By Stephen L. Burger, CPM, CRX, CRM
The world is changing. There are technological and social
forces at work that are pushing us to redefine how we work, where we live and
even how we socialize.
We at EBMC are proud of the management services we provide
our diverse clients, in an equally diverse range of what are commonly called
the real estate food groups: multifamily to be sure, but also office,
single-family, industrial, retail and even mobile homes.
Just about all of them are shape-shifting under the pressure
of those above-named forces. Two of the property types we represent--retail and
industrial--are particularly interesting to watch in this watershed time in our
history. No one, frankly, knows what the outcome will be, but there seems to be
a merging of the two as A) shoppers
redefine how they shop and B) online
sources such as Amazon totally rewire traditional distribution systems.
When I was a kid, the last mile was a phrase out of Western
movies. Today, it refers to the need to get goods into the customers’ hands--as
fast as possible.
A recent report that appeared on the website of the Society
of Industrial and Office Realtors stated the following: “In today’s
ultra-competitive retail marketplace, no retailer can afford to sidestep the
challenge of last-mile, same-day delivery. Even minor improvements in arrival
time can delight hard-to-please customers. For years, the US’ $700-billion
freight transportation market was dominated by a few big companies—but new
competitors are rapidly growing. Survival in the fight for the last mile will
be determined by each solution’s performance against time, service and
article (written by JLL’s Kris Bjorson) continues: “From small urban warehouses
to dark stores and showroom-pickup centers, new types of fulfillment centers
are taking shape, as retailers and their distribution partners test new
approaches to improve their product flow, such as pre-sort and post-sort,
aggregation, conveyable versus non-conveyable, returns, and more.”
he didn’t even mention delivery by drones.
you may ask whatever does this have to do with property management? In a way,
everything. While our occupants redefine how they service their customers, property
managers will be equally challenged to provide service to fit their new
operations. Managing a distribution center with human order pickers is a
totally different animal than maintaining an asset with automated processes.
across all disciplines within real estate will be challenged to adjust to a new
era of occupant need, whether it be the broker, the developer or the property
manager. Ongoing training, always a hallmark of professionals in this industry,
will become an even greater necessity if the goal is to remain relevant to all
of our constituencies.
I stated at the top, no one knows where this race for last-mile primacy will
end.The technologies impacting it are
still evolving. But we do know this: Those who fail to embrace the development
and implementation of these advances will be left in the dust.
EUGENE BURGER MANAGEMENT CORPORATION
As president and COO
of Eugene Burger Management Co., Steve Burger
is directly responsible for the overall quality, depth and consistency of
management services provided in all 15 regions in the EBMC coverage map.