Broker Spotlight: Zac Buckley

How did you become interested in commercial real estate?

Before I began my career at Crunkleton, I was working as a banker/financial advisor. One day, Wesley called me—I’d known him for a few years—and he asked me if I’d be interested in joining his team. I met with Richard and Wesley both to discuss the business. After a few days of thinking it over I decided to dive in, and here I am today.

What do you enjoy about your job at Crunkleton?

The process of negotiation is something I’ve always enjoyed. Whether it’s a lease or sale, helping two parties come to a mutually beneficial agreement is very rewarding. It’s not about putting a tenant into a space and just moving on to the next deal. It’s about looking at all of the facts, knowing what’s ahead, and determining where my clients will find the most long-term success. Landlords and tenants have to be on the same page and working together for everyone to be successful.

Zac Buckley

What challenges do you face on the job?

Allocating my time and resources so that each client gets due attention is something that takes effort. I have to constantly make sure that I am working efficiently and understanding what leads are worth pursuing. I also have to make the lease or sale process as smooth as possible. It’s all about using your time effectively and not chasing deals when there are signs on the front end that it won’t be beneficial for your client.

You specialize in retail brokerage, what does that entail?

In the retail sector of commercial real estate, you are dealing directly with shopping, dining, grocery, and much more. I work with a lot of developments that are anchored by grocery store chains like Kroger and Publix. Even the service tenants within the development—like hair salons and insurance businesses—are considered retail real estate. It’s my job to put together a successful tenant mix that allows both the landlord and business owners to be profitable.

Crunkleton has brokers that focus on specific types of commercial real estate to ensure we are experts in a particular area. It keeps us hyper-focused on a specific market.

What do you do to stay on top of your game?

For retail brokerage on a regional and national level, staying active in the community is important. Taking part in events like the ICSC Conference in Las Vegas every year allows me to stay informed about what’s going on with the state of retail. I use that time to connect with brokers and businesses outside of the Huntsville market and bring that expertise back with me to Crunkleton.

What value do you hope to bring to your clients?

When I’m working as a tenant representative, I want to find a place where my client will find long-term success. By understanding terms from both the tenant and landlord side, reviewing the area’s demographics, and knowing their future clientele, I am able to put them in the best position to be around their customer base.

I continually work to know tenants’ specific markets and review current trends so my clients are paying a fair rate. When working for the landlord, I make sure they are getting market rates for their property as well.

It’s also valuable to look to the future when making a deal. A certain location may seem like a good fit for now, but if things are happening there that would negatively affect business it’s my job to steer my client in the right direction. You can’t just think about today, you have to be looking to the horizon—two or three years down the road.

Why is Huntsville an ideal place to work in commercial real estate?

Our city is a rapidly growing market. Huntsville is getting more and more national retail chains interested in the area. We have a good, solid economy that weathers downturn better than a lot of places, and we have a community and local government that is supportive of bringing in new businesses.

What advice would you give to someone who is considering a career in commercial real estate?

If you want to be successful as a broker, you have to be outgoing and remain confident even after you hear several rejections. If someone told me they wanted to enter into this career path, I’d tell them that it would be beneficial to work in property management first. Take a few years to understand the process from that side—learn what goes on after the lease is signed.

Being a property manager would help them understand what lease terms really mean and what’s important to the client moving forward. I also think it would help a future broker make the connections they need with tenants and landlords to build up their network and make positive relationships in the commercial real estate world.

I’d also suggest finding a team that you work well with once you get in the business. The success we have as individual brokers at Crunkleton stems from our work as a team. We are constantly bouncing ideas off each other and helping one another with a deal. We work at it together.

What do you enjoy doing outside of the office?

I enjoy any time I get to spend outdoors. I also love to read and spend time with my family. I’m very thankful for the time I get with my nieces and nephews.

You can contact Zac at zac@crunkletonassociates.com, or by calling 256-536-8809.

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Make sure you’re staying on top of the latest trends, newest developments and hottest new stores in Huntsville by subscribing to our weekly blog updates!

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HALEY CLEMONS
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE GROUP
HALEY@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM

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Trend Report: The Future of Retail in 2017 – A Changing Environment

As a commercial real estate broker I am constantly asked: what is driving the future of retail and retail shopping centers? What changes, if any, can we expect to see in the coming years?  And how are property owners dealing with the effects of e-commerce on brick and mortar retail?

So today we are going to take a few moments to try and answer a few of those questions, take a look at the changing landscape of retail shopping and the effect it is having on commercial real estate right here in Huntsville, Alabama.

Let’s start by looking at e-commerce, its effect on physical retail, and the opportunities it is providing to those that are willing to adapt to a changing marketplace:

It is no secret that online shopping is influencing the traditional brick and mortar retailers. Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2016 were the largest online shopping days in history and that trend will likely continue. However, does this mean that we are seeing the beginning of the end for brick and mortar retail? Absolutely not. What we are seeing instead is a shift in the traditional shopping center layout and tenant mix. The typical retail store is getting smaller and retailers are focusing more and more on the experience of shopping.

Labeled “Experiential Retail”, retailers are shifting their focus to providing shoppers with a fun and exciting experience. Shoppers not only want to touch and feel the product they are buying, but want to be entertained in the process. This is something that e-commerce can never provide. And not only are the younger generations demanding that experience, they are also willing to pay more to get it.

So how does Experiential Retail and the changing layout of brick and mortar retail affect the commercial real estate market?

Well, this desire for a better experience doesn’t just start once a shopper walks through the door. Consumers want the entire experience to be better, which includes the physical layout of the shopping center and the overall destination. Urbanization and the revitalization of downtowns across the country are a perfect example of this. Even right here in Huntsville we are seeing consumers demand a different experience. The success of projects like Campus 805, Lowe Mill, and The Garage at Clinton Row are great examples of the adaptive reuse of properties to provide a better experience.

What does all this mean for existing shopping centers and landlords?

The term adaptive reuse that I mentioned previously is going to be critical for Landlords of traditional shopping centers. As retailers continue to shrink their footprints, Landlords are going to have to get creative in how to back fill the big box spaces left by shrinking retailers. We are already seeing examples of this across the country and even right here in Huntsville. Large box spaces left vacant are being backfilled by entertainment type uses such as indoor go-cart tracks and trampoline arenas. Medical and dental concepts are even starting to open up locations within retail environments, backfilling former retail stores. There are opportunities out there for Landlords that are willing to think outside the box and be creative.

Despite the ever-growing presence of e-commerce, we are far from the end of brick and mortar retail. Consumers are willing to pay for a better experience and the ability to touch and feel what they are buying. This is evidenced in the fact that online giant Amazon is getting into the brick and mortar game with physical retail stores and even a grocery store. There will always be a place for the traditional retail store, it just might look different and be located in different areas than what we have grown accustom. Retailers and Landlords that are willing to change their mindset and adapt to the new environment will have a competitive advantage going forward.

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Originally from Tennessee, Zac studied business management at Samford University. After moving to Huntsville in 2001, Zac started out his career in banking, wealth management and financial planning. In 2010 he joined Crunkleton and has since become the VP of Leasing for the commercial real estate group where he focuses on retail leasing and development.

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Zac Buckley
VP of leasing
CRUNKLETON Commercial real estate group
ZAC@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM

The Top 5 Reasons To Secure Tenant Representation

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Looking for a new space for your business to call home?

We sat down and talked with Zac Buckely of Crunkleton & Associates and he gave us the full scoop on why it’s beneficial to have a commercial broker represent you on your search for space!

Here’s his list of the top 5 reasons to secure tenant representation:

1) A good broker will know the market

They’ll be able to inform you about the going Rental Rates for the area, make sure you receive sufficient TI amounts, and be aware of any recent vacancies you may be able to take advantage of.

2) They save you time

While you run your business, they will do the property searching for you. They will find all available spaces that fit your criteria, compile a report/package that explains all the options for you, and meet with you to discuss each one. This can take days to compile, which are days you can spend doing other things.  Your broker will also save you time by coordinating with other agents and scheduling site visits to assist you in visiting multiple properties all in one time saving tour.

3) They save you money

They know what rental rates in the market are and should be. They can advise whether this is a competitive deal or if the landlord is asking too much for their property.

4) They are familiar with all the players

It is likely they have already done a deal at that property or with that landlord. Knowing the landlord or other comparable deals at that property can help greatly in negotiating the best deal for you.

5) They know the competition

They know what other tenants or competition are moving in the market. This can help you get ahead of your competition or make a move on a space before it is filled by another tenant.

If you would like to secure tenant representation on your search to find the perfect space, give us a call at 256-536-8809 and we’ll connect you with an experienced broker who can help get you started!

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Make sure you’re staying on top of the latest trends, newest developments and hottest new stores in Huntsville by subscribing to our weekly blog updates!

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KADIE PANGBURN
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON & ASSOCIATES
KADIE@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM