Taking place from October 19th-22nd, the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR) Fall World Conference was held at the Sheraton New York Times Square. Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of SIOR, this gathering allowed the most experienced commercial real estate brokers in the business to network and gain valuable insight on the trends and innovations that are the future of commercial real estate. NAI James E. Hanson was proud to send 10 associates to this conference including Managing Director Corporate Services Scott Perkins, SIOR, CCIM and Senior Vice President, Thomas Vetter, SIOR. Scott has been a member of SIOR since 2004 and currently serves as the Treasurer of the NJ Chapter. Joining SIOR in 2013, Tom was heavily involved in the planning of the conference and will succeed Scott as Treasurer of the NJ Chapter in 2017. They were happy to provide some insight into the importance of a SIOR designation and why this conference was such a valuable experience.

Why did you pursue the SIOR designation and what are the advantages of working with an SIOR?
SP: When I applied for SIOR membership, I already had several industry designations including Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) and Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (MRICS). I added SIOR because the designation is viewed by corporate real estate executives as a sign of professionalism and expertise. When working with an SIOR, you know you are working with one of the industry’s best.

TV: Having the designation separates you from your competition. Corporate real estate managers and directors know they are being represented by a capable broker with a history of success in the industry. As a broker referring a client to an out of state broker, when I use an SIOR, I can do so with confidence that my client will be well taken care of by a knowledgeable, ethical broker with a proven track record.

What kind of advantages does a firm with multiple SIORs have over other firms with fewer SIORs?
SP: Firms with multiple SIORS are recognized as industry leaders and very prepared to work on any deal that comes through their doors. Having multiple SIORs work on an assignment lets the client know they are working with a very experienced team.

TV: An educated and active broker will always have an advantage when competing for business. I think it’s just a testament to the importance at NAI James Hanson that is put on continued education and involvement within the industry. SIOR is also very important to Peter & Bill Hanson who encourage all brokers in the company to strive for the SIOR designation.

Why is networking so important for SIORs and was the Fall World Conference a great networking event?
SP: The real estate industry in constantly changing. The networking aspect of SIOR on a local, regional, national and now, international basis gives perspective and context to every assignment we work on.

TV: It is critical to develop relationships with other brokers that you can trade business with. Real estate transactions can become very complicated and challenging in a variety of ways and the stronger relationship you have with a broker you are working with, the better chance you will have of overcoming obstacles, solving problems and ultimately providing the best possible service for the client.

What was your favorite part of the SIOR conference?
SP: The networking is an invaluable part of the SIOR conference and I left New York with countless contacts that I can partner with on projects moving forward.

TV: It’s always important to meet people in your field and gain insight from their experience. I am excited about working with the SIORs I met at the conference in the coming months.

What is your biggest takeaway from the SIOR Conference?
SP: A brokerage’s role is transitioning from purely transactional to advisory-oriented, and brokers are increasingly depended on to interpret and distill what’s relevant for clients. SIOR is a valuable resource for providing continuing education and networking opportunities to help in this advisory role. For brokers, the importance of being involved with SIOR cannot be stressed enough and for clients, partnering with SIORs will continue to be a worthwhile and meaningful part of every business relationship.

TV: Being involved with SIOR doesn’t just mean acquiring the designation and then not participating in SIOR networking events or continuing education. Brokers who are heavily involved in SIOR will have a leg up on the competition by receiving referral business and being able to send business to other brokers with the confidence that you’re properly servicing the client. SIORs are also in a position to learn about and embrace new technologies to use to their advantage as much as possible. This gives SIORs, and the firms employing multiple SIORS, a significant advantage in the field of CRE.

What advice would you give to someone considering applying for their designation?
SP: If your production levels warrant membership, just do it. If not, it is something to aspire to.

TV: Do it! You won’t be disappointed!