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August 29 , 2014

The Retail Connection execs in Austin tell all

The Retail Connection execs in Austin tell all


The Retail Connection

Lance Morris is the president of The Retail Connection's Austin office.

Staff Writer-Austin Business Journal
Email  |  Twitter  |  LinkedIIn April 2012, two veteran Austin retail real estate executives left The Weitzman Groupto create a local office of The Retail Connection, a Dallas-based brokerage. It was scary for both Lance Morris and Carla Neel, but it was something both were inspired to do.

The Retail Connection, they said, has carved out a sizable niche in Texas, representing more than 250 local, regional and national brands from behemoths such as Costco and Starbucks to Austin-based Torchy’s Tacos and Bikinis Sports Bar & Grill.

Since the duo's defection, numerous real estate brokers — especially in the retail sector — have jumped to another ship, and Morris and Neel may have been their inspiration.

In the Aug. 29 weekly edition of the Austin Business Journal, Morris reveals one of the company’s biggest projects— marketing a new Round Rock retail development on the drawing boards from three veteran Austin investors.

I asked Morris and Neel about their careers.

Where did you grow up and go to college? How did you decide on real estate for a career?

Neel: I grew up in Windsor, Ontario, Canada and went to school at York University in Toronto. I began my career as an intern in a real estate development office in Toronto. I’ve always had a passion for real estate. Retail seemed like a natural fit to me. I’m a typical consumer so I understand the tenants’ and shoppers’ needs. Also, I enjoy the relationship side of the business as much as the transactional.

Morris: I grew up in the small farming community Shallowater outside of Lubbock and I graduated from Texas Tech University. I started working in Austin for a company headed byJohn Simmons, a longtime investor and developer here in Austin. I originally had plans of working in politics coming out of college and moved to Austin to pursue that goal, but at the time the Austin real estate market was heating up and I got side tracked.

How many years have you worked in Austin and what’s your specific focus at The Retail Connection?

Neel: 12 years. I am responsible for the service delivery and expansion of our state-wide property management platform.

Morris: 30 years. I am president of The Retail Connection’s Austin office, working to expand TRC’s capacity in Austin in all areas of our services platform.

What’s been the most gratifying part of building the Austin office of The Retail Connection?

Neel: Being a part of a highly dynamic and entrepreneurial team that is very focused on company-wide collaboration.

Morris: Building and growing one of the most talented teams in retail real estate in Texas.

How do you compete with so many companies getting into the retail niche, especially considering that Austin is a relatively small market?

Neel: TRC has such deeply rooted and broad relationships with so many different national, regional retailers and landlords. The strong, proven track record goes a long way.

Morris: What differentiates TRC from every other real estate company is our role and relationship with both tenants and landlord. At the end of day, it’s all about results. Our connections provide us with substantial influence to deliver exceptional results. The Retail Connection has such a solid and comprehensive platform throughout Texas and the Southwest, and we are capable of offering our clients end-to-end solutions and optimizing their investments.

What excites you the most about retail real estate in Austin, in terms of the future?

Neel: The continued opportunity for growth. So much has changed since I moved to Austin, but I think the best is yet to come.

Morris: I have never seen the retail real estate market in Austin as dynamic and fluid as it is today. There is so much opportunity for those who are willing to grasp it, and it is mind-boggling the results we can achieve with the experiences, partners and clients we have established over the years. Austin is on steroids, and we are ecstatic to be a significant part of and driving force of retail real estate in this city.

What’s your words of advice for someone who wants to get into this market segment?

Neel: Get to know the retail market and the players. While we’re a growing city, it’s still a small group compared to Dallas-Fort Worth or Houston.

Morris: Retail is one of the most exciting segments of the commercial real estate industry and I would encourage anyone with a passion for relationships, and a sound knowledge of retailing in general along with a healthy dose of intestinal fortitude to get in now while the waves are high and opportunities abound.

Jan Buchholz covers commercial and residential real estate, construction and architecture and retail and restaurants for the Austin Business Journal.

The Retail Connection execs in Austin tell all

Aug 29, 2014, 7:57am CDT
The Retail Connection

Lance Morris is the president of The Retail Connection's Austin office.

Staff Writer-Austin Business Journal
Email  |  Twitter  |  LinkedIn

In April 2012, two veteran Austin retail real estate executives left The Weitzman Groupto create a local office of The Retail Connection, a Dallas-based brokerage. It was scary for both Lance Morris and Carla Neel, but it was something both were inspired to do.

The Retail Connection, they said, has carved out a sizable niche in Texas, representing more than 250 local, regional and national brands from behemoths such as Costco and Starbucks to Austin-based Torchy’s Tacos and Bikinis Sports Bar & Grill.

Since the duo's defection, numerous real estate brokers — especially in the retail sector — have jumped to another ship, and Morris and Neel may have been their inspiration.

In the Aug. 29 weekly edition of the Austin Business Journal, Morris reveals one of the company’s biggest projects— marketing a new Round Rock retail development on the drawing boards from three veteran Austin investors.

I asked Morris and Neel about their careers.

Where did you grow up and go to college? How did you decide on real estate for a career?

Neel: I grew up in Windsor, Ontario, Canada and went to school at York University in Toronto. I began my career as an intern in a real estate development office in Toronto. I’ve always had a passion for real estate. Retail seemed like a natural fit to me. I’m a typical consumer so I understand the tenants’ and shoppers’ needs. Also, I enjoy the relationship side of the business as much as the transactional.

Morris: I grew up in the small farming community Shallowater outside of Lubbock and I graduated from Texas Tech University. I started working in Austin for a company headed byJohn Simmons, a longtime investor and developer here in Austin. I originally had plans of working in politics coming out of college and moved to Austin to pursue that goal, but at the time the Austin real estate market was heating up and I got side tracked.

How many years have you worked in Austin and what’s your specific focus at The Retail Connection?

Neel: 12 years. I am responsible for the service delivery and expansion of our state-wide property management platform.

Morris: 30 years. I am president of The Retail Connection’s Austin office, working to expand TRC’s capacity in Austin in all areas of our services platform.

What’s been the most gratifying part of building the Austin office of The Retail Connection?

Neel: Being a part of a highly dynamic and entrepreneurial team that is very focused on company-wide collaboration.

Morris: Building and growing one of the most talented teams in retail real estate in Texas.

How do you compete with so many companies getting into the retail niche, especially considering that Austin is a relatively small market?

Neel: TRC has such deeply rooted and broad relationships with so many different national, regional retailers and landlords. The strong, proven track record goes a long way.

Morris: What differentiates TRC from every other real estate company is our role and relationship with both tenants and landlord. At the end of day, it’s all about results. Our connections provide us with substantial influence to deliver exceptional results. The Retail Connection has such a solid and comprehensive platform throughout Texas and the Southwest, and we are capable of offering our clients end-to-end solutions and optimizing their investments.

What excites you the most about retail real estate in Austin, in terms of the future?

Neel: The continued opportunity for growth. So much has changed since I moved to Austin, but I think the best is yet to come.

Morris: I have never seen the retail real estate market in Austin as dynamic and fluid as it is today. There is so much opportunity for those who are willing to grasp it, and it is mind-boggling the results we can achieve with the experiences, partners and clients we have established over the years. Austin is on steroids, and we are ecstatic to be a significant part of and driving force of retail real estate in this city.

What’s your words of advice for someone who wants to get into this market segment?

Neel: Get to know the retail market and the players. While we’re a growing city, it’s still a small group compared to Dallas-Fort Worth or Houston.

Morris: Retail is one of the most exciting segments of the commercial real estate industry and I would encourage anyone with a passion for relationships, and a sound knowledge of retailing in general along with a healthy dose of intestinal fortitude to get in now while the waves are high and opportunities abound.

Jan Buchholz covers commercial and residential real estate, construction and architecture and retail and restaurants for the Austin Business Journal.

The Retail Connection execs in Austin tell all

Aug 29, 2014, 7:57am CDT
The Retail Connection

Lance Morris is the president of The Retail Connection's Austin office.

Staff Writer-Austin Business Journal
Email  |  Twitter  |  LinkedIn

In April 2012, two veteran Austin retail real estate executives left The Weitzman Groupto create a local office of The Retail Connection, a Dallas-based brokerage. It was scary for both Lance Morris and Carla Neel, but it was something both were inspired to do.

The Retail Connection, they said, has carved out a sizable niche in Texas, representing more than 250 local, regional and national brands from behemoths such as Costco and Starbucks to Austin-based Torchy’s Tacos and Bikinis Sports Bar & Grill.

Since the duo's defection, numerous real estate brokers — especially in the retail sector — have jumped to another ship, and Morris and Neel may have been their inspiration.

In the Aug. 29 weekly edition of the Austin Business Journal, Morris reveals one of the company’s biggest projects— marketing a new Round Rock retail development on the drawing boards from three veteran Austin investors.

I asked Morris and Neel about their careers.

Where did you grow up and go to college? How did you decide on real estate for a career?

Neel: I grew up in Windsor, Ontario, Canada and went to school at York University in Toronto. I began my career as an intern in a real estate development office in Toronto. I’ve always had a passion for real estate. Retail seemed like a natural fit to me. I’m a typical consumer so I understand the tenants’ and shoppers’ needs. Also, I enjoy the relationship side of the business as much as the transactional.

Morris: I grew up in the small farming community Shallowater outside of Lubbock and I graduated from Texas Tech University. I started working in Austin for a company headed byJohn Simmons, a longtime investor and developer here in Austin. I originally had plans of working in politics coming out of college and moved to Austin to pursue that goal, but at the time the Austin real estate market was heating up and I got side tracked.

How many years have you worked in Austin and what’s your specific focus at The Retail Connection?

Neel: 12 years. I am responsible for the service delivery and expansion of our state-wide property management platform.

Morris: 30 years. I am president of The Retail Connection’s Austin office, working to expand TRC’s capacity in Austin in all areas of our services platform.

What’s been the most gratifying part of building the Austin office of The Retail Connection?

Neel: Being a part of a highly dynamic and entrepreneurial team that is very focused on company-wide collaboration.

Morris: Building and growing one of the most talented teams in retail real estate in Texas.

How do you compete with so many companies getting into the retail niche, especially considering that Austin is a relatively small market?

Neel: TRC has such deeply rooted and broad relationships with so many different national, regional retailers and landlords. The strong, proven track record goes a long way.

Morris: What differentiates TRC from every other real estate company is our role and relationship with both tenants and landlord. At the end of day, it’s all about results. Our connections provide us with substantial influence to deliver exceptional results. The Retail Connection has such a solid and comprehensive platform throughout Texas and the Southwest, and we are capable of offering our clients end-to-end solutions and optimizing their investments.

What excites you the most about retail real estate in Austin, in terms of the future?

Neel: The continued opportunity for growth. So much has changed since I moved to Austin, but I think the best is yet to come.

Morris: I have never seen the retail real estate market in Austin as dynamic and fluid as it is today. There is so much opportunity for those who are willing to grasp it, and it is mind-boggling the results we can achieve with the experiences, partners and clients we have established over the years. Austin is on steroids, and we are ecstatic to be a significant part of and driving force of retail real estate in this city.

What’s your words of advice for someone who wants to get into this market segment?

Neel: Get to know the retail market and the players. While we’re a growing city, it’s still a small group compared to Dallas-Fort Worth or Houston.

Morris: Retail is one of the most exciting segments of the commercial real estate industry and I would encourage anyone with a passion for relationships, and a sound knowledge of retailing in general along with a healthy dose of intestinal fortitude to get in now while the waves are high and opportunities abound.

Jan Buchholz covers commercial and residential real estate, construction and architecture and retail and restaurants for the Austin Business Journal.

The Retail Connection execs in Austin tell all

Aug 29, 2014, 7:57am CDT
The Retail Connection

Lance Morris is the president of The Retail Connection's Austin office.

Staff Writer-Austin Business Journal
Email  |  Twitter  |  LinkedIn

In April 2012, two veteran Austin retail real estate executives left The Weitzman Groupto create a local office of The Retail Connection, a Dallas-based brokerage. It was scary for both Lance Morris and Carla Neel, but it was something both were inspired to do.

The Retail Connection, they said, has carved out a sizable niche in Texas, representing more than 250 local, regional and national brands from behemoths such as Costco and Starbucks to Austin-based Torchy’s Tacos and Bikinis Sports Bar & Grill.

Since the duo's defection, numerous real estate brokers — especially in the retail sector — have jumped to another ship, and Morris and Neel may have been their inspiration.

In the Aug. 29 weekly edition of the Austin Business Journal, Morris reveals one of the company’s biggest projects— marketing a new Round Rock retail development on the drawing boards from three veteran Austin investors.

I asked Morris and Neel about their careers.

Where did you grow up and go to college? How did you decide on real estate for a career?

Neel: I grew up in Windsor, Ontario, Canada and went to school at York University in Toronto. I began my career as an intern in a real estate development office in Toronto. I’ve always had a passion for real estate. Retail seemed like a natural fit to me. I’m a typical consumer so I understand the tenants’ and shoppers’ needs. Also, I enjoy the relationship side of the business as much as the transactional.

Morris: I grew up in the small farming community Shallowater outside of Lubbock and I graduated from Texas Tech University. I started working in Austin for a company headed byJohn Simmons, a longtime investor and developer here in Austin. I originally had plans of working in politics coming out of college and moved to Austin to pursue that goal, but at the time the Austin real estate market was heating up and I got side tracked.

How many years have you worked in Austin and what’s your specific focus at The Retail Connection?

Neel: 12 years. I am responsible for the service delivery and expansion of our state-wide property management platform.

Morris: 30 years. I am president of The Retail Connection’s Austin office, working to expand TRC’s capacity in Austin in all areas of our services platform.

What’s been the most gratifying part of building the Austin office of The Retail Connection?

Neel: Being a part of a highly dynamic and entrepreneurial team that is very focused on company-wide collaboration.

Morris: Building and growing one of the most talented teams in retail real estate in Texas.

How do you compete with so many companies getting into the retail niche, especially considering that Austin is a relatively small market?

Neel: TRC has such deeply rooted and broad relationships with so many different national, regional retailers and landlords. The strong, proven track record goes a long way.

Morris: What differentiates TRC from every other real estate company is our role and relationship with both tenants and landlord. At the end of day, it’s all about results. Our connections provide us with substantial influence to deliver exceptional results. The Retail Connection has such a solid and comprehensive platform throughout Texas and the Southwest, and we are capable of offering our clients end-to-end solutions and optimizing their investments.

What excites you the most about retail real estate in Austin, in terms of the future?

Neel: The continued opportunity for growth. So much has changed since I moved to Austin, but I think the best is yet to come.

Morris: I have never seen the retail real estate market in Austin as dynamic and fluid as it is today. There is so much opportunity for those who are willing to grasp it, and it is mind-boggling the results we can achieve with the experiences, partners and clients we have established over the years. Austin is on steroids, and we are ecstatic to be a significant part of and driving force of retail real estate in this city.

What’s your words of advice for someone who wants to get into this market segment?

Neel: Get to know the retail market and the players. While we’re a growing city, it’s still a small group compared to Dallas-Fort Worth or Houston.

Morris: Retail is one of the most exciting segments of the commercial real estate industry and I would encourage anyone with a passion for relationships, and a sound knowledge of retailing in general along with a healthy dose of intestinal fortitude to get in now while the waves are high and opportunities abound.

Jan Buchholz covers commercial and residential real estate, construction and architecture and retail and restaurants for the Austin Business Journal.

The Retail Connection execs in Austin tell all

Aug 29, 2014, 7:57am CDT
The Retail Connection

Lance Morris is the president of The Retail Connection's Austin office.

Staff Writer-Austin Business Journal
Email  |  Twitter  |  LinkedIn

In April 2012, two veteran Austin retail real estate executives left The Weitzman Groupto create a local office of The Retail Connection, a Dallas-based brokerage. It was scary for both Lance Morris and Carla Neel, but it was something both were inspired to do.

The Retail Connection, they said, has carved out a sizable niche in Texas, representing more than 250 local, regional and national brands from behemoths such as Costco and Starbucks to Austin-based Torchy’s Tacos and Bikinis Sports Bar & Grill.

Since the duo's defection, numerous real estate brokers — especially in the retail sector — have jumped to another ship, and Morris and Neel may have been their inspiration.

In the Aug. 29 weekly edition of the Austin Business Journal, Morris reveals one of the company’s biggest projects— marketing a new Round Rock retail development on the drawing boards from three veteran Austin investors.

I asked Morris and Neel about their careers.

Where did you grow up and go to college? How did you decide on real estate for a career?

Neel: I grew up in Windsor, Ontario, Canada and went to school at York University in Toronto. I began my career as an intern in a real estate development office in Toronto. I’ve always had a passion for real estate. Retail seemed like a natural fit to me. I’m a typical consumer so I understand the tenants’ and shoppers’ needs. Also, I enjoy the relationship side of the business as much as the transactional.

Morris: I grew up in the small farming community Shallowater outside of Lubbock and I graduated from Texas Tech University. I started working in Austin for a company headed byJohn Simmons, a longtime investor and developer here in Austin. I originally had plans of working in politics coming out of college and moved to Austin to pursue that goal, but at the time the Austin real estate market was heating up and I got side tracked.

How many years have you worked in Austin and what’s your specific focus at The Retail Connection?

Neel: 12 years. I am responsible for the service delivery and expansion of our state-wide property management platform.

Morris: 30 years. I am president of The Retail Connection’s Austin office, working to expand TRC’s capacity in Austin in all areas of our services platform.

What’s been the most gratifying part of building the Austin office of The Retail Connection?

Neel: Being a part of a highly dynamic and entrepreneurial team that is very focused on company-wide collaboration.

Morris: Building and growing one of the most talented teams in retail real estate in Texas.

How do you compete with so many companies getting into the retail niche, especially considering that Austin is a relatively small market?

Neel: TRC has such deeply rooted and broad relationships with so many different national, regional retailers and landlords. The strong, proven track record goes a long way.

Morris: What differentiates TRC from every other real estate company is our role and relationship with both tenants and landlord. At the end of day, it’s all about results. Our connections provide us with substantial influence to deliver exceptional results. The Retail Connection has such a solid and comprehensive platform throughout Texas and the Southwest, and we are capable of offering our clients end-to-end solutions and optimizing their investments.

What excites you the most about retail real estate in Austin, in terms of the future?

Neel: The continued opportunity for growth. So much has changed since I moved to Austin, but I think the best is yet to come.

Morris: I have never seen the retail real estate market in Austin as dynamic and fluid as it is today. There is so much opportunity for those who are willing to grasp it, and it is mind-boggling the results we can achieve with the experiences, partners and clients we have established over the years. Austin is on steroids, and we are ecstatic to be a significant part of and driving force of retail real estate in this city.

What’s your words of advice for someone who wants to get into this market segment?

Neel: Get to know the retail market and the players. While we’re a growing city, it’s still a small group compared to Dallas-Fort Worth or Houston.

Morris: Retail is one of the most exciting segments of the commercial real estate industry and I would encourage anyone with a passion for relationships, and a sound knowledge of retailing in general along with a healthy dose of intestinal fortitude to get in now while the waves are high and opportunities abound.

Jan Buchholz covers commercial and residential real estate, construction and architecture and retail and restaurants for the Austin Business Journal.

The Retail Connection execs in Austin tell all

Aug 29, 2014, 7:57am CDT
The Retail Connection

Lance Morris is the president of The Retail Connection's Austin office.

Staff Writer-Austin Business Journal
Email  |  Twitter  |  LinkedIn

In April 2012, two veteran Austin retail real estate executives left The Weitzman Groupto create a local office of The Retail Connection, a Dallas-based brokerage. It was scary for both Lance Morris and Carla Neel, but it was something both were inspired to do.

The Retail Connection, they said, has carved out a sizable niche in Texas, representing more than 250 local, regional and national brands from behemoths such as Costco and Starbucks to Austin-based Torchy’s Tacos and Bikinis Sports Bar & Grill.

Since the duo's defection, numerous real estate brokers — especially in the retail sector — have jumped to another ship, and Morris and Neel may have been their inspiration.

In the Aug. 29 weekly edition of the Austin Business Journal, Morris reveals one of the company’s biggest projects— marketing a new Round Rock retail development on the drawing boards from three veteran Austin investors.

I asked Morris and Neel about their careers.

Where did you grow up and go to college? How did you decide on real estate for a career?

Neel: I grew up in Windsor, Ontario, Canada and went to school at York University in Toronto. I began my career as an intern in a real estate development office in Toronto. I’ve always had a passion for real estate. Retail seemed like a natural fit to me. I’m a typical consumer so I understand the tenants’ and shoppers’ needs. Also, I enjoy the relationship side of the business as much as the transactional.

Morris: I grew up in the small farming community Shallowater outside of Lubbock and I graduated from Texas Tech University. I started working in Austin for a company headed byJohn Simmons, a longtime investor and developer here in Austin. I originally had plans of working in politics coming out of college and moved to Austin to pursue that goal, but at the time the Austin real estate market was heating up and I got side tracked.

How many years have you worked in Austin and what’s your specific focus at The Retail Connection?

Neel: 12 years. I am responsible for the service delivery and expansion of our state-wide property management platform.

Morris: 30 years. I am president of The Retail Connection’s Austin office, working to expand TRC’s capacity in Austin in all areas of our services platform.

What’s been the most gratifying part of building the Austin office of The Retail Connection?

Neel: Being a part of a highly dynamic and entrepreneurial team that is very focused on company-wide collaboration.

Morris: Building and growing one of the most talented teams in retail real estate in Texas.

How do you compete with so many companies getting into the retail niche, especially considering that Austin is a relatively small market?

Neel: TRC has such deeply rooted and broad relationships with so many different national, regional retailers and landlords. The strong, proven track record goes a long way.

Morris: What differentiates TRC from every other real estate company is our role and relationship with both tenants and landlord. At the end of day, it’s all about results. Our connections provide us with substantial influence to deliver exceptional results. The Retail Connection has such a solid and comprehensive platform throughout Texas and the Southwest, and we are capable of offering our clients end-to-end solutions and optimizing their investments.

What excites you the most about retail real estate in Austin, in terms of the future?

Neel: The continued opportunity for growth. So much has changed since I moved to Austin, but I think the best is yet to come.

Morris: I have never seen the retail real estate market in Austin as dynamic and fluid as it is today. There is so much opportunity for those who are willing to grasp it, and it is mind-boggling the results we can achieve with the experiences, partners and clients we have established over the years. Austin is on steroids, and we are ecstatic to be a significant part of and driving force of retail real estate in this city.

What’s your words of advice for someone who wants to get into this market segment?

Neel: Get to know the retail market and the players. While we’re a growing city, it’s still a small group compared to Dallas-Fort Worth or Houston.

Morris: Retail is one of the most exciting segments of the commercial real estate industry and I would encourage anyone with a passion for relationships, and a sound knowledge of retailing in general along with a healthy dose of intestinal fortitude to get in now while the waves are high and opportunities abound.

Jan Buchholz covers commercial and residential real estate, construction and architecture and retail and restaurants for the Austin Business Journal.

The Retail Connection execs in Austin tell all

Aug 29, 2014, 7:57am CDT
The Retail Connection

Lance Morris is the president of The Retail Connection's Austin office.

Staff Writer-Austin Business Journal
Email  |  Twitter  |  LinkedIn

In April 2012, two veteran Austin retail real estate executives left The Weitzman Groupto create a local office of The Retail Connection, a Dallas-based brokerage. It was scary for both Lance Morris and Carla Neel, but it was something both were inspired to do.

The Retail Connection, they said, has carved out a sizable niche in Texas, representing more than 250 local, regional and national brands from behemoths such as Costco and Starbucks to Austin-based Torchy’s Tacos and Bikinis Sports Bar & Grill.

Since the duo's defection, numerous real estate brokers — especially in the retail sector — have jumped to another ship, and Morris and Neel may have been their inspiration.

In the Aug. 29 weekly edition of the Austin Business Journal, Morris reveals one of the company’s biggest projects— marketing a new Round Rock retail development on the drawing boards from three veteran Austin investors.

I asked Morris and Neel about their careers.

Where did you grow up and go to college? How did you decide on real estate for a career?

Neel: I grew up in Windsor, Ontario, Canada and went to school at York University in Toronto. I began my career as an intern in a real estate development office in Toronto. I’ve always had a passion for real estate. Retail seemed like a natural fit to me. I’m a typical consumer so I understand the tenants’ and shoppers’ needs. Also, I enjoy the relationship side of the business as much as the transactional.

Morris: I grew up in the small farming community Shallowater outside of Lubbock and I graduated from Texas Tech University. I started working in Austin for a company headed byJohn Simmons, a longtime investor and developer here in Austin. I originally had plans of working in politics coming out of college and moved to Austin to pursue that goal, but at the time the Austin real estate market was heating up and I got side tracked.

How many years have you worked in Austin and what’s your specific focus at The Retail Connection?

Neel: 12 years. I am responsible for the service delivery and expansion of our state-wide property management platform.

Morris: 30 years. I am president of The Retail Connection’s Austin office, working to expand TRC’s capacity in Austin in all areas of our services platform.

What’s been the most gratifying part of building the Austin office of The Retail Connection?

Neel: Being a part of a highly dynamic and entrepreneurial team that is very focused on company-wide collaboration.

Morris: Building and growing one of the most talented teams in retail real estate in Texas.

How do you compete with so many companies getting into the retail niche, especially considering that Austin is a relatively small market?

Neel: TRC has such deeply rooted and broad relationships with so many different national, regional retailers and landlords. The strong, proven track record goes a long way.

Morris: What differentiates TRC from every other real estate company is our role and relationship with both tenants and landlord. At the end of day, it’s all about results. Our connections provide us with substantial influence to deliver exceptional results. The Retail Connection has such a solid and comprehensive platform throughout Texas and the Southwest, and we are capable of offering our clients end-to-end solutions and optimizing their investments.

What excites you the most about retail real estate in Austin, in terms of the future?

Neel: The continued opportunity for growth. So much has changed since I moved to Austin, but I think the best is yet to come.

Morris: I have never seen the retail real estate market in Austin as dynamic and fluid as it is today. There is so much opportunity for those who are willing to grasp it, and it is mind-boggling the results we can achieve with the experiences, partners and clients we have established over the years. Austin is on steroids, and we are ecstatic to be a significant part of and driving force of retail real estate in this city.

What’s your words of advice for someone who wants to get into this market segment?

Neel: Get to know the retail market and the players. While we’re a growing city, it’s still a small group compared to Dallas-Fort Worth or Houston.

Morris: Retail is one of the most exciting segments of the commercial real estate industry and I would encourage anyone with a passion for relationships, and a sound knowledge of retailing in general along with a healthy dose of intestinal fortitude to get in now while the waves are high and opportunities abound.

Jan Buchholz covers commercial and residential real estate, construction and architecture and retail and restaurants for the Austin Business Journal.
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