I am humbled and inspired by the incredible contributions of women within the commercial real estate industry, particularly in the industrial sector. In recent years, this sector has seen remarkable growth due to the surge in e-commerce and the need for efficient logistics solutions. Women have been instrumental in driving this growth, managing and developing industrial properties, negotiating complex deals, and challenging gender stereotypes.
Recently, I had the privilege of sitting down with some of Colliers’ outstanding industrial brokers from across the country. In celebration of International Women’s Day, I asked them about their advice for women looking to specialize in industrial real estate, what led them to the sector, their take on the current market, and their predictions for 2023. Their answers were insightful and inspiring, and you can find them below.
Let’s continue to support and empower women in the industry and work towards creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive future for all.
What is a piece of advice for women looking to specialize in industrial real estate?
Evelyn Manning, Vice President: Find your niche, and own it! Women can use the shifting and growing industry to our competitive advantage by offering unique traits that set us apart. Multitasking, strong communication, emotional intelligence, and flexibility enable us to flourish and support others. Be fearless, pragmatic, and encourage free thinking. Expand your network, have fun, and transform challenges into motivation.
Allyson Yost, Senior Vice President: It is a great industry with great people who are accepting of those who work hard. Gender has no role in what you are capable of doing unless you tell yourself you can’t. But what I love the most about industrial real estate is how diverse it truly is – every deal is different than the last and you get so many opportunities to learn and educate yourself on how the world operates.
What is the path that led you to the industrial sector?
Erin Byers, Executive Vice President: I was always fascinated with how all the products we touch as consumers are routed through warehouses. The differences in each facility are ever changing and the ability to learn something new each day excites me.
Allyson Yost, Senior Vice President: I joined Colliers with the opportunity to work with my father, mentor and partner, Allen Gump. Although I started in multiple areas of commercial real estate, I found industrial tenant advisory to be my favorite because of the people involved.
How would you characterize the environment of today’s market, and where it’s headed in 2023?
Linda Hill, Vice President: The industrial market has strong fundamentals, but it has become increasingly institutionalized since I joined the industry. As a result, opportunities with smaller firms may be limited. To succeed in this environment, it’s important to align yourself with top producers who have established relationships with institutional ownership.
Erin Byers, Executive Vice President: Today’s market remains strong. The continued shift in consumer behavior in purchasing, and overall consumption continues to create growth within our sector.
Andrea Hopper, Senior Vice President: Market fundamentals in Indianapolis are strong with solid absorption and decent leasing velocity, especially for tenants under 400,000 square feet. However, to keep pace with the 19 million square feet currently under construction, it would be beneficial to see larger deals land in the market. Keeping up with rental rate growth has been interesting!
What is driving demand in your respective market, or if you work with occupiers, what is their focus as the first quarter of 2023 comes to a close?
Linda Hill, Vice President: 3PLs and e-commerce operations seem to be taking most of the available space.
Evelyn Manning, Vice President: The IE is the top big-box market in SoCal for distributors, warehouses, e-commerce, and logistics firms due to its location, workforce, and development of large buildings. Despite economic conditions, demand remains strong and smaller companies are moving out for cheaper rates. Vacancy for buildings 500k+ remains low, driving continued demand and market growth.
Andrea Hopper, Senior Vice President: The top three occupier types driving the market are 3PLs & Packaging Companies, General Retail & Wholesale, and Food & Beverage suppliers. The demand is primarily from users seeking spaces ranging from 30,000 to 250,000 square feet.