Being an Industrial Real Estate Broker – What We LearnPosted
Michael Hill Properties is an Industrial Real Estate Broker, however there are five separate disciplines in the field of commercial real estate brokerage: office, retail, industrial, land and investments. Each has its peculiarities and good practicing real estate brokers can be very successful in each. However, to me, the field of industrial real estate brokerage is more “technical” of the five and my 40+ years in this business is a testament this.
In marketing distribution warehouse properties, one learns early on about “ESFR sprinklers”, the difference between “tilt walls” and “curtain walls” and how the fire marshal can shut the tenant down if the commodities being stored are not done according to the published guidelines; and along with this, the importance of an existing “Certificate of Occupancy”, when considering a previously occupied space/building to buy or lease.
In marketing food distribution warehouse properties, one learns the difference between “Ammonia” and “Freon” refrigeration systems and why one would build NEW using one over the other. Another simple but important point of knowledge is learning why there is a painted area one foot wide around the perimeter of the warehouse interior, and what kind of traps work best for mice. One also learns about “dock seals”, what kind of sprinklers work in a freezer, the difference between a freezer for ice cream and one for meat products, and why a refrigerated dock area for product staging is important.
In marketing crane served buildings, newcomers learn about economical spans for heavy cranes (50 ton+) and travel speeds for cranes of varying capacities. And, they will need to understand the importance of core testing of slabs for bearing capability of extremely heavy loads, and the difference between the two electrical service measurements of: Volts/Phase/Amps as compared to KVA. An important piece of information when considering sites is the width of a property. It is generally a critical factor when bringing long flat-bed trucks into “side loading doors” and being able to drive under the cranes.
In marketing ship channel properties, Industrial real estate brokers will learn that buying land which is actually under water is not necessarily a bad thing and that “Deep Water” implies the need to bring in ships in addition to barges. When considering a barge dock, particularly for large equipment transportation, a low bridge or anything overhanging the waterway may be a huge factor because it potentially restricts free movement of the barges. Another important fact is that the “Fleeting” area is a very desirable part of a barge dock operation in that floating “Spud Barges” attached to “Spud Pilings” can be critical in keeping barges safe during hurricanes as well as a place to tie out barges during the regular operation of the dock.
Bottom line: We never cease to learn! Industrial real estate brokers are in a “technical” business and those new folks training to be good at this discipline, when success happens, will know these things! Stay tuned!
Michael Hill Properties offers more than 40 years of experience in brokering commercial industrial properties, such as distribution warehousing and manufacturing, for sale and lease in the Greater Houston Area as well as outside of Houston. For more information on Michael Hill Properties, visit mhprop.com or call (713) 960-6060.