Commercial Real Estate

Niche Focus on the End-User of Real Estate

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As we celebrate over eight years in business, people sometimes ask me why I left the large company environment to start IAG Commercial.  This is a fair question and there are days where I realize it would have been easier to remain with a large company and it's many resources and strong brand recognition.  These resources and brand recognition definitely allow a person to avoid activities not directly related to revenue production.

The core of our struggle was the inherit conflicts of working for a company that primarily generated revenue from institutional clients that hire the company to manage multiple buildings in multiple cities.  These clients become a primary source of recurring revenue for large commercial real estate service companies.  Throughout our careers, we have experienced times when our end-user clients come in conflict with these institutional relationships.  It is not comfortable within the service companies, as the leasing and managing teams are measured around their ability to "keep or recruit" these new tenants.  

Adversely, our focus is to educate our clients on the market so they make an educated decision they feel good about at the end of the day.  When this decision contradicts the leasing and management teams focus within your own company, it becomes a point of contention internally.  While many of our clients are medium to large companies, they are small in comparison to the revenue generated by these institutional clients.  Recently, I was reminded of the times we were "encouraged" to do what was best for the company vs. what was best for our clients.  From our perspective, the client "always" comes first because without clients, there is no company or end-user division within a larger service company.

In creating IAG Commercial, we wanted to avoid these internal conflicts, much like the legal field manages conflicts so as not to compromise their ability to service an existing client.  We knew it would be harder to pursue new business opportunities without the name recognition of our larger competitors but we felt it was the right thing to do for our clients.  We believe time will prove this out even though each day we have to work hard to create awareness of our company in the marketplace.  Yes, we still lose business pursuits to our larger competitors but our clients appreciate our approach as they utilize our services. 

We certainly appreciate avoiding the internal conflicts between our own companies internal divisions.  We remain true to our focus!  Whether your company is looking for tenant/buyer representation, disposition of facilities, development services or project management, keep us in mind.  We may be smaller than the industry giants, but we are knowledgeable and committed to helping your company make and deliver upon a wise commercial real estate decision.  

 

 

GET TO KNOW OUR TEAM: Jeff LaFavre

We at IAG Commercial Real Estate are a team. We work closely together and support one another in order to provide a comprehensive solution for our clients. We thought you might to know our team a little better.  After all, we are not JUST about work!

 Jeff is a former D1 middle distance runner, which has helped him go the extra mile for our clients. As he describes himself to his children, “I was a poor middle distance DI runner!” These days Jeff enjoys a round of golf with clients, made better with a frozen Snickers around hole #12. He also enjoys being a sports spectator of many sports but especially the Vikings and the MN Gophers basketball team.  Jeff enjoys gaining new clients and tackling complex real estate challenges. He enjoys new relationships and helping people excel in their careers. He especially enjoys  commercial real estate because it involves creatively solving tangible problems for clients.  Throughout the majority of Jeff’s 28 year career, his focus has been working with end-users typically based  in the Midwest.  He has worked  on every continent for these clients to help them find 500-1,000,000 sq. ft. of space. This includes industrial, office, land and some retail space, for our medical and financial related customers. 

On behalf of his clients, he has closed several hundred transactions through the years. For Jeff, the best part is the feeling you receive when a client says “thank you, I could not have solved it without your help!"   He enjoys the feeling of sincerely helping our clients do something that would have been difficult for them to achieve on their own.

Besides sports, he enjoys spending time with his wonderful family, serving on professional association and non-profit  and community boards and being involved with his local church.  He and his wife, Maxine, have two children. Their favorite vacation spot is Hawaii, but they enjoy traveling the world. (Jeff does anyway.  For Max, a beach and sunshine is all she needs!)  Jeff’s vises are ice cubes and graham crackers and if he could be a super hero he would be Flash Gordon. As a former runner he wishes he could move that fast!

Favorite Commercial Real Estate Success Story:

There are many that I have enjoyed along the way.  One of my favorites is representing Ecolab in purchasing the former, approximately 500,000 sq. ft. Cray Research H.Q. in Eagan, MN and then representing Travelers, a number of years later, in selling their 485,000 sq. ft. high-rise St. Paul office building to Ecolab for a new H.Q..  It was a small world kind of thing, separated by at least eleven years.

What Does an Amazon HQ2 Mean to MSP?

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We have all heard the numbers, $5 billion dollars, and 50,000 new jobs. It has enticed 238 cities and regions around North America to put together proposals luring the economic giant. Greater MSP has a lot going for them in the selection process. They are worthy cities for development, innovation, and industry. The transportation system is great, constantly improving and could meet the demands the Amazon HQ2 would bring. They are also home to 17 Fortune 500 companies in diverse industries. 

Proposed locations include Minneapolis both in Downtown and the Northloop, the former Ford plant site in St. Paul and an undisclosed location in Maple Grove. All of these places provide Outstanding opportunities for Amazon. The Twin Cities rank high in national reviews of best places to live. The cost of living to average salary makes the area very affordable. The Twin Cities also has great schools. Our lowest performing schools are doing better than many acceptable schools nationwide. 

Combined with our quality educational system, we enjoy a top ranked “quality of life” measured through a number of criteria. Our parks and trails provide  easy access to outdoor enjoyment. Minneapolis is consistently ranked the most “bike friendly” city in the country and St. Paul is following closely behind. Mass transit is becoming a new-found strength for the area and current approved plans will only make it better in the years to come.  

The Minnesota’s economy was built on people who value education and the outdoors. This has not changed over the years and  Minnesotan’s still value these strengths. This focus will continue to provide a strong workforce that is well-educated with a passion for the environment. This could be an attractive opportunity for Minnesota. We believe  it is an even better opportunity for Amazon.

 

North Metro Connection = Opportunity for business

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The long anticipated 610 connection was completed last fall. It connects Interstate 94 to Interstate 35W via Hwy 610/10. This connector provides greater access and convenience across the north metro. It has resulted in a great opportunity for commercial real estate development. At almost every exit there are new commercial developments. Many warehouses, charter schools, shopping developments, distribution centers, and Target North Campus have been built along this Highway. There is still a lot of undeveloped land available along 610 in both Maple Grove and Brooklyn Park. It may even be part of the site that Maple Grove submitted for Amazon’s second corporate headquarters. With access points at HWY 252, HWY 169, HWY 10, and I-94 it is a great place for greater access to the region. It will also be connected at West Broadway and 610 to downtown with the Blue Line extension.

Operation Christmas Warehouse: Do you have a space to house Christmas Cheer?

Operation Christmas Warehouse:  Do you have a space to house Christmas Cheer?

Making Christmas Merry from Warehouse Space to supporting those who distribute Christmas Cheer. (Author's brother handing out shoeboxes at their kids club in Mexico City.)

Update: Executives Night Out

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Jeff took advantage of the great fall weather by camping this weekend. No, not in the Boundary Waters, but in Downtown Minneapolis. Over $100,000 was raised for YouthLink to provide support services for homeless and at risk youth. Thank you to those of you who helped sponsor this great camp out.

Our Summer at IAG Part IV

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There are three more clients whose deals we would like to celebrate before summer slips away into sweatshirt weather and school buses.

Plus Center is dedicated to helping children with motor disabilities realize their unique and amazing potential. We renewed and expanded Plus Center by 2,331 square feet. We are thrilled to help them increase their capacity to help children and young adults.

We were able to renew a lease for Xantel. Xantel, Inc. offers enterprise resource planning system for Fortune 500 companies, small companies, start-ups, and large and mid-sized companies.

We were all able to renew a lease for Avada Hearing Care Center. Avada Audiology & Hearing Care equips every hearing aid instrument specialist with the best hearing aids and latest digital hearing aid technology.

We are proud of our clients and all they do to impact the community. We are happy to help them do what they do best, by doing what we do best.

Growing a Business

Growing a Business

Jeff shares a little of our history and how we work tirelessly to help our clients grow their business.