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 soared was real estate and not solely residential.
For Scottsdale-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 and lower office space demand, we actually saw our business pick up for commercial, aviation, and ranch real estate,” said 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,” said Brow, who brings more than 20 years of aviation and real estate experience to the team.
According to Brow, people who may have traveled first class now travel on private aircraft.
This led to an acceleration of the aviation real estate industry.
“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 added.
Leading Edge Real Estate 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 said.
Its aviation team has a combined professional aviation experience of more than 70 years and more than 50,000 flight hours.
“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 said.
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.”
But technology helped — 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 explained.
Leading Edge Real Estate also saw increased demand in other categories.
“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 said.
As for residential real estate, Leading Edge Real Estate experienced an increase in sales – and across the spectrum, too, from affordable condos to multi-million-dollar homes.
“Although residential real estate is a small part of our business, we added a new residential agent to our company,” Brow said.
And while the pandemic led to an overall drop in demand for commercial real estate, Leading Edge Real Estate actually saw a pick-up in business.
Leading Edge Real Estate said its biggest gains this year in the aviation real estate space.
It leased 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 said.
With business steady, so far, this year for Leading Edge Real Estate, Brow said the team’s goal is to continue to serve their 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 said.