NAI Global Convention Recap: CRE Essentials In 2022

One of the knock-on effects of the last two years has been a lack of opportunities to meet up and discuss our professional ideas and successes in person. For many of us in the commercial real estate (CRE) space, the chance to talk to our peers, network, and catch up on news from different sectors is the lifeblood of how we do business.

With that in mind, we were delighted to be able to return to normal scheduling this year with the NAI Global Convention, which ran at The Roosevelt New Orleans from January 31st to February 2nd. With over 500 attendees joining us from NAI Offices around the globe, the convention was a fantastic opportunity to get back into the swing of things, as we heard from a selection of expert guest speakers.

And while there were far too many noteworthy contributions to mention all of them, we’ve rounded up some of the highlights below:

NAI Global State of the Union address

A highly-anticipated speaker at the convention was NAI Global President and CEO Jay Olshonsky, who ran through NAI’s achievements from 2021. One of the most noteworthy was the close collaboration between brokers in the global network, with Jay pointing out: “Last year NAI Offices sent out deals totaling $18 million in cash commissions to dozens of our brokers. Our teams collectively completed 492 broker-to-broker transactions. The network is sending business to each other like never before.”

Jay also pointed out the many new member firms that joined the company in 2021, both in the U.S and further afield in Barcelona, Paris, and in the U.K.

Power Women in CRE

Another stellar presentation was the Tuesday morning slot moderated by Michele Stein, COO of NAI Capital in Los Angeles, highlighting the opportunities for women in CRE. Joining Michele on the panel were Christie Coats, Lacey Conway, and Haley Vannatta.

Some key themes that emerged were encouraging opportunities for women in leadership roles, and the importance of mentoring through various career stages, particularly for women who were just starting out.

The panel also discussed the role of DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) initiatives, both within the company and when dealing with clients. For many clients, they pointed out, ensuring that the firms they work with are inclusive is a big part of doing business.

Logistics and Industrial

One of the last talks of the convention, by logistics industry specialist Adam Roth, highlighted some important developments in the booming logistics real estate sector.

Adam noted that there are some key challenges facing the logistics industry, including new legal requirements for how long drivers can stay behind the wheel, but pointed out that there are also many new opportunities. Some of his key suggestions for how CRE and logistics companies should engage with the space going forward included:

  • Intermodal facilities dedicated to serving mixed methods of transport, such as trucking and rail, or port to rail.
  • Development of new logistics facilities and industrial distribution centers.
  • Reduce the “length of haul” so that drivers travel shorter distances between hubs.

As additional food for thought, Adam mentioned the importance of local manufacturing in addressing supply chain challenges.  For commerce giants like Walmart, he added, there’s been a shift towards locally produced goods that may see new facilities and developments springing up to accommodate this new approach.

Getting 2022 off to the right start

For many of us, 2022 feels like the year when we are finally getting “back to normal.” For us at NAI Global, being able to mingle with colleagues again and catch up on the real estate developments in their area has really made that feeling a reality.

We extend our thanks to all attendees and presenters who came together to make this event a huge success and we look forward to seeing even more of you at next year’s convention!