What Piper has planned for Bham

Hal Piper has executed more than 4.2 million square feet of transactions over his career.

A Florida native, Piper recently joined Corporate Realty in the new position of regional director of corporate services.

One of Piper’s tasks will be giving Corporate Realty a greater presence in the industrial world.

We talked with Piper recently about his new role and what he brings to the Birmingham market and the Southeast.

On his industrial experience and the changing landscape of industry

The firm’s background has been heavily weighted toward an office product type and a user client type. I bring a heavily weighted industrial background...It’s a 70 percent consumer-driven economy. The demands are becoming more and more instantaneous. Whether it’s Amazon or anywhere down the supply chain, you’re looking at real estate being driven toward the greatest possible efficiency in delivery time and inventory management.

On Corporate Realty’s approach to specialization

You’ve got Amazon building clone warehouses right across the street from one another, but one handles products greater than 10 pounds and one handles products smaller than 10 pounds. They’re that specialized. The approach that we bring caters to that specialization and those trends that get companies pointed in the right direction.

On Birmingham’s growth potential

Birmingham is geographically the center of the Southeast ... You don’t have to be in Atlanta. You don’t necessarily have to be in Nashville, which may be on the tip of everyone’s tongue as far as Southeast hubs. As long as we keep up our transportation infrastructure and as along as we stay competitive on economic incentives, smartly managed, there’s absolutely no reason why Birmingham can’t enjoy the same types of growth and the same types of sectors that other markets have seen – and do it at a lower cost and probably a higher quality of life at the end of the day.

On the importance of analyzing and planning with clients

Corporate services to us is starting at the beginning. Planning, then analysis and then execution, as opposed to “we need 100,000 square feet in the Hoover area.” Nine firms out of 10 will go and figure out a way to make that happen ... We sometimes drag clients kicking and screaming backward to the planning process. Let’s start there. Then we’ll analyze a property and then we’ll execute according to a well thought out plan. That’s what corporate services is, beyond just the component parts of brokerage management and development ... The execution of a transaction is the last result of a well thought out process.

- By BBJ