MARCH 21, 2018 | BY KELSI MAREE BORLAND
Retail brokerage firm Faris Lee Investments has formed a strategic partnership with X-Team Retail Advisors, GlobeSt.com has learned exclusively. The partnership with X-Team, an organization of 36 member firms in 40 markets nationwide and with 250 members, will bolster Faris Lee’s local market knowledge and tenant representation and landlord leasing services, giving the firm a competitive edge in the evolving retail market. According to Faris Lee, the primary goal of the partnership is to provide better client services and a more strategic approach for clients.
“Bringing in comprehensive, intelligent and strategic solutions and executions to the client will give us the ability to drive value to clients and the marketplace,” Rick Chichester, president and CEO of Faris Lee Investments, tells GlobeSt.com about the impetus for the firm’s partnership with X-Team. “Within X-Team’s footprint, the strength of their local market expertise, tenant representation expertise and expertise in landlord leasing is a complementary and necessary skill to retail investment sales across the country. For us to value real estate at its highest and best use and position it to maximize value, we need local intelligence, street-level knowledge and tenant relevant information.”
Dave Cheatham, President of X Team and of Velocity Retail Group, echoes Chichester’s sentiment about the importance of creating quality services, adding that Faris Lee’s ideology made the firm a good fit for the organization. “As we build the platform across the United States, the X-Team continues to look for top experts with strong expertise so that we can have the highest level of service delivery for our clients across the country,” Cheatham tells GlobeSt.com. “Faris Lee is a market leader, and it was a natural fit to add them to our organization.”
Both Faris Lee and X-Team have exceptional reputations in the real estate industry, but as the retail market evolves alongside tech-driven retail platforms, the retail sector is requiring more specialized knowledge and experience. The marriage of skill between these two organizations is a method of managing those changes in the market. “We do not think that real estate is a commodity, and we think the brokerage industry tries to commoditize it far too often,” Chichester explains. “From our position, real estate and retail in particular, which we think is the most complex of the asset classes, is uniquely distinct, decidedly tenant driven and completely location dependent. Consequently, the X-Team partnership intellectually, culturally and skill wise is a perfect fit. In our collective opinion, it creates one of the top retail specialized firms in the country.”
For that reason, both Faris Lee and X-Team are being thoughtful about growth, and in some ways eschewing expansion in exchange for aptitude. “Many large firms have become homogenized, and they are not necessarily best in class,” says Cheatham. “We are operating off of an entrepreneurial model, and we are looking to expand and recruit; however, we are looking to recruit quality people. The higher quality the partnership that you have, the better job that you are going to do.”
Because size isn’t a primary goal, Chichester doesn’t have any specific volume or monetary expectations for the partnership. He is exclusively concerned with leveraging the new tools the platform will provide. “We haven’t sat down and put any goals together, but the strategic goal is the value of X-Team and its distribution channels and complementary skillsets,” he says. “For us, first and foremost, we want to learn as much as we can from X-Team. The real objective, though, is not to grow to be big. This is a quality move. There is nothing about size that I would expect to be in our conversations relative to strategies and our clients. It is going to be about the qualities and solutions that we can provide to our clients.”