An SIOR Conference
at a Glance
By Allison B. Millar
Recovering from the Downturn. Preparing
for the Future.
As real estate practitioners stop to catch their collective breaths after more than two years of
upheaval, there are signs that better days are ahead.
A steady recovery in the manufacturing sector; a slow
growth in expansion and relocation by some companies within the United States; and projections of a significant growth in Asia's middle class are
just a few examples. According to Peter J.
Haack, Jr., a senior investment management consultant with Morgan Stanley Smith
Barney, the industry should expect a slow
recovery over the next 12 to 24 months.
The SIOR 2011 Fall World Conference,
"Coming out on Top," provided the 800 plus
attendees with important insights into how
to refocus, rebuild, and reposition for the future. While challenges remain for the industry, real estate professionals who
think strategically and become an integral part of their clients'
decision making should be better positioned for the future.
The conference reinforced the concept that business decisions are made as part of a global economy
and there are multiple factors that shape a decision to
build, expand, consolidate, move production overseas or
add production in the United States. All of those decisions will have an impact on the real estate industry.
Real estate professionals should look beyond their indi-
Peter J. Haack
vidual markets to how client businesses interact and are
affected by regional and national supply chain issues and
global currency and labor fluctuations. They must also focus
on the challenges in redesigning space to meet today's technology, equipment and distribution requirements.
The Growing Middle Class
During the next decade or more, two important population shifts are expected to impact
the market in a positive way and create opportunities both nationally and abroad. An estimated two billion people will be moving into
the middle class, primarily in Asia. This huge
influx of buying power can have dramatic
effects on companies of all sizes, as they build
and expand to meet the demand for goods and
services, according to William A. Strauss,
senior economist and economic advisor
with the Federal Reserve Bank in Chicago.
Also, the United States has an estimated
76 million "Echo Boomers" born between
1982 and 1995 who are poised to spend
$170 billion of their own and their parents'
money on goods and services each year.
Real estate practitioners should take an
active role in identifying opportunities for
companies that want to tap into these tremendous buying pools, according to Jim Reeb,