The Pavonis Group

Commercial Real Estate Trends and Visions with Jeff Finn

January 23, 2015

A founding partner of Pavonis Group, and President and CEO of RealNex, which recently acquired Buzz Target, Jeff Finn previously served as President and CEO of NAI Global, the world’s leading network of commercial real estate brokerage firms. Jeff was one of the founders of NAI, and over the past decade led the organization to industry prominence through innovative marketing, business development, management and strategic planning.
Buzz Blogger: From your perch, what do you see happening in Commercial Real Estate today? Any noteworthy trends?
JF: Globalization and consolidation. There has been a slow and steady shift in the market from what had been a very local industry to a market that is now dominated by multi-national corporate and investment demand for the largest properties. Only the smallest property and spaces continue to be demanded by the local market players. Service providers have followed suit. Today, a clear top six global firms have evolved to provide high quality services consistently around the world, with other local and regional firms banding together to form networks or franchises to better serve their clients. Consolidation will continue and purely local firms will be relegated to smaller local opportunities or select niches where highly specialized expertise is required.
Buzz Blogger: What have been the most significant changes in the industry over the past several years?
JF: Key trends that continue to evolve include the institutionalization of real estate as an asset class. While there is still a vast amount of property in private hands, the shift towards public debt and equity is inexorably growing. Even while entrepreneurs continue to “front” deals, they are backed by institutional capital. The transition has accelerated out of the financial crisis of 2008. With capital harder to access, only the strongest players were able to hold on, raise capital and take advantage of the buying opportunity. This change to a more “Wall Street driven market” is increasing the level of professionalism in the market. More and better data and analytics are required.
Buzz Blogger: What is your number one advice to Commercial Real Estate agents, brokers and owners?
JF: Specialize and become an expert in a sector. The level of competition is increasingly intense and the old way of doing business will not prevail in the next generation. While relationships will always be important, today with pervasive information, the ability to digest and analyze the vast data and issues to make better decisions is more critical than ever. To enhance expertise, one must use technology to drive process efficiency and better analytics.
Buzz Blogger: Now under the RealNex umbrella, what is the vision for Buzz Target– and how can Buzz uniquely help Commercial Real Estate professionals?
JF: It is all about integration and property marketing efficiency. Buzz Target is a key driver in our strategy. Through our other tools we have a great ability to track assets, prospects and opportunities, underwrite and package offerings and publicly showcase property. By combining Buzz Target with Property Line we have substantially increased the size of the Buzz Target property and investor database. We are continuing to feed assets into the system through our growing customer base. We are also rapidly growing the scope of our highly qualified database of property investors. By harnessing the power of the Buzz Target’s matching algorythm and emarketing campaign management, we are able to efficiently deliver highly targeted offerings to our vast universe of potential buyers. We see our process enhancing property market liquidity.