Real estate: a world within itself

I’m sitting here writing a blog post and realized that in the several months that I’ve been working at my first (real) job, I have never written a post about it. Alas, since this is the purpose of having an alumni blog, here goes nothing.

I work as an analyst at Jones Lang LaSalle, a real estate services company. Never heard of it? Join the club. Real estate, although it plays an enormous role in the business sphere, is a world within itself.

Jones Lang LaSalle, and other large real estate companies like it, cover everything commercial and beyond. We don’t sell residential homes, though. We help companies and corporations large and small find and lease space and help landlords by finding tenants to fill their vacancies. This sector, called brokerage, is by and large the biggest cash cow for the commercial real estate world. To be a broker, one must be well-spoken, extremely driven, and able to hob-knob with CEO’s. As many joke, one must also be an excellent golfer (or at least a member of a great club). It’s commission-based mega-sales at its finest and it’s unquestionably the most competitive sector of real estate. However, I’m not a broker.

Jones Lang LaSalle also provides international real estate advisory services. Imagine you’ve gotten together some investors and you’d like to buy an office building in Shanghai. We have offices all around the world to provide local expertise. Imagine you’re in charge of a large hotel conglomerate and you need someone to facilitate the construction process of your new location in Rio. We can help. Imagine you’re a branch of the military and you need a company to manage all of your privatized military housing across the country. Check. Anything you can conceive of that takes up space, we can be of service and locate the best team across the globe to help with whatever challenges arise.

Photo:  Gate to the East / RMJM Architects.

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My little niche in the real estate world right now is on the EUL/Federal/Non-DoD Team (a mouthful, huh?) and we help federal clients with their real estate needs, which are vast indeed. Just think—who owns the most real estate in America? Wal-Mart? McDonald’s? Target? The federal government is definitely included in that list.

Real estate, the biggest cost for any company or agency, involves much strategy. Where should we construct a new building in this emerging market? Will the market support it once it’s been constructed? Could this aging building in Kansas City be somehow re-purposed? How could we save taxpayer dollars by consolidating our agency-wide real estate portfolio? How do we plan for the future of our assets in a sustainable way? Our team works to answer these crucial, far-reaching questions for our federal clients. And it’s pretty cool.

My next blog post is going to be about how to get into the commercial real estate industry. It’s fraught with challenges, so I believe it will make for an informative post. Stay tuned and thanks for reading!

Happy belated birthday, W&M and keep harkin’.




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