In a Q&A, commercial real estate industry veteran Jeff Ellerman discusses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on corporate relocations and expansions in Dallas-Fort Worth. While “most companies that don’t have to transact are waiting for additional clarity regarding the pandemic,” he sees a bright future in a longer view.
Ellerman shares his reasons for optimism. The CBRE vice chairman specializes in office tenant representation and HQ relocations, as well as financial and strategic consulting.
How has the pandemic impacted relocations in the Dallas region?
In the short term relocations have slowed down for obvious reasons, but I believe the future is very bright for Dallas-Fort Worth from a corporate and regional HQ consolidation standpoint.
What are the most important factors still driving relocations?
Relocations are driven by a number of factors including cost reduction, recruitment and retention of labor, state and local taxes, DFW International Airport, the central time zone, affordable housing, good schools, and a pro-business environment.
How do you as a tenant rep help clients make a smooth transition?
We have represented numerous corporate HQ relocations and consolidations. We provide our clients with leadership, know-how, and team building in every aspect of the relocation process—not just negotiations for new office space. Our clients have told us our leadership has been invaluable, made for a smooth transition, and saved them a tremendous amount of time and money.
What new challenges and opportunities are you encountering in the current market?
We have recently completed a number of transactions, including a large corporate HQ relocation. However, the current environment is difficult and challenging. Most companies that don’t have to transact are waiting for additional clarity regarding the pandemic.
Are there reasons for optimism for the rest of 2020 and going into 2021?
We are very optimistic as to the growth and future of the Dallas-Fort Worth region in 2021 and beyond. I believe that the pandemic will accelerate market trends that have already been in place. Companies and people will continue to gravitate to DFW as it is a great place to run a business, has a very favorable cost structure relative to other large metropolitan areas, and is a great place to live and raise a family.
A version of this story first published in the Summer 2020 edition of the Dallas-Fort Worth Real Estate Review.
Sandra Engelland contributed to this report.
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