Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in Louisville Business First.
Matthew Hartlage works as a Vice President of Brokerage in JLL’s industrial sector. He specializes in the leasing and sale of industrial properties throughout Louisville and Southern Indiana.
Years in the industry: 14
Favorite Louisville neighborhood: St. Matthews
Why did you get into the real estate business?
Real estate has always piqued my interest, and I wanted the opportunity to interact with businesses and owners in order to understand their operational needs so that I might become a trusted adviser able to assist with their real estate-related needs. Over coffee with a mentor in spring 2004, I realized seizing the chance to join the industrial team at Harry K. Moore Co. (now JLL) would be the perfect fit.
What are some up-and-coming areas to look out for in Louisville real estate?
The opening of the Lewis and Clark Bridge will continue to fuel growth in Southern Indiana, but Kentucky passing right-to-work [legislation] and proximity to Louisville International Airport/Interstate 65 corridor will continue to drive demand in established, infill locations.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to build a real estate portfolio?
Find and partner with a trusted mentor that is willing to make an investment in teaching you the fundamentals of a deal. Ensure you truly understand the property type and submarket.
What do you wish more people understood about the way your business operates?
The biggest thing people misunderstand is how important trust and communication are between the client and broker. Whether you are a large or small client, you are going to receive the same high level of service each time and the more information you share about your needs/goals, the better I am able to serve you.
What’s one thing most people don’t think about when planning a move to a new space?
The time and complexity of finalizing the transaction and completing a move. The devil is in the details – start early.
What technology is transforming the way you work every day?
General access to information expedites the process considerably and makes communicating with clients faster and easier. As a company’s trusted resource, it is imperative to be the boots on the ground and understand market activity / conditions in order to take advantage of technological advances in delivering the information. The creation of proprietary marketing and analytics tools has enabled brokers to showcase market intelligence and portfolio data in a streamlined, efficient way.
What’s your industry’s greatest challenge?
The obvious answer for the industrial sector (and it is not unique to Louisville) is labor — finding and keeping qualified employees is a challenge. Additionally, the frothy institutional investment market over recent years has led to a consolidation of landlords which could impact competition in various submarkets. One recent development to watch is the unveiling of a “clear lease” (gross lease structure), which will further simplify the transaction process by an owner with a large local presence and a long-term hold outlook.