By Kristine Cannon
When the pandemic hit last spring, certain industries took a nosedive, from the restaurant and hotel industries to airlines and more.
But the one industry that exploded? Real estate — and not solely residential real estate.
For Scottsdale Airpark-based Leading Edge Real Estate, the pandemic also led to an increase in commercial, aviation and ranch real estate business.
“Other than just a couple months early in the pandemic with lower office space demand, we actually saw our business pick up for commercial, aviation and ranch real estate,” says Aron Brow, Leading Edge Real Estate co-founder and associate broker.
Leading Edge Real Estate is a full-service real estate firm with decades of specialized experience in several areas, including aviation real estate, which saw the biggest boost in business amid the pandemic.
“The extra demand for private aviation helped the aviation real estate industry from sales to leasing,” says Brow, who brings more than 20 years of aviation and real estate experience to the team.
According to Brow, the private aviation industry not only recovered but also began to exceed years prior, with those who may have traveled first class now traveling on private aircrafts.
This, in turn, led to an acceleration of the aviation real estate industry — and more demand for aviation real estate.
“Along with the real estate, we also manage aviation fuel farms, and due to the additional flying, we’ve seen an increase in fuel usage,” Brow adds.
Leading Edge Real Estate was more than capable of handling such increased demand, too. What sets Leading Edge Real Estate apart from most commercial and residential real estate companies is its team has specialized experience in aviation and airport real estate.
“From gross weights to wingspans and taxiways to fuel farms, we speak the language of aviation,” Brow says.
The aviation team at Leading Edge Real Estate has a combined professional aviation experience of more than 70 years and experience of more than 50,000 flight hours.
Having specific aviation and ranch property knowledge, coupled with the team’s approach to handling every deal, is what Brow says is the company’s strength.
“From the first client meeting to the final closing or lease signing, each team member is involved so there is never a lapse in service or loss of momentum toward the ultimate goal of getting a deal done in the most expeditious manner that benefits the client,” he says.
However, maintaining the high level of service Leading Edge Real Estate prides itself on proved an initial challenge during the pandemic.
According to Brow, “One of the hardest aspects of continuing business during the pandemic was how to interact with customers and clients to keep deals moving.”
While the firm’s team continued to come into its Airpark office, it was challenging determining the comfort level of others, especially during the first several months.
But technology helped change that — and even gave the company an edge.
“Just like the rest of the U.S., we got really good at online meeting platforms, and in the event someone wanted to meet in person, we respected their personal space. Where others might have given up from lack of contact, we kept following up on deals to make sure they were on track and completed,” Brow explains.
In addition to a boost in aviation real estate business, Leading Edge Real Estate also saw increased demand for residential, commercial and ranch real estate.
“From what we’ve seen, COVID-19 has only accelerated demand for ranch real estate, mainly because people are looking to escape more populated areas and have a place they can retreat with their friends and family away from other people and ongoing government restrictions,” Brow says.
As for residential real estate, Leading Edge Real Estate experienced an increase in sales — and across the spectrum, too, from affordable condos to multimillion-dollar homes.
“Although residential real estate is a small part of our business, we added a new residential agent to our company,” Brow says.
While the pandemic led to an overall drop in demand for commercial real estate, Leading Edge Real Estate saw an uptick in business.
Leading Edge Real Estate’s most important project this year is in the aviation real estate space: leasing more than 500,000 square feet of aviation hangar and office space — even bigger than last year’s largest leasing, which consisted of nearly 350,000 square feet of aviation hangar and office space.
“We always seem to have a continuous stream of other sales and leasing opportunities as well,” Brow says.
With business steady, so far, this year for Leading Edge Real Estate, Brow says the team’s goal is to continue to serve clients with the same consistent and knowledgeable service they’ve come to expect from the company.
“We’ve always strived to maintain a high level of service and to always operate with our clients’ best interests in mind,” he says. ν
Leading Edge Real Estate
15010 N. 78th Way, Suite 107, Scottsdale