By Jonathan O’Connell, Updated: Monday, June 18, 8:08 AM
“Research in our industry [typically] is very commodity-like and never truly lives up to the expectations of clients,” said John Sikaitis, director of local markets research for the Americas at Jones Lang LaSalle. “It’s to regurgitate information — it’s essentially kind of reactive information. It’s essentially a back-of-the-office function.”
Since joining Jones Lang LaSalle in 2005, Sikaitis and his partner, Scott Homa, have gone about growing a team of researchers who don’t view their jobs as stepping stones to brokerage work. Sikaitis avoids hiring people from other real estate firms or who are looking to become brokers, instead looking for people who want to become experts on a subject and grow that expertise over a long period, much as researchers do in the financial services industry.
“It’s not odd for someone to be a research analyst at Goldman Sachs for 35 years … we want our researchers for Maryland or Virginia to be that same point of contact,” he said.
Colliers gave K.C. Conway similar stature after hiring him from the Federal Reserve in 2010. When executives from Dexus Property Group, Australia’s largest office owner, came to Colliers considering the sale of a 65-property U.S. industrial portfolio, brokers quickly brought Conway in to analyze the best course of action — not to provide basic vacancy and pricing information. The firm sold the portfolio to Blackstone Group for $770 million.
“I think research has evolved from less of a commodity to more of a value-add that can take the ingredients and put them together,” Conway said.
source: The Washington Post.com