VOL. 126 | NO. 2 | Tuesday, January 4, 2011
In-Rel Wraps Up Rebranding Campaign
By Sarah Baker
After more than a year in the making, one commercial real estate firm’s rebranding efforts are now complete as it seeks to zero in on tenant retention.
In-Rel Properties Inc. – formerly In-Rel Management – is now “vertically integrated,” meaning it has shifted its focus to owning and managing its portfolio with little or no third-party involvement.
The name “In-Rel” stands for “Intelligence in Real Estate,” an ideal the company strives to uphold in any commercial real estate deal it handles.
“By rebranding, what we’re basically trying to do is reinforce the fact that we’ve made it though what we consider obviously a huge dip in the economy,” said Ron Riley, executive vice president of operations. “We’re successful, we’re thriving, our No. 1 goal is our tenants to be sure they’re successful and they’re thriving.”
Lake Worth, Fla.-based In-Rel has regional offices in Memphis, Nashville and Birmingham, Ala.
It has tenants in more than 40 properties.
The entire company has about 5 million square feet of building space, including about 1.4 million square feet in Memphis.
In-Rel is no stranger to rebranding.
In December 2009, In-Rel bought the former Comcast Building for $5 million, marking the third largest commercial sale of that year. In-Rel renamed the 123,924-square-foot office building at 655 Quince Road in Southeast Memphis as the Quince Centre.
The company renovated the lobby, common area and restrooms, installed new interior and exterior signage and a touch-screen tenant digital directory.
Quince Centre went from 40 to 70 percent occupancy in the first year after In-Rel acquired it.
Quince Centre is In-Rel’s most recent acquisition.
In-Rel also owns, operates and leases the 2400 Poplar Building, Clark Tower – in which more than 100 tenants are leased – the Lipscomb & Pitts Building, Lynnfield Office Park and Poplar Towers.
Over the next five years, In-Rel plans to double its portfolio to reach 10 million square feet.
In 2011 alone, the firm will reach 7 million square feet with a combination of office and retail focus, Riley said.
“In order to (expand), we have to have a concentrated message that we’re putting out in each market and making sure that it’s consistent,” Riley said.
“The way to do that as an operator is to make sure that you manage your asset as best as you can possibly manage it with the expenses in the best possible balance so they’re not having to pick up the overages.”
In-Rel’s leasing objective is threefold: acquisition, underwriting of the asset and new markets in new cities.
In-Rel is focused on growing Oklahoma City, which has about 400,000 square feet of space leased, and Atlanta, with about 1.5 million square feet.
With the new tagline of “we’ll give you the space you need…to succeed,” In-Rel’s new brand reflects its leasing core. In a demanding leasing environment, owners not only must be competitive on rental rates, but also look to distinguish themselves from other landlords, said In-Rel’s CEO, Mukang Cho.
“Our operating platform enables us to be efficient on expenses, allowing us to pass on these savings to our tenants, and be extremely responsive, allowing decisions to be made in a timeframe that is helpful to our tenants’ needs,” said Cho. “When we offer value to our existing tenants – competitive rental rates coupled with excellent customer service – we believe the brokerage community and prospective tenants will take note.”
For more on Ron Riley and his new title as president of the Memphis Area Association of Realtors Commercial Council, read the “Memphis Standout” in Friday’s edition of The Daily News.