Category: Industrial

Strategic Location Helping Rockdale/Newton County Submarket Draw Big-Box Tenants

Jul22
2020
Posted by
Marketing Staff

 

Facebook, Lidl and other leading companies commit to opening large distribution hubs in the submarket

When Ackerman & Co. moved forward with plans for Rockdale Technology Center, a 1-million-square-foot master-planned industrial park in Conyers, Ga., the site’s strategic location in the Rockdale/Newton County submarket of Atlanta was a big selling point.

Most importantly, the property offers convenient access to I-20, a major east-west highway that connects to Atlanta’s dense population centers to the west and to the ports of Savannah and Charleston to the east.

To date, Ackerman & Co. has developed two Class A distribution facilities on the 92-acre site of 135,000 square feet and 185,000 square feet. Later this quarter, Ackerman will begin development on its largest project so far on the site – a 325,000-square-foot facility that will serve a prominent manufacturing company.

“As land availability becomes more limited in industrial submarkets close-in to Atlanta, Rockdale County will continue attracting the interest of companies seeking modern, efficient distribution space,” said Brett Buckner, Senior Vice President of Ackerman & Co.’s Industrial Services group. “At Rockdale Technology Center, the ability for distributors to gain quick access to I-20 as well as connect to a CSX rail line are strategic advantages.”

Some big-name consumer companies are choosing to locate major distribution operations in the submarket for the same reasons.

Construction is expected to be completed this summer in Social Circle on a 970,000-square-foot flex data center for social media giant Facebook that will create an estimated 100 jobs, and Germany-based grocer Lidl recently announced plans for a 925,000-square-foot distribution center in Covington that will create 270 jobs and serve as its regional headquarters.

These major projects indicate that Rockdale/Newton County is becoming an increasingly prominent distribution hub for metro Atlanta. There is currently 1.7 million square feet under construction in the submarket, significantly higher than typical construction levels in a submarket that boasts one of the lowest vacancy rates in metro Atlanta at 3.7 percent. That compares to a market-wide vacancy rate of 7.2 percent as of 2Q 2020.

The Rockdale/Newton County submarket is part of Atlanta’s Snapfinger/I-20 East market, which totals 49,637,758-square-feet of industrial space. As of 2Q 2020, the market had the lowest vacancy rate in metro Atlanta at 3.2% and total year-to-date absorption of 473,594 square feet– one of the highest absorption rates in the market.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic initially resulted in a slowdown in leasing activity in the Atlanta industrial market at the start of the second quarter, leasing volumes have surged in recent weeks, and CoStar predicts vacancies are likely to remain below Atlanta’s historic average.

 

Apr28
2020
Posted by
Marketing Staff

During Atlanta’s post-recession economic boom, its industrial market posted some of the strongest numbers in the nation, registering positive absorption for nearly nine years in a row.

Along with a thriving economy, Atlanta’s low business costs, extensive transportation infrastructure, and one-day access to the fast-growing Southeast ports seemed to have the industrial sector positioned to continue the positive momentum.

Of course, the ongoing coronavirus emergency has changed the landscape for the industrial sector, along with every other property type. But there are signs that the impact on the industrial real estate may be less severe.

A strong foundation
As one of the nation’s most important distribution hubs, Atlanta has continued to attract major e-commerce operations along with a full range of consumer goods companies and logistics providers.

The Atlanta market’s major lease deals in the past six months include Amazon’s 2.8 million-square-foot distribution center in Stone Mountain and its 1 million-square-foot lease in Newnan, Ga.

Other big deals and projects include Goodyear Tires’ 1.5-million-square-foot build-to-suit project in Newnan, Ga. Online personal styling service Stitch Fix leased 925,800 square feet in the I-20 West/Douglasville submarket, while XPO Logistics leased 673,818 square feet in the Airport/South Atlanta submarket and SBS Transportation leased 517,500 square feet in Palmetto, Ga.

The surging demand for industrial space in Atlanta led investors to ramp up new construction, which currently totals approximately 19 million square feet, according to CoStar. Vacancy levels as of mid-April remained low at 6.4% and the overall rental rate was $6.16, a 6.4% increase from the previous year.

What’s next?
Those numbers don’t yet reflect the changes taking place throughout the economy. The big question now is: How much will industrial demand be impacted by the COVID-19 crisis?

“You’ve got your recession-proof types of businesses – companies needing refrigeration for food products and manufacturers of essential goods. And, of course, there continues to be strong demand from e-commerce companies like Amazon,” said Chris Miller, Senior Vice President in Ackerman & Co.’s Industrial Services group.

In addition to Amazon, other e-commerce retailers are experiencing skyrocketing sales due to the millions of Americans who have turned to online shopping to purchase everything from health products and clothing to toilet paper and canned foods. There could also be a long-range movement toward the on-shoring of manufacturing due to disruptions in the supply chain for products such as pharmaceuticals.

However, there are definitely issues of concern. Cargo volumes at the Port of Savannah, now the nation’s third-busiest container port, declined by nearly 20 percent in March following a lengthy period of record increases. In addition, the retail shutdown that has spurred widespread layoffs will also impact demand levels, although the extent is not yet known.

Even so, CoStar expects fundamentals to stay afloat. Based on Oxford Economics forecasts, CoStar currently anticipates that – even in a severe downside scenario – Atlanta industrial vacancies will likely remain below the market’s long-term historical average.

“Deal volume through the first quarter was roughly equal to the metro’s quarterly average. We expect deal volume to slow, but CoStar clients remain active in sourcing and performing due diligence on deals during the crisis,” said David Kahn, Managing Analyst at CoStar, in a recent video report. “If the situation improves in the coming months, it wouldn’t be surprising to see an uptick in transaction activity in the second half of 2020.”

Chris Miller echoed that cautiously optimistic outlook.

“The industrial sector is historically the last to see a downturn and the first to recover,” he said. “When we get the all-clear, there will be a lot of activity because people are buckled in and ready to see this situation improve so they can get deals done. I think there is optimism that we’ll come out of this strong.”

Mar20
2020
Posted by
Marketing Staff

As Ackerman & Co. steadily strengthens its services platform and adds talent to its brokerage group, the firm continues to solidify its position as a leading commercial real estate firm in the Southeast.

One way to measure a firm’s success is by the number of its brokers who are named to the Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors (ACBR) Million Dollar Club. A total of 11 Ackerman brokers were named to the Million Dollar Club at the recent 2020 ACBR awards.

“This is the most brokers we’ve ever had named to the Million Dollar Club,” said Kris Miller. “Our brokerage team is producing great results for our clients and we’ll continue building our team and the quality of our services to keep those results coming.”

The Ackerman brokers added to the 2020 Million Dollar Club include Courtney Brumbelow, Brett Buckner, Bryan Davis, Brian Lefkoff, Chris Miller, Kris Redding, Sean Patrick, John Speros, Jimmy Stevens, Kelly Wilson and Larry Wood.

Three of Ackerman’s 2020 Million Dollar Club members took home Top 10 Broker honors – Brian Lefkoff (the No. 5 Retail Broker), Courtney Brumbelow (the No. 8 Retail Broker) and John Speros (the No. 5 Land Broker).

As leader of Ackerman Retail’s Tenant Representation Group, Brian’s major deals included a 30,000-square-foot lease on behalf of Painted Tree Marketplace in Buford, Ga., which marked the retailer’s first store in Georgia, while Courtney completed nearly 100 real estate transactions as the head of the Landlord Representation Group.

A long-time high producer for Ackerman as Senior Vice President of the Land Group, John’s biggest transaction was the $18 million, 65-acre land sale for the Exchange at Gwinnett mixed-use project, which he brokered with Senior Vice President Larry Wood. The project, also named one of the three finalists for ACBR’s 2020 Alvin B. Cates Award, will feature Top Golf, Andretti Indoor Karting & Games, Rooms To Go and more.

The Million Dollar Club recognizes brokers with production of $5 million or more in annual commercial transactions.

Feb28
2020
Posted by
Marketing Staff

2020 South Metro Development Outlook: South Atlanta Is Ready for Its Closeup

Don’t sleep on South Metro Atlanta.

That was the message from speakers at the 2020 South Metro Development Outlook conference recently held at the Georgia International Convention Center. The conference, now in its 18th year, gathers commercial real estate professionals, business leaders and elected officials to discuss the latest economic development trends in the region.

South Metro communities have tended to lag behind Atlanta’s bustling submarkets to the north like Midtown, Buckhead, Central Perimeter, Alpharetta and Cumberland-Galleria, which have become some of the most prominent business hubs in the Southeast. But the South Metro – a six-county area south of I-20 – is increasingly attracting the interest of investors, including regional, national and international players.

Ackerman & Co. is one of those investors bullish on South Metro. The company, with partner MDH Partners, purchased the 423,000-square-foot Lee + White project in the West End area just south of I-20 and is currently diversifying the popular entertainment and food & beverage destination to include loft offices, retail and a food hall.

Ackerman & Co. Reports on 2020 South Atlanta Development Outlook conference

In addition to Lee + White, Ackerman is involved in the $1-billion Airport City project in College Park as the exclusive land broker marketing the 320-acre property adjacent to the airport for a mix of office, hotel, retail, entertainment, residential and other uses.

“The time is right for this type of mixed-use development in South Atlanta. This area has traditionally been underserved by retail in particular, but the opportunity to serve the local community as well as the millions of Hartsfield-Jackson passengers who visit annually makes it ideal for the local, national and international end users we’re seeking to attract,” said Steve Langford, Ackerman & Co. Senior Vice President and land broker for Airport City.

Investing in Future Growth
The South Metro region is home to the biggest economic driver in the state – Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, which serves 100 million passengers a year, employs 63,000 on-site workers and generates a $34.8-billion annual economic impact.

Ackerman & Co. Reports on 2020 South Atlanta Development Outlook conference

Speakers pointed to a number of trends and developments that position the region to attract economic development while leveraging its strategic location at the gateway to the world’s busiest airport.

South Atlanta is the largest industrial submarket in metro Atlanta, with a total of 196 million square feet of warehouse and manufacturing space. It is also home to global headquarters such as Delta International and Chick-fil-A. More recently, South Metro attracted the relocation of Porsche Cars North America headquarters from Sandy Springs, a $100-million project that includes the Experience Center race track.

The region is preparing for much more success. Aerotropolis Atlanta, a public-private partnership representing 13 South Atlanta communities, aims to create the region’s next premier business district. Aerotropolis is working with other agencies on a variety of infrastructure improvements, including a $13-million diverging diamond interchange at Camp Creek Parkway and I-285 designed to improve traffic flows around the Airport.

“We don’t want to duplicate the traffic congestion of other parts of the metro,” said Gerald McDowell, executive director of the Aerotropolis Atlanta CID.

Another project being proposed is a “pod car” network that would provide speedy connections to Airport terminals and nearby destinations such as the Porsche and Delta headquarters via dedicated cars holding up to eight passengers. This project would cost roughly $15 million per mile, McDowell said, which is far less than other public transportation initiatives.

“We have been denied transportation solutions because we’ve been told it’s not affordable,” he said. “This is affordable, and we believe this is a solution that could provide an example of how to expand throughout the region.”

Adding Amenities to Attract Talent & Businesses
The film industry has a growing presence in the South Metro region, and it’s generating some exciting spin-off development. Pinewood Forest, a 235-acre mega project near Pinewood Atlanta Studios, will ultimately feature 700 homes, 600 apartments, 300 hotel rooms, and 270,000 square feet of commercial space with restaurants, retail and a 9-screen theater featuring a rooftop cinema.

“This type of development is setting the stage for attracting talent, and the companies that employ them will follow,” said Joan Young, president of the Fayette County Development Authority.

Christopher Pike, economic development director for the City of South Fulton, discussed two major projects planned in the newly formed city, including a town center mixed-use development and a 200-acre riverfront district.

“These are quality of life projects that will bring a different flavor to South Fulton,” Pike said.

In addition to new amenities that will help the South Metro better compete with northern communities, the region has another major selling point – its lower development costs.

Shannon James, president and CEO of the Aerotropolis Atlanta Alliance, said the relatively low cost of land – which includes 50,000 acres of undeveloped land around Hartsfield-Jackson – impressed his colleagues from Beijing, China’s, Aerotropolis.

“They salivated over the opportunities here compared to the cost in their neck of the woods,” he said

Jan2
2020
Posted by
Marketing Staff

Brokers are vital to the success of every full-service real estate company, and Ackerman & Co. is fortunate to have a talented, diverse team ranging from young associate brokers to veterans with 40-plus years of experience.

At the close of every year, Ackerman & Co. recognizes brokers on both ends of that spectrum with its Broker Awards.

We’re excited to announce that John Speros is the recipient of our Broker of the Year Award and Kris Redding is our Young Broker of the Year.

Another Stand-Out Year for Veteran Broker

One of Ackerman’s most experienced and high-producing brokers, John Speros has been with the firm since 2009. He has expertise in virtually every type of commercial real estate transaction, from the sale of land parcels for single-family, multifamily and mixed-use developments to the disposition of portfolios and the acquisition of sites for commercial and residential development. His current focus is the representation of owners in land sales as leader of the Ackerman/Pioneer Land Group with Kyle Gable.

This past year has been one of John’s most productive, which is saying a lot for someone who has received multiple high-profile Atlanta market awards throughout his career – including recognition as the second-highest producing commercial land broker in 2010 and receiving the Alvin B. Cates Award for the most significant commercial real estate transaction in 2003 and 2007.

In 2019, John completed land transactions totaling nearly $75 million. Some of his biggest transactions include the $7.3-million sale of 35 acres in Gwinnett County that will become the site of the 330-unit Alta Sugarloaf multifamily complex and the $8.9-million sale of 152 acres in New Smyrna Beach, Fla., that will be used to expand a public park.

“We’re very fortunate to have someone with John’s experience and ability. He has been a key member of our team for years, and it’s great to see him have another hugely successful year,” said Kris Miller.

What stands out most about John to Kyle Gable is his combination of commercial real estate expertise and his willingness to serve as a mentor to younger brokers.

“I think there are two main qualities that make John so good in the land business. The first is his overall knowledge of all the different types of land transactions – he brings an array of knowledge to the table that most brokers just don’t have,” Gable said. “Second is his ability to get a deal closed. John understands the complexity of real estate and how to get the deal across the goal line.”

Kyle himself has benefited from John’s generosity in sharing his expertise. “When I was a 26-year-old with limited land experience, John took me under his wing and showed me how to work on land transactions and ultimately get them closed. In working with him over the past 10 years, I have seen him spend time with many young brokers teaching them about real estate,” he said.

Young Broker Hitting His Stride

A former NFL and Canadian Football League player, Kris Redding began his real estate career during the 2015 off season and now represents clients in both lease and sales transactions. Since joining Ackerman in 2017, he has demonstrated an ability to grow client relationships and become a valued partner in helping them achieve their business goals.

“It’s an honor to receive this award.” said Redding. “Ackerman’s prestige, tenured relationships within the industry, prolific resources and internal support system have provided me with a platform that has galvanized my ability to be productive in our business.” This productivity earned him a place in the NAIOP Million Dollar Club for completing more than $4 million in office leases in 2018.

Kris’s major deals in 2019 include representing Academy Orthopedics in the $5.26 million sale of its North Atlanta medical office portfolio. He also completed three lease transactions concurrently at Phoenix Business Campus with Worker’s United Southern Region, Primerica and Good Ground Development Center in five-year leases totaling 18,314 square feet.

“Kris brings the same hard-working and tenacious work ethic to real estate brokerage as he did to football. We look forward to seeing him continue his growth in commercial real estate as an important part of our brokerage team,” said Miller.

Read more about our brokerage group here: https://www.ackermanco.com/real-estate-services/overview/

Aug9
2019
Posted by
Marketing Staff

This year’s Deloitte’s Commercial Real Estate Outlook Report focuses on how technology and changing tenant and investor expectations are ramping up competition and creating shifts in how products are sold or leased.

With these shifts, what can CRE Companies do to stay competitive and ensure they capture the rapidly growing demand?

Out-of-the-Box Properties and Business Plans – The report states that this year investors plan to increase their focus on mixed-use properties, nontraditional products and retail developments. Flexible leases and business spaces are also going to be an attractive investment.

Adaptability – Investors will be looking for the companies that can quickly respond to the rapidly changing waters of the CRE business world, whether it be with new business models or by adopting “a variety of technologies to make buildings future-ready.”

Tech-savvy presence – To attract potential investors, companies need to be able to stay shoulder to shoulder with technology and present technological agility in the way they market their properties and in their business plans.

Catering to investor and tenant needs should move CRE companies to have a different perspective on the way they do business. By increasing mixed-use, nontraditional and retail products in their portfolios, becoming more adaptable to the changes in the industry and using technological advancements in their favor, CRE companies can change with the industry and be ready for the future to come.

Jul19
2019
Posted by
Marketing Staff

Two Class A industrial buildings – totaling 135,000 SF and 185,000 SF – are ready for occupancy at Rockdale Technology Center, Ackerman & Co.’s newest state-of-the-art industrial development.

Located east of Atlanta in Conyers, Ga., the state-of-the-art industrial park will ultimately offer 1 million square feet of the highest-quality distribution space available in Atlanta’s I-20 East submarket.

Ackerman is targeting e-commerce operations, technology companies, medical companies and logistic providers, among other users. The multi-phase development will house space users that will bring hundreds of jobs to the city of Conyers, Ga.

Brett Buckner, who is leading leasing efforts at the development, recently met up with Rockdale County Board of Commissioners Chairman Oz Nesbitt to discuss the development that has Rockdale County residents talking.

A video of the interview and a written recap are below:

Oz Nesbitt: I’m here at Rockdale Technology Center, 2430 Dogwood Drive, at the long-anticipated opening of this facility. People all over our county have been asking, “Mr. Chairman, what’s happening with Rockdale Technology Center?”

Brett, tell us about the decision to come to Rockdale County.

Brett Buckner: We bought a property down the road about a year ago. And when we got into the market we figured out there’s a niche here for shallow-bay type properties. So we purchased, about a year ago, 92 acres here to build shallow-bay buildings, meaning buildings that are short in depth. This lets us offer as little as 10,000 square feet and up to 135,000 square feet for this building and up to 185,000 square feet in the other building.

Oz Nesbitt: Tell us about the technology piece and how and why you landed on that particular name.

Brett Buckner: It was really a decision with several different people within the company and we thought the name technology, added with the great county we’re in, Rockdale, would attract not only manufacturers that are already out here but also people in the technology business. But we’re not just focused on those two industries. We also have warehouse properties that can accommodate some logistics and also medical-type companies as well.

Oz Nesbitt: You have a prime location. Tell us about I-20 and accessibility, being right here on a frontage road in Rockdale County on Dogwood Drive.

Brett Buckner: When we purchased the property, one of the things that attracted us to the site was the visibility, right here in front of this building. We hope to attract some tenants that can take advantage of that. We can accommodate somebody that needs the visibility or somebody that needs to have just pure warehouse/distribution as well.

Oz Nesbitt: So, Brett, we focused on the four “E’s” here in Rockdale County – Economic development, efficiency, execution and education. Tell me about the interaction with local county government and how they helped you get from point A to point Z. How was that experience for you and your company?

Brett Buckner: When we first started, we met with Marty Jones (executive director at Conyers Rockdale Economic Development Council) and Gina Hartsell (Film Rockdale project manager). They’ve been terrific to work with since the beginning, which was over a year ago. They’ve introduced us to tenants in the area as well as state-run projects. From a development standpoint, they’ve been absolutely terrific. We’re so pleased to be here.

Help is Here – Meet Our Summer Interns!

Jun14
2019
Posted by
Marketing Staff

As summer arrives, so does a new group of interns at Ackerman!

We recently sat down with our interns to discuss how they plan on applying their newly gained experience in the future.

“I’m very excited to be here,” said Emma Lonergan, who is working in the Marketing & Communications department. She is an incoming junior at Georgia College and State University. “I’m learning so much I can apply to my college classes and later in my career.”

Projects she’s working on with Fara Wilson and the marketing team include updating the organization of the promotional items inventory, which she will track and monitor throughout the summer. She’s also working on editorial assignments, including blog writing.

Also joining Ackerman’s Marketing team for the summer is Ellis Snell, who will be assisting in the department’s day-to-day activities and select projects. Ellis is headed to the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) as a freshman this fall.

Harrison Bernhardt, an intern with the Brokerage team, tells us he looks forward to applying everything he learns this summer to his future dream job in commercial real estate. An incoming senior at the University of Georgia, he’s learning a lot from the brokers he’s working with, including how to knock on doors to canvas potential clients.

“I realized that real estate was a better fit for me than finance, my original major in college, because I enjoy working in the field and meeting people face-to-face,” he said.

Also spending the summer interning for the Brokerage group are Bart Kauffman (an incoming senior at Furman University) and Connor Barry (an incoming sophomore at the University of Southern California).

All three Brokerage interns are gaining valuable experience learning commercial real estate research programs as they help our brokers in their ongoing lease and sales efforts. That includes using CoStar, LandVision and other research tools to summarize market trends, prepare lease comparables and access various details on individual properties and owners.

Bart, Connor and Harrison are also getting a first-hand look at the types of projects Ackerman develops. They recently attended a BBQ event and tour at Rockdale Technology Center, the firm’s newest Class A industrial park. Connor and Harrison were responsible for transporting our brokerage guests across the park, and they assisted the Marketing team in setting up and closing down the event.

Alex Barnes (not pictured), an incoming junior at Georgia College and State University, is one of the interns supporting the HR department this summer.

He recently attended the company’s open enrollment benefits session, where he learned about the different healthcare and benefit options available to employees.

“This was incredibly eye-opening,” Alex said. “I was unaware of all the complexities involved in selecting healthcare coverage and the wide-ranging costs.” He’ll be able to call on this knowledge when he enters the workforce and goes through the process of selecting his own insurance.

It’s great to have these bright-eyed and bushy-tailed interns on board with us this summer. We have every confidence they’ll succeed in their future careers!

Apr15
2019
Posted by
Marketing Staff

If you’re the owner-occupant of commercial real estate, have you considered the potential benefits of a sale-leaseback?

A sale-leaseback is when you sell your real estate asset and then lease it back long-term from the buyer. This can be an effective strategy to unlock the value of your real estate, allowing you to draw on the proceeds of the sale.

Let’s look at some of the key ways you can use a sale-leaseback to your business’s advantage:

Produce cash for your operations
Selling your asset in a sale-leaseback transaction allows you to regain access to capital that was previously tied up in your ownership of the building while still operating uninterrupted in the same location.

Then you can use the cash generated from the sale for a variety of purposes: to grow your business, pursue new opportunities, address operational issues, among others.

Gain access to an alternative financing tool
As an alternative financing option, a sale-leaseback offers a nice perk compared to conventional financing – it provides the seller more cash. In a sale-leaseback, you would typically receive 100% of the property’s value compared to 70 percent to 80 percent in conventional mortgage financing.

Another perk is the ability to avoid the burdensome provisions associated with traditional financing, including balloon payments, call provisions and refinancing.

Improve your balance sheet & boost your borrowing capacity
A sale-leaseback removes the asset from your balance sheet, converting a fixed asset into cash proceeds from the sale. In removing this liability from your balance sheet, your loan-to-value ratio is reduced, improving your credit standing and making it easier to borrow additional funds in the future.

Transfer ownership risks to the buyer
Upon completion of the sale-leaseback, the responsibilities of ownership are transferred to the buyer, including the risks of depreciation and obsolescence. Eliminating these and other real estate ownership obligations allows you to direct your attention and financial resources to what matters most – your business operations.

As an owner-operator, a sale-leaseback is a viable option for increasing your financial flexibility and liquidity. Since sale-leasebacks are complicated transactions, it’s crucial to rely on an experienced commercial real estate professional to guide you through the process.

Interested in learning more about sale-leasebacks? Contact us at 770-913-3900.

Mar15
2019
Posted by
Marketing Staff

In a concerted effort to foster diversity within their organizations, many real estate companies are becoming more proactive in recruiting people of color.

To that end, commercial real estate firms are sourcing talent from a broader group of colleges and universities and providing a variety of career development resources.

While the industry is making strides, diversity levels among senior executives could use some improvement. According to NAIOP, white men comprise 78 percent of senior executives and white women make up the next largest segment (14 percent), while black women and black men each comprise 1 percent of the total.

With more than 20 years of experience in commercial real estate, Fara Wilson, vice president of Marketing and Communications at Ackerman & Co., is familiar with both the challenges and rewards of working as a black woman in the industry. She described her experiences in a Bisnow feature, The Black Experience.

“Being black in CRE presents a new opportunity to learn, grow and make money. It also means having access to a client base that typically has not been marketed to by a black broker or not met someone in CRE marketing who looks like him or her,” Fara said.

She added, “On the not-so-positive side, you can run into small-minded people. However, nothing succeeds like success. If you stay focused on the task at hand and do a great job, clients and peers alike will grow to respect you and focus on your ability to deliver.”

In addition to the efforts of individual companies, real estate organizations are working to attract people of color.

The Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors (ACBR), one of the largest realtor associations in America, has a variety of programs aimed at boosting diversity at all levels of commercial real estate.

“Atlanta has been very progressive in civil rights and race relations but our industry has lagged behind,” said Scotland Wright, former Diversity Committee chairman for ACBR, in a promotional video for the association’s diversity programs.

ACBR’s diversity’s initiatives include a mentorship program that helps mentees enhance their skills and expertise; a partnership program that combines the resources of ACBR with organizations such as CoreNet and NAIOP; and an annual event that presents a guest speaker from a diverse background who shares his or her experiences in the industry.

NAIOP, a commercial real estate network with more than 19,000 members, promotes diversity through initiatives such as the Inclusion in CRE Scholarship, which enters up to 10 women and minorities into a curriculum aimed at advancing their commercial real estate careers. The organization also provides examples of best practices companies have adopted to increase diversity.