Spotlight On: John Powell, President, Phoenix Commercial Properties

Spotlight On: John Powell, President, Phoenix Commercial Properties

2022-07-18T02:47:56-04:00June 16th, 2022|Raleigh-Durham, Real Estate, Spotlight On|

John Powell2 min read June 2022Phoenix Commercial Properties closed the books last year as their best on record. Despite the growing opportunities, John Powell, president of the organization, said they have already decided to continue choosing quality over quantity. “We prefer no deal over the wrong deal for our clients,” he told Invest:. 

What are the major highlights or milestones for the company and the Triangle region in the last two years?

Because we’re a privately owned boutique shop, we were able to react quickly during the pandemic and we’ve been thriving the entire time. I have to give a lot of the credit to our staff and our team for being so positive in the midst of adversity. We work with a lot of entrepreneurial-based organizations and were able to just focus on their needs since our doors were open when others weren’t.

Our mantra has always been that we want to provide clarity. We feel commercial real estate is very cloudy and our job is to provide clarity. Our goal is to deliver excellence and we strive to do it consistently. 

We’ve been extremely fortunate and we feel very blessed. We’re excited about who we are today as a team and we’re even more excited about where we’re headed as a company.

How are your clients obtaining financing today?

We work with a number of different lenders and we often find that since our customer base has the entrepreneurial spirit a smaller community bank is a better fit rather than the big boys, like Wells Fargo or Bank of America. It seems when working with larger entities turning the battleship is often more challenging. Since we’re more of a speedboat we can pivot quickly and change course if needed. 

What is unique about doing business in the commercial real estate market within the Triangle? 

One of the advantages that we have at Phoenix is that almost every broker here is from our local area or they have been here for a significant period of time. We all know the back roads, we know the history of a building, who developed a mixed-use project 20 years ago and so on. By being relatively local we capture good opportunities to work with local ownership and it often leads to working on an “off market” deal that benefits everyone.

What differentiates you from the other players in the market?

I think maybe what separates us from some of the larger firms is we’re not so much a silo firm. We don’t have a dedicated office team, or retail team or land team, and it allows cross-pollination across sectors. We all swim in the ponds where we feel comfortable and where our knowledge will protect the client. For example, I’m an industrial guy and an office guy and those are the ponds I choose to swim in daily. I also love doing land deals, but the majority will be for industrial or office based development. The main sectors that we focus on are industrial, office, retail and multifamily and these sectors have been historically strong.

We also have been very active on the investment sales side for income-producing products and certainly the exchange platform. We work with a lot of families or individuals that have had a property for a number of years and now they’ve decided to exit. We get a chance to help them facilitate the transaction and protect their family and children. We work very closely with their financial advisors and legal counsel so we can collectively offer a clear strategic solution.

Do you think the 1031 exchange is going to be modified in the near term?

2021 marked the 100th anniversary of the 1031 exchange. I think it’s such a revenue engine for this country that I would be disappointed if Washington lost sight of the benefit that has been there for Americans for 100 years. I understand the need to sometimes restructure or redefine an application, but limiting one’s ability to just utilize the rules they’ve allowed us to participate in would be extremely unfortunate. It is something to protect your legacy and your family. 

What are your top priorities for the next two to three years?

We’re really good at what we do, but on the same token, we believe that we still have room for growth and improvement. The nine core values we selected as a team have given us a firm foundation and I believe our dedication of making sure we’re adding the right ingredients into our “recipe for success” will ensure an incredible journey for years to come.

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