TEN Takeaways from Daniel Tropp, Founder & President of AEBOV, Industrial Real Estate Brokerage
ICYMI: HILO’s David Abrams hosted Daniel Tropp, Founder and President of AEBOV, Industrial Real Estate Brokerage to chat about Innovation and Tenant Experience in the Industrial sector. Here are a few of our takeaways:
Real Estate is a fluid asset
Daniel explains that when he first got into real estate, he learned that it was a “fluid asset class”. He continues to tell David that “even something that looks outdated, you don’t have to knock it down. You can just give it some fresh style, reposition it and all of a sudden it’s really, really well suited for the future.”
Find the gap in your industry
While working in development at Avison Young, Daniel had exposure to industrial real estate and saw a gap in the market. He explains, “I started kind of thinking, well, you know, this is an area within brokerage where there’s just not a ton of innovation. There’s a bit of a drop-off from what the brokers are doing for research, excuse me, rather for multi-family, for office down to industrial, you know, the websites aren’t as sharp, the marketing material isn’t as sharp, the innovation isn’t quite there. So this is an area that’s maybe kind of, you know, ready for a fresh load and a modern approach. And I just kept coming back to that.” Daniel continues to say that this idea ultimately led him to launch his company AEBOV in June of last year.
Focus on innovation
When David asks Daniel what helped him to become successful, Daniel expresses that “there was just a drive to innovate, to do things differently. And I think this was the most suitable asset type to work in the way we evaluate properties, is we moved from the old model of printing a book and sitting down with an owner to a newer interactive model where owners can actually engage and ask questions in real time, we can change the evaluations.” By focusing on new and innovative ideas, Daniel has been able to set his business apart and even incorporate videos into his marketing materials, which is new to the industry.
There’s no loss in any experience
Daniel believes that his earlier career led him to eventually create successful and innovative ideas. He continues to say that “I’m a big believer that there’s no loss in any experience. So even if it’s not clear initially, something I picked up in the past 10 years kind of planted a seed that, hey, this would be a good idea to evaluate properties this way, or, you know, what the market would really appreciate seeing this in the reports as opposed to this. So it was like the combination of all those ideas. And now I have my own platform, I’m fortunate to have this platform where I can integrate all those things.”
Make a plan
Daniel reflects on the unforgettable advice that he received from Steve Guttman about starting your own business. He says that Steve told him to “make a plan. If you don’t and you try to jump into things, you’re going to be sizing up what the competition’s doing. You’re going to have 50 things that you’re worried about. You’re going to be not focused, you’ll be overwhelmed. Start with the business plan, start with the first step onto the second and then over time, you know, you’re stringing progress along and it’s simple advice, but it’s something I probably think about daily.”
Invest in AI technology
If given $100,000, Daniel explains that he would invest in research and AI to “take a look at all the cool things that we can compile now on the market and for date forward, how that’s going to impact the next.” This would be highly valuable to understand “where are the trends going and how do I craft my message to the market, but also just for the market, for the owners to be able to pass that insight onto them for decision-making.”
Adaption spurs innovation
On the topic of industrial spaces throughout the pandemic, Daniel tells David that many warehouses were deemed as essential and as a result, didn’t shut down. This was because of their ability to adapt, as Daniel continues to say that now “I walk warehouse spaces that are tweaked so that we can all kind of social distance, right? Instead of one, let’s say one general locker room where all the employees would be, they all have sort of an individual taped off square or closets, or almost like these cubicles. So I think it’s spurred a ton of innovation, but industrial probably weathered it better than any other asset class, because for a lot of them, there was no, okay, this is the drop dead locked down, no activity past that for three years, six months, it sort of trickled on and adjusted.”
Industrial has a need for the tenant experience
Daniel believes that a platform like HILO would be beneficial for industrial real estate and that there is a need to focus on the tenant experience. He explains how HILO would operate in the industrial sector, telling David that there would be “different sort of trends, different property attributes and characteristics that industrial tenants would focus on. So, you know, for instance, if that was available to them, not just to communicate with ownership about issues, which is great across product types, but, you know, things like parking are very important now.” Daniel also expands on the idea of using HILO to streamline communication in sectors such as repairs, municipalities and infrastructure problems. He concludes by saying that “I think there’s a ton of room for growth and, yeah, industrial would certainly have a need for focus on the tenant experience. Albeit, they’re just different attributes that you can focus on.”
Uncertainty breeds hiring struggle
When David asks Daniel what challenges he’s been facing in the world’s current circumstances, Daniel responds by saying that hiring has been difficult as a result of uncertainty. He believes that “once things kind of pick up and return, you’ll see like a flurry of people moving around and settling into whatever new roles now face their current situation best. There hasn’t been that much of a shakeup yet. So I don’t know if the assumption was wrong or if it hasn’t happened yet. But, yeah, I think definitely hiring has been a struggle and hopefully, you know, things will progress with the market and people will get back to work sooner than later.”
Celebrating with colleagues is important
The number one thing that Daniel misses about the workplace is comradery, as “brokerage is sort of this wave of ebbs and flows. And when you get too high, when there’s a new listing or a new deal or contract signing or closing, whatever it is just being able to celebrate with colleagues and friends, it is one of the better aspects of the job.” Hopefully Daniel will be able to return to the workplace in the near future and celebrate countless achievements in person with his colleagues.