What are the top things to keep in mind when entering a new market and why?
Without a doubt, you need to gain a quick understanding of market conditions—both an overall economic perspective as well as commercial real estate conditions. This is achieved by immersing yourself in market reports (which are plentiful), but more importantly, meeting with a wide-range of industry leaders (i.e. brokers, developers, investors, bankers, attorneys, city officials, architects and general contractors). It is through these meetings that you begin to understand nuances not reported in the published statistics.
What challenges have you faced since opening the Phoenix market?
The key challenge has been in managing the message of why Opus is entering the Phoenix market.
Overall, the Opus brand is very well respected in Phoenix. The prior Opus entity located here played a significant role in developing greater Phoenix with buildings and people representing the finest in the industry. I want to ensure that we continue to build on that momentum.
As with anything new, it has been challenging keeping up—balancing the various needs, laying the foundation (hiring people and finding permanent space), introducing myself and our company (numerous introductory meetings) and finding the right development opportunities!
Where are the strongest areas of opportunity for your team?
The best opportunities are currently in multifamily and office. The industrial market is somewhat quiet; although I believe that is a temporary lull. There should be some nice medical office building opportunities, as well.
What do you view as the most exciting part about launching the new office?
It's been fantastic! I love the challenge of building businesses. I've done this in my previous work, and I look forward to building Opus' presence in Phoenix and beyond! We will focus on selected opportunities that will profile our unique strengths, and we will also identify opportunities for us to collaborate with others—all with the idea of building a stronger and more profitable Opus.