future of the commercial real estate industry, look to the West Coast. The primary and secondary real estate markets have been experiencing a surge of activity, including an active hiring market.

Building on last year’s success, RETS Associates has experienced a 160 percent increase in recruitment activity since the beginning of 2012. A number of private investment firms, REITs and advisors have been extremely active and made significant hires in the past six months. There is a level of optimism in the industry as companies grow and look to build and strengthen their teams, including their acquisition departments.

During the economic downturn, there was a significant drop-off in investment activity. As a result, a wealth of opportunities has existed in the commercial real estate marketplace during the past 18 months. Many of the buyers who took early advantage of these market conditions are already being rewarded. As the level of optimism has begun to increase, firms have become excited about the prospect of getting back to making new deals. But with that optimism comes an understandable sense of caution. They are looking for factual reassurance before making big investments again—for proof, in other words, that the industry is financially viable and that their investments will yield returns.

In preparation for investing capital and making deals, companies are selectively building their acquisition departments. Many companies had downsized their acquisition departments during the downturn, resulting in a variety of positions being cut, including many senior vice president and vice president roles. One of RETS Associates’ clients, for example, had cut their senior acquisitions leader. This created a significant weakness in the company that became apparent when a direct competitor hired an industry leader in the acquisitions field.

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