Continuing on the insightful 2010 Developing Leaders (DL) Intel Survey, DL members were surveyed once more in January 2011 to gauge their outlook on the year ahead and their thoughts on what’s in store for the commercial real estate industry. Areas addressed in the survey included hot topics, networking opportunities, development potential, education interest and future outlook. The results are intriguing and positive, demonstrating a shift of momentum in the industry over the previous 12 months.
More DLs continue to see signs of optimism return to the industry, with approximately 82 percent predicting the commercial real estate outlook to improve somewhat or significantly in 2011. This renewed confidence is 26 percent higher compared to how many DLs felt about the economy in 2010. Despite the upbeat pulse, DLs see the biggest threats to their local market in 2011 as economic/demand factors (49 percent), lack of financing (27 percent) and oversupply (18 percent). The unstable economy is of greatest concern to respondents, with 66 percent reporting it as worrisome to the future of commercial real estate, followed by concerns about interest rates (15 percent).
In 2010, DLs saw the top three development opportunities as public/institutional (26 percent), medical office (24 percent) and multi-family (11.5 percent). In 2011, it’s a different ball game. Multi-family came in first at 33 percent, with medical office second at 19 percent and mixed-use third at 12 percent. Hotel is still seen as the weakest development opportunity in 2011, as it was in 2010.
Developing Leaders don’t plan to watch the action happen idly on the sidelines, and indicate career growth a priority in 2011. The majority said they plan to attend seminars, classes or online education offerings this year (36 percent). Others plan to read industry publications and news updates (25 percent), get involved in a professional mentor relationship (19 percent), participate in social media outlets for professional uses (11 percent) or grow their career by other means (8 percent).
Cash-strapped organizations are still limited with the amount of funds available for DLs to travel to attend industry events or education opportunities in 2011, with 50 percent saying their travel budget will only allow them to attend select destination meetings and local events. However, with approximately 56 percent of DLs saying they are connected to fellow NAIOP members through NAIOP’s Facebook, Twitter and Linked In social media platforms, it’s easier than ever for DLs to network and share ideas. Another 31 percent say that although they aren’t currently connected through NAIOP’s social media outlets, they plan to do so in 2011.