By RITA DUCKWORTH
BARBERMurphy Group, Inc. has been a Southern Illinois market leader in commercial real estate since 2004. Principal Collin Fischer, CCIM joined the brokerage right after graduating from Saint Louis University. It was March 2006, right on the cusp of the financial crisis.
“It may have been bad timing,” says Fischer, “but it was actually a great time to learn the business. We rebounded and came out of it stronger and smarter than before.”
Since coming out of the recession BARBERMurphy has trended up in every sector of the market: office, retail, industrial, land. But the majority of their business has been in the investment real estate sector. Fischer expects that to continue.
The reason for the uptick, Fischer believes, is the increased confidence level of buyers. “A lot of investors have been waiting on the sidelines and are now out actively looking for properties. There are a lot of first-time buyers. They’ve been sitting on their cash, toying with the idea of getting into the market. Their confidence in the economy is back and they’re ready to make some deals.”
Most of Fischer’s investment experience is in triple-net leased properties. A triple net lease is one where, in addition to base rent, the tenant takes responsibility for paying real estate taxes, insurance and handling maintenance on the property. This brings the owner-investor a long-term stable income, without the concerns of management operations.
Fischer and his partners all do investment work.
“Many of the landlords and sellers I represent become investor clients,” he said. Paul Murphy is active in the multi-family sector of the market. Wayne Barber Jr., SIOR and Steve Zuber, CCIM, SIOR concentrate on industrial properties. They often work with landlords and investor clients who own and lease industrial space.
“Most of our recent volume comes from investment transactions,” says Fischer, “but that’s not always reflected in our listing inventory.” That’s because many of the transactions happen off-market due to a far-reaching network the brokers have cultivated. “For example, in 2017 I sold a well-located net leased retail property in the Edwardsville market. Due to the relationships I’ve developed over the years, the end result was a swift, smooth transaction for both parties before it ever went to the open market.”
BARBERMurphy isn’t the only broker involved in investment real estate, but Fischer doesn’t think anyone in the region beats them in volume. Based in Shiloh, they are well established in the local markets, but not exclusively. They have a vast network and CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Member) and SIOR (Society of Industrial and Office Realtors) designations. As a result, they market properties and work with buyers from well beyond the Southern Illinois and St. Louis Metro region.