Why Retail Investment Platforms Are Expanding Now

Originally Published: Globe St

SRS Real Estate Partners has expanded its capital markets team in Southern California, hiring two seasoned investment sales experts, Rich Walter, who joins the firm as EVP, and Pat Kent, who joins the firm as SVP. Both Walter and Kent will be based in Newport Beach. Chris Maguire, CEO and chairman of the board for SRS, says that the new hires should “signal” to the industry that SRS is positioned as a leader in retail capital markets. We sat down with Walter and Matthew Mousavi, managing principal of the national net lease group and investment properties group, to talk about the firm’s expansion both in Southern California and nationally.

GlobeSt.com: Why is this a good time to expand your retail capital markets platform in Southern California?

Matthew Mousavi: SRS has had a strong presence in Southern California since 1989, making this firm one of the longest standing brokerages in the region. As with the other 20+ offices throughout the country, the roots of the company lie in tenant representation and project leasing. By structuring our advisory services from the “bottom up,” from the asset level to capital markets solutions, we are building a platform that will last through any market cycle, with experienced brokers who have gone through market changes. With the momentum of the SRS investment teams nationally, and by growing strategically rather than based on a broker count, we believe we will weather through market changes. Talented brokers will last through market fluctuations, and as this firm has been through many cycles, we are less concerned about the timing of hiring and more focused on aligning with the right people.

GlobeSt.com: Tell me about your retail capital markets activity this year in this market, and how it compares to 2017?

Rich Walter: We are expanding this platform nationally, and our investment activity is up this year compared to 2017 while the industry is down as a whole as changes in the overall market continue to take place. Collectively we have over $1.5 billion in inventory in over 30 states. With our highly collaborative culture and network we can provide our clients with a full service experience that is catered exclusively to the retail markets. The firm’s deep relationships on the tenant representation side, along with our physical presence in over 20 markets across the country allows us to employ various resources depending on the needs of the client, asset specific.

Mousavi: Our investment capabilities continue to grow, with investment agents in multiple markets throughout the Western U.S., mountain states, Midwest, Southeast and Northeast. The National Net Lease Group, the single-tenant platform of SRS, continues to be a robust driver of activity on the net lease side. With Rich Walter, Pat Kent, Kyle Stonis, Pierce Mayson and their team throughout the Southeast, and our investment brokers located throughout the country focusing on anchored multi-tenant centers are well positioned to provide our clients advisory services suited to their needs.

GlobeSt.com: How will your recent recruiting efforts help you to continue to expand the platform?

Walter: The addition of myself and Pat Kent will drive further momentum and activity to our western U.S. investment team in Southern California and nationally. Most recently, SRS’ investment, project leasing, and tenant representation teams received more CoStar Power Broker awards than any other retail brokerage in the Southern California region. We are well positioned to continue this expansion and leverage the investment team across SRS’ offices nationwide. I will be working with our various partners in these markets to expand on our efforts.

GlobeSt.com: What are you goals this year in terms of your expansion plans and recruiting efforts?

Walter: Throughout its 30+ year history and continuing through today, SRS agents and offices collaborate in other markets for the benefit of the client or project, whether on behalf of a retailer, or property owner. The firm’s relationships are deep and long standing, and while some of our competition on the investment side has a national presence, most lack the intimate understanding of the retailer and the complexities of project leasing on an asset level, with no physical presence in those markets. Those relationships and resources cannot be easily duplicated, and the firm is doubling down on leveraging this collective intelligence to drive more value to our clients. We are working with the established investment team in the Southeast led by Kyle Stonis and Pierce Mayson, together with our West Coast based investment team, to actively recruit the right agents in various markets. Our goal is not to over-broker the platform; rather, our focus is to hire the right cultural and strategic partners in various markets to establish the capital markets presence for the firm. We see a shifting market as a good time to align with agents who recognize the value in our vertically integrated, full service brokerage firm.

GlobeSt.com: What is you outlook for retail capital markets activity this year in Southern California? Mousavi: We see continued demand for core assets, and high quality real estate. Retail is driven by the consumer, and well-located shopping centers will continue to thrive if they’re properly merchandised, capitalized, with the right business plan in place. With the 10-year treasury continuing its upward trajectory, and monetary policy tightening, coupled with the impacts of changing consumer behavior and e-commerce, now more than ever owners and operators of shopping center assets need to have the right team in place.