Three months into the new year, I am optimistic about what 2022 has in store for retailers and landlords. In this three-part series, I’ll share thoughts on where the industry stands, what we need to prioritize to draw out customers, and what areas of the business will need our full attention moving forward. In our first post, I offer a temperature check of where the industry stands post-pandemic and how a CRE Advisor can help with your business goals.

Considering the uncertainties of the last few years, how would you rate the industry as a whole? 

It’s been a reflective time for retailers and landlords. We have seen landlords reevaluate their business strategy, investing capital on projects, buildings and shopping centers to enhance the overall customer experience. Landlords seek to maintain their properties, adding value to a space for the long term, whether that’s a simple refresh and repaint of their exteriors or a massive overhaul that includes new storefronts. Retailers are also investing a tremendous amount of capital into their platforms. With an eye on the supply chain and stronger delivery, retailers strive to retain the seamless transaction consumers have grown accustomed to with the conveniences of curbside delivery and BOPIS. As brokers, we’re leaning into data and technology to support landlords and retailers. The CRE advisory role plays a critical component in the process.

Learn to listen. Pay close attention to what clients want and what they need, to truly be an advisor. Take a consultative approach with your clients, whether they’re on the landlord or the retailer side and identify their pain points. Then, look for patterns and themes that lend insight into those challenges, and consider what you can do to streamline the decision-making process. CRE is one aspect of the business and an important one. Reducing friction and creating clarity about CRE will allow the core business leaders to focus on their business growth.

Would you say the industry as a whole is confident about entering this new year of business?

Most definitely. Despite current economic uncertainties, store closings hit an all-time low while announced store openings outpaced closings for the first time since 2014. That’s significant, and that’s across all categories. Not only that, but we’re seeing an increased frequency of consumers shopping brick-and-mortar that closely mirror that of 2019. New users or non-traditional retailers are seeking retail sites, knowing that foot traffic–where people are and where they’re going–is the key to building brand awareness. The foot traffic score is critical as it taps into the DNA of how consumers go about living their lives. And similar to social media, brick-and-mortar retailers need to have the highest impressions possible.

Look for Part 2 of this 3part blog series.