Las Vegas Leader
Although residential overstock and dependence on the broader U.S. economy keep Las Vegas' commercial real estate recovery at bay, some major office and industrial tenants are placing their bets in the still-challenged market. What's the upside? “Las Vegas is affordable,” says Ryan Martin, CCIM, vice president of Colliers International in Las Vegas, who specializes in office sales and leasing. “An uptick in sales and back-office uses has been a positive sign. These users tend to evaluate a number of markets when seeking their next location, and factors such as cost of living, cost of labor, and availability of labor play into the decision. The fact that Las Vegas is back into consideration is a great sign.”
Martin, who also serves as 2012 president of the Southern Nevada CCIM Chapter, shared more insights about what it takes to succeed in the recovering market and why members should attend the CCIM Live! fall conference, Oct. 15-16 in Las Vegas, in a recent interview with Commercial Investment Real Estate.
CIRE: You started and grew a new brokerage division in the early 2000s. What strategies helped you create a successful brokerage in the already-saturated Las Vegas market?
Martin: I was fortunate to be part of a well-established and recognized brand, Trammell Crow Co. In 2002, with a successful real estate market in gear, Las Vegas was well positioned to accept another competing firm. Though the barriers to entry were deep, Trammell Crow's national reputation provided me the tools to implement an already prosperous platform. The backing of Trammell Crow, accompanied by a bull market, was the recipe for success.
CIRE: Las Vegas' commercial real estate market is very different today. What opportunities are you seeing in the current office sales and leasing sector?
Martin: A lot of factors play into a company's decision to plant its business. Sales have experienced an uptick, as many office assets are currently trading for less than replacement costs. Companies and investors who are able to purchase have many opportunities right now. But most often companies are seeking cost savings. The largest trend I see is firms seeking greater efficiencies and more productivity for less money.
CIRE: How has the CCIM education and network helped you serve clients?
Martin: In an always-complex real estate market, I became a CCIM because it allows me to expand beyond the disciplines of brokerage, leasing, and development. The education drives CCIMs to take on the role of being a strategic investment counselor. Over the years, I have assisted clients by implementing my CCIM knowledge to produce the maximum investment potential.
Networking requires a lot of cultivating and nurturing. After returning from last year's national CCIM conference, I was directly impacted by my networking efforts and received a call from a fellow CCIM in Taiwan who had an assignment in Las Vegas.
CIRE: What do you hope to accomplish during your leadership tenure with the Southern Nevada CCIM Chapter?
Martin: I earned the designation in 2006 and was elected to serve on the Southern Nevada CCIM Chapter's Board of Directors in 2008. Now as president, my agenda is to keep things simple. In a time when membership-based organizations are struggling, retention of our members is key. As the host of the 2012 CCIM Live! fall conference, all eyes are on Las Vegas. Our chapter has planned our signature event, the 16th Annual Wine Soiree and Auction on Oct. 13, around the CCIM conference.
CIRE: You personally have been instrumental in planning the 2012 CCIM Live! conference, securing keynote speaker Jim Murren and the Las Vegas mayor. What are the highlights of this year's conference for attendees?
Martin: I believe that what you put into something, you will receive back in droves. Therefore, I think that the conference is a great opportunity for all CCIMs. I have met business contacts from around the world and expanded my network at these events. Our industry is small and you never know where the future will lead.
Jennifer Norbut is senior editor of Commercial Investment Real Estate. If you have a story worth sharing in CCIM Q&A, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.