Joe Barna has approximately 23 years in commercial real estate and co-founded CRESCO Real Estate in 1991. Barna serves as principal and co-managing partner of the firm. His areas of expertise include the sale and leasing of commercial/industrial property, land sales and development, tenant representation, and consulting services.
Q. What are the challenges and opportunities facing the commercial real estate market?
The challenges today are that financing is very tight, the values are decreasing here and across the country, the demand for space is decreasing due to economic ties and downsizing. A lot of companies are hesitant to make long-term decisions, so they’re making short-term decisions, which are more costly in the long run. The opportunities if you’re in the market today is that cash is king. If you’ve got strong financials, that’s a very strong position to be in. It’s also a buyer and tenant market so if you’re looking to buy or you’re a tenant in the market, you’ve got a lot of choices.
Q. Is now a better time to buy or lease office space?
There’s opportunities for both; it’s not one or the other. There’s a lot of vacancy on the leasing side, and it’s really a tenant’s market. There’s concessions out there that are being given. On the flipside, if you’re a buyer, there’s an awful lot of opportunity because sellers have had properties sitting on the market for a long time, and the market has kind of educated them that the values are soft. The appraisals are coming in lower than they were a year or two ago, and so if you’re in a strong financial position, you can pick up an excellent value on the sales side.
Q. How can companies save money on real estate costs?
In today’s market, they need to understand the trends in the market: where the values are, where transactions are being consummated at. One of the ways they can maximize value or save money is to engage consultants either real estate consultants, financial consultants to make sure their decisions are the right decisions.