Commercial Real Estate, Capital, Insurance, Leasing & Management

Strategy: What’s behind Franklin Street’s move into office leasing

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Carrie Smith, the managing partner of the firm's Jacksonville office, sat down with the Jacksonville Business Journal to discuss the move and share thoughts about Franklin Streets goals for the future.

Franklin Street has expanded its brokerage services to include a tenant representative broker with more than 30 years of experience in office leasing.

Carrie Smith, the managing partner of the firm’s Jacksonville office, sat down with the Jacksonville Business Journal to discuss the move and share thoughts about Franklin Streets goals for the future.

How does this fit into Franklin Street’s overall strategy for its Jacksonville office?

Franklin Street’s addition of a seasoned veteran specifically focused on the office sector is a strategic move to round out and complete our full-service offerings. As a company, we have expanded our office brokerage and management business aggressively throughout the state over the past two years, and David joining the Jacksonville team, with his wealth of experience from various markets across the country, enables us to further expand Franklin Street’s office market initiatives.

Do you expect to grow the Jacksonville office larger over the next year or so? If so, how many people do you eventually see in Jacksonville?

Yes, absolutely. Our goal in the next five years is to have a fully integrated office with representation from all of the business lines that Franklin Street offers across the southeast. This would mean an office of 20 agents and management staff.

What are the biggest challenges that you see for Franklin Street breaking into this CRE segment and how does the company plan to overcome them?

With all of the consolidation in the commercial real estate industry, clients are looking for fresh ideas from aggressively growing companies who are free from the burden that the large publicly held firms struggle with – cutting expenses and meeting quarterly returns. Our timing in Jacksonville is opportune to introduce a new approach to customer service, in which we have been very successful with in other parts of the state.

There’s already a crowded field of office leasing brokers in Jacksonville. What does Franklin Street bring to the table that will stand out?

The addition of David McCagg will prove to be a disruptor to the current status quo. His 30-plus year background representing companies with their office real estate portfolios will be a welcome addition to the Jacksonville office market. Competition is good and we intend to raise the bar by bringing proven practices that this market has not seen to date, such as our internal proprietary tools and value-added services like vast research and analytics coupled with strong interoffice relations in the southeast, especially from Tampa to Atlanta.

Where do you see the Jacksonville office market in the next three or four years?

The Jacksonville office market continues to improve… albeit slowly in comparison to other Southeast and Florida markets. North Florida we view as a rising market, in terms of the real estate cycle, and with a number of very recently announced office and mixed use developments, this further validates this theory. The Jacksonville office market can be viewed two ways: Tenants see the Jacksonville office market as a bargain compared to other comparable cities, and landlord investors see it as a value- add opportunity, banking on rising rental rates as the local market matures.

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