The FORT Podcast: Mark Duclos

Mark Duclos is the Co-founder & President of Sentry Commercial and is also the President of the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR). Sentry focuses on brokerage, property management, and construction management based in the Hartford and Western Massachusetts area. On this episode, they discuss the future of the office, what it’s like working on deals with massive companies like Amazon, technology in real estate, Mark’s experience in SIOR, and much more. Enjoy!

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(01:58) – Mark’s Story
(07:26) – Which markets are you focused on and where are they located?
(08:55) – What’s going on in the Western Mass/Connecticut market right now within the asset classes you work in?
(12:50) – Are people that are leaving Connecticut staying in New England or are they leaving the area completely?
(13:39) – What’s your take on office in the next 12 months?
(16:51) – Do you think that NYC will come back stronger than ever or is there more permanent damage that people are overlooking?
(18:14) –  Are you seeing an influx of demand for E-commerce?
(19:56) – Is there anything different about working with Amazon compared to other clients?
(21:36) – Is the 3.8 million square feet all under one roof or how is that broken out?
(22:45) – Are you involved in any of the Amazon moves to purchase defunct malls, JC Penny, Sears, etc.?
(23:40) – What is SIOR and why did you become so involved?
(26:02) – How do you become a member of SIOR?
(26:57) – What kind of insights does SIOR provide its members?
(28:11) – What is your role as president of SIOR?
(30:24) – What have you learned in this leadership role through the past year?
(32:16) – How does your business use technology and why is it so important as we move forward?
(36:27) – Why did you decide to get into Residential & then into Multi-Family?
(37:44) – Do you have a morning routine?
(40:10) – What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
(41:46) – Is there a book that has had an impact on you?
Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi
– Feedly: The News Aggregator
(42:44) – If there was a billboard you could put anything on for the world to see, what would you put?


Episode Summary

Mark Duclos, renowned for his expertise in the industrial real estate sector, is also an instrumental figure in SIOR (Society of Industrial and Office Realtors). His association with SIOR signifies the emphasis on fostering global networks among professionals, ensuring that the ever-evolving demands of the market are met with proficiency and agility. Duclos’ expertise, carved from years of hands-on experience, positions him uniquely to understand both macro trends and micro nuances of the industry.

One of the pivotal themes of the conversation revolves around the transformation sweeping across industrial spaces. Modern requirements dictate the need for heightened and technologically-equipped facilities. As Duclos rightly points out, the challenge lies not just in constructing new, state-of-the-art structures, but in retrofitting older edifices to resonate with contemporary demands.

Technology’s imprint on the sector is undeniable. Duclos elucidates the integration of advanced warehouse management systems and robotics in industrial spaces. Such technological forays are not merely about keeping pace with the times; they’re about optimizing operations, enhancing efficiency, and ultimately, bolstering the bottom line.

A significant portion of the discussion centers around the current supply chain conundrum. The challenges it poses are manifold, but for the industrial real estate sector, it translates to an unprecedented demand for warehousing and storage facilities. Strategically located properties equipped with robust infrastructure emerge as invaluable assets in this scenario, underscoring the importance of foresight in real estate investments.

From an investment vantage point, industrial real estate showcases immense promise. Duclos highlights the attractive ROI potential, a factor that’s drawing increased attention from institutional investors. This surge in investments isn’t merely a fleeting trend; it’s indicative of the long-term prospects and the robustness of the sector.

Tenant preferences, ever-evolving in nature, form another focal point. As businesses become more dynamic, their expectations from industrial spaces undergo a shift. Flexibility in leases and technologically advanced spaces are no longer mere add-ons; they’re prerequisites. Understanding and adapting to these shifts is crucial for property owners and managers, a sentiment Duclos emphasizes repeatedly.

Environmental considerations, often sidelined in the pursuit of profits, are gaining traction. Duclos sheds light on the integration of sustainable practices in industrial real estate development. Green initiatives are not just about environmental conservation; they also play a pivotal role in enhancing the economic value of properties.

In a globalized world, understanding market dynamics across regions is paramount. Duclos touches upon the nuances of operating in varied markets and the imperative of tailoring strategies to resonate with local demands. The challenges are numerous, but so are the opportunities, especially for those equipped with the right knowledge and networks.

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