Industrial Property Owners Discuss Industry Hot Topics
Owners and managers of industrial properties gathered for a series of roundtable discussions with industry experts on the final afternoon of the BOMA International Conference & Expo.
LBA Realty regional operations manager Karen Piper discussed ways to improve relationships with tenants through active engagement.
One attendee who owns industrial and office properties noted that it can be much more difficult to engage with industrial tenants and that they often felt ignored or rushed when stopping into a warehouse they owned.
Karen recommended surprising tenants with food from time to time. She often brings bagels in the morning and, during the summer months, will come into the warehouse with ice cream for all the employees.
"The tenants don't expect it," she said. "Every little thing we've tried has worked really well."
Karen also discussed partnering with tenants on sustainability. If tenants will share their utility information, the owner can help them achieve better efficiency.
"Put your energy into the ones that are willing to be open to it," she said, noting that some tenants will remain closed off to the idea.
Prologis VP of regional property Brian Cottone doesn't like to use the word vendor, instead referring to them as partners.
"A true partner is someone who values what they are doing for you," Brian said.
He said as partners, vendors should proactively take care of issues when they arise without having to trouble the owner with every small problem.
"The key is relationship building," Bob said. "But more importantly, being blatantly honest, 'Here's what I'm looking for and here's what I expect and you have one, two, three strikes and then you're out.'"
Prologis director of property management Vince Zuppa had a full table to discuss recent technological innovations and how they are disrupting industrial real estate.
Among the technologies discussed were electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles, roof sensing technology and solar panels.
Vince also discussed the impact technology has on humans, with some warehouses now needing a fraction of the workers they once employed.
"It's the ability to be resilient and embrace and understand the technologies and use them appropriately," Vince said.