Commercial Real Estate Professionals Gather in Homewood for Annual ACREcom
Approximately 450 real estate professionals gathered at the Homewood City Hall on Friday to attend ACREcom, the annual Alabama Center for Real Estate’s commercial real estate focused annual conference. The event began with the reading of a resolution to honor the life of the late Bill Poole, who passed away in 2022, and was instrumental in founding ACRE. Following that, the first session began, which was an economic roundtable chaired by Anoop Mishra, Vice President and Regional Executive of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, and featuring Sam Addy, Senior Research Economist and Associate Dean, Culverhouse College of Business, and a member of the Birmingham Branch of the Atlanta Fed, and John Norris, Managing Director, Investments and Thought Leadership, Oakworth Capital Bank..
The roundtable participants, like many of the other presenters, were cautiously optimistic about the immediate future of commercial real estate. While the industry was negatively affected by Covid-19, many presenters were nonetheless bullish on economic outlook: the labor market will again shift toward employers, and inflation is likely to decrease, but slowly. Attendee Brian Lightle, the founder of Lightle, Beckner, Robison Commercial Real Estate, was impressed by the “diversity of the speakers,” noting that there were “two perspectives, one more of an academic, another based on real-world, and then in the middle of it, the government–the federal reserve rep.”
Other morning and afternoon sessions included a capital markets roundtable, a session about leveraging social media to build one’s brand, a session about business intelligence, and a session about the effect of blockchain technology on real estate. A number of Culverhouse real estate students attended the event also.
Retirement Systems of Alabama CEO David Bronner gave the keynote, which detailed some unique challenges of investing in commercial real estate, and ended with a call to invest in Alabama’s infrastructure, because a strong state infrastructure is crucial to ensuring ROI for in-state investments.
Neal Dichiara (Partner, Harwood Real Estate) said the conference was, “a fantastic opportunity to network, meet new people. I’m hoping to take new ideas home to Tuscaloosa and implement them to serve my clients. “