16C — September 25 - October 15, 2020 — Fall Preview — M id A tlantic Real Estate Journal


CORFAC I nternational

ByAlan Joel, CCIM, principal of Joel &Granot Commercial Real Estate/ CORFAC International and 2020 President CORFAC International How CRE brokers can lead in business recovery post-pandemic


he northeast United States was the first to bear the brunt of the

industry has adapted to this “new normal.” How we use buildings has never been under greater scrutiny, given the virus’s ability to exploit crowded, enclosed spaces. Coupled with the pandemic’s eco- nomic affects and the social unrest that has changed com- munities across the nation, everyone in real estate has had to adapt. In my role as president of CORFAC International, a glob- al network for independently owned commercial real estate

U.S. companies at different stages of reopening, we’ve had to grasp our clients’ unique needs to guide them through decisions. Clients are considering how imple- menting social distancing in their current space will work and affect their office culture. If they need to move, they must balance how a choice made now can be adapted post-pandemic. “Our tenant rep clients want to know which build- ings offer minimal inter- action with the public as

a qualifier for looking at new space,” noted Richie Blue, president of Blue & Obrecht/CORFAC Interna- tional. “End-user clients are asking what the landlord is doing to make their office facilities safe.” He shared that Maryland- based Blue & Obrecht is also focused onmarketing listings to tenants in downtown high- rises that are migrating to low-rise suburban buildings where office density is less of a concern. Clients may also be looking to cut facility costs in a reces- sionary environment with an uncertain recovery length. Communication and flexibility will be paramount to address their expense concerns. “CRE advisors can offer insight to both tenants and landlords, informing each of current trends and needs,” added Blue. “We are encour- aging landlords to commu- nicate with tenants to give them a level of comfort and security, and are encourag- ing landlords to work with tenants who are facing in- come difficulties.” With a public health emer- gency, an economic crisis and civil unrest over racial ineq- uity converging, real estate brokers are being called to expand their involvement in their communities. Recovery goes beyond bringing people back into buildings. The wellness, equitable access and safety of their occupants must be accounted for, as well. By Alan Joel, CCIM, prin- cipal, Joel & Granot Com- mercial Real Estate/ COR- FAC International. MAREJ Residential real estate & mortgage market . . . continued from page 13B maintain that if rates remain below 4%, the housing market will continue to be strong. It is my recommendation for anyone who has not yet evaluated their current mortgage financing op - portunities to do so now if they truly want to catch the lowest rates in history. S h m u e l S h a y o w i t z (NMLS#19871) is president and chief lending officer at Approved Funding, a private- ly held local mortgage banker and direct lender. MAREJ

firms, we’ve had to revamp how we connect, share best practices and arrange cross-market deals between our members, but we’ve also learned a great deal from each other over months of virtual meetings. Our member firms have seized the opportunity to change how we operate quick- ly, but with longevity in mind. We’ve quickly embraced video and 360-degree photo technol- ogy for listings and invested in digital tools and marketing to reach clients. At the same time, with

coronavirus pandemi c , a n d n o w more than six months af ter New York, Mas- sachusetts, Ma r y l a n d and o t he r

Alan Joel

states enacted business and public gathering shutdowns, we’re taking stock of how the commercial real estate

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