In our first installment, we have an interview with Louise Jennings, a veteran broker and the founder of Real Estate Southeast. Her Prattville, Alabama-based business works with private investors, institutional owners, tenants, lenders, and municipalities to bring new business to communities and improve property values. With her more than 30 years of industry experience, Jennings has been contracted to do market analysis and site selection from clients such as DaVita, Dunkin Donuts, and Honey Baked Ham.
Below you may find a lightly edited version of her interview.
How long have you been in CRE?
Louise Jennings: Almost 30 years and learning every day!
What are some of the biggest changes you’ve seen in the industry during that time?
LJ: WOW! That’s a GREAT BIG question! I’ve seen three down-and-upturns, the introduction of the internet, Google, online shopping, and the redefinition of our industry. When I started, I was given a push button phone, phone book, and told, “go lease.” I would beg the electrical utility Alabama Power and area Chambers of Commerce for demographics. I even took flying lessons so I could take my own aerials! Now, finding that information is so much easier because we have so many more tools and educational resources, such as ICSC, IREM, ACRE (just to name a few), social media, and much more. I’m grateful to be working in this ever-evolving industry!
How many listings do you have?
LJ: Over 30 commercial listings and growing.
How did you get so many listings?
LJ: Our team offers a very hands-on approach to management, leasing, and redevelopment. We get our clients from repeated interaction and word of mouth. Owners and investors often ask us to handle turnaround projects. We’re always glad to accept the challenge and turn lemons into lemonade.
What tech tools do you use to manage all the listings?
LJ: We previously used Looplink/Loopnet and Costar, but with their recent changes, we’ve decided to try other platforms for more exposure. Buildout.com feeds our website and distributes to multiple platforms, including QuantumListing. We also use social media and work directly with local Chambers of Commerce and Economic Development organizations.
What other technology do you use to manage your business?
LJ: Yardi Voyager is one of our main property management and accounting programs.
How does QuantumListing fit into your technological tool kit?
LJ: QuantumListing provides a clean and uniform platform for displaying property information to prospective buyers and tenants nationwide. We’re also encouraging Chambers of Commerceand Economic Development organizations to utilize this platform to help streamline the information process and tedious task of data input, which often takes time away from valuable employees. Many owners and brokers in smaller markets will not place information on listing platforms due to cost and time. QuantumListing offers a uniform listing platform for national prospects and also ensures that smaller real estate opportunities are not invisible, as often happens in smaller markets.
What are your favorite QuantumListing features?
LJ: One-stop input and distribution to multiple platforms, simple presentation, easy access for prospects, and a very economical price.
How do you see technology changing CRE?
LJ: If owners and brokers utilize the technology, the opportunities are unlimited. Good information input and management will determine the results.
What other emerging trends do you see in CRE? In your market? In your region? Nationally?
LJ: As always, thinking outside the box. The ever-changing commercial real estate industry demands creativity and flexibility.
Is there anything else that you’d like our readers to know?
LJ: Keep an open eye, open mind, continue to learn, and be flexible!
Want to see Louise’s listings? You can check out her profile below. If you want to contact her you can shoot her an email at: [email protected].