When asking Danny Logarakis how brokers have adjusted to today’s market, his main takeaways for this year were two things: relationship building and working with the current market. “Right now, it’s shifted to more of a relationship building focus, forcing brokers to adjust how they operate,” said Logarakis. “On top of that, it’s a seller’s market on the North Side, and there isn’t a lot of inventory. Between clients and I, there’s a lot of strategy, brainstorming for their future, and discussing their goals even if this isn’t the right market for them.”
When working with clients, the job doesn’t end once a deal is transacted; it goes beyond that. It’s all about advising your clients throughout their business career. “As a broker, being there to help people, regardless of whether they are selling the building right now or not, is vital,” said Logarakis. “You never know what might happen in the future and what maintaining a relationship can lead to. We’re in the business of people.
When advising clients, Logarakis swears that the first step is listening to people, as simple as that, and everything else will follow. “You can’t force someone to become a seller or a buyer, but what you can do is listen to them and their needs,” he says. “It’s more like navigating based on what the best option is for them at the time. Hear what their planning goals are for the future.”
However, with such a slow market right now, it can be difficult for a broker to keep the momentum going despite there not being a large inventory and not a lot of action happening right now. According to Logarakis, “a lot of people are sitting on their properties until they have a reason to sell or it’s enticing enough for them. It’s a waiting game till they’re ready.”
But not everyone is in the game to wait, so when someone does list a property, it gets a decent amount of attention. “With today’s market, that’s a plus,” said Logarakis. “People get nervous, they see the rates going up, and they think the markets are just not good. But in reality, there’s a lot of capital that is pent up and waiting for something to come out.”
Logarakis says there are still and will continue to be a lot of active investors in the North Side market because the rents have gone up to offset the doubling of interest rates. “There is year-over-year rent growth, high occupancy, and very predictable results from value-add strategies,” said Logarakis.
However, it hasn’t always been a great market; 25 years ago, it was a market that investors simply did not seek after. “There was and still is a huge amount of development and reinvestment from the city pouring into the North Side, which has boosted and kept the market projecting upward. Projects such as the CTA’s Red and Purple Modernization (RPM) Project—a $2.1 billion dollar project—which is dedicated to rebuilding four North Side Red Line stations into fully accessible and modern facilities.
Even with the usual ups and downs in any market, it is evident that the North Side has overcome any micro and macro fluctuations. According to Logarakis, “We have been in a recession for some time, but occupancies are at historic highs, and rents have moved into the double digits this spring. The market is resilient on the North Side, and its past demonstrates that.”