If you go to the Equity Retail Brokers page on LinkedIn and scroll through the posts from the past eight or nine months, you’ll see lots of perfectly normal content for a firm like ours. There are store-opening announcements congratulating Pancheros, Starbucks, Firestone and other clients; pics and videos highlighting leasing and land-sale opportunities; status updates about our latest sales of c-stores, banks, drugstores and other net-lease properties; and posts giving readers a heads up about our newly published blog entries, newsletters and research reports.

But of course, 2020 was anything but a normal year—not for commercial real estate pros or anyone else. Like you, we can’t wait to turn the corner on this pandemic and get back to a more normal situation.  

As the most challenging year in commercial real estate since the great recession over ten years ago drew to a close, several Equity Retail Brokers agents shared their wish-list items for 2021. It came as no surprise to us that so many of these responses reflected two qualities that are integral to our culture—namely, an eagerness to connect and collaborate with clients and industry colleagues, and a fervent hope for their continued success.

We hope you enjoy reading them, and we wish you all the best in 2021.

“Stability is my biggest wish for retail real estate in 2021. With Covid spiking and restrictions in place across the country, it’s anything but stable. My hope is that the vaccines roll out successfully and as quickly as possible so retail can get back to ‘normal,’ whatever that will look like.”
—David Goodman

“For our leasing & tenant rep division, I wish for the clarity of knowing that Covid is over and tenants are confident that opening a new store will be a successful endeavor. For our investment sales division, my main wish is for stability, but also for continued low interest rates, knowledge that 1031 laws will continue, and that tenants are able to have the confidence in their ability to stay open and operating successfully. For our property management division, I wish for tenants to be fully open to 100 percent of their allowed occupancy, so that they regain profitability and can continue to pay full rents and NNN reimbursements.”
—Ken McEvoy

“My answer would be ‘Hope’. I wish for Hope in 2021. With Hope, people will endure what’s left in this pandemic. With Hope, businesses, companies and restaurants will hang-on and work to survive. With Hope, retailers and restaurants will continue to expand and not retract.”
—Rob Samtmann

“The top of my wish list is the successful rollout of a widely available Covid-19 vaccine that will allow consumers to resume their in-person shopping patterns.”
Brian Wherty

“In 2021, I’d like to see retailers get back to pre-Covid-19 customer visits, which in turn will help owners regain confidence in many tenants when making long-term investments into their portfolios.”
Ken Yanni

“My top wish list items for 2021 are to see the return of employees to office buildings (suburban and urban); increased consumer confidence in shopping, dining and spending; and students returning to school full time.”
Keith Seymour

“I wish all bricks-and-mortar retailers a V-shaped recovery in 2021.”
—George Wisnoski

“Something on my wish list for the world of retail real estate in 2021 would be the return of the brick-and-mortar store. Before the pandemic hit, e-commerce companies began to open flagship locations to enhance the consumer experience. This was pulling customers out from their computers and into stores. Hopefully in 2021, retailers will see the customer visits rise again.”
Brianna Barratt

“My wish is that restaurants and townships continue the trend of allowing expanded outdoor dining. We have seen some really creative outdoor dining atmospheres this year. The use of landscaping and other outdoor elements has elevated the dining experience and simultaneously improved the streetscapes and sidewalks of shopping centers. I hope the trend continues.”
—David DeRienzo

“My wish for 2021 is to have the 1031 incentives remain the same. With the new administration planning to increase taxes on individuals making over $400,000 per year, this could have an impact on 1031 exchanges moving forward.”
David Laiter

“I would like to see some pressure and sanctions taken off restaurants with respect to the lockdowns. The restrictions restaurants face are dramatically impacting their ability to stay profitable, and are forcing many to close their doors forever.”
—CJ Wallowich

“My greatest wish for Retailers in 2021 is for them to make it through the Covid-19 storm alive. Covid has taught me that every day we are here is a gift—an opportunity to innovate, problem-solve, and hope for a brighter future. Sometimes success is simply staying in the game.”
—Rose Urban

“In 2021 I wish to have in-person interactions with coworkers, clients, and colleagues. I can’t wait to conduct business face-to-face again over meetings, lunches and at industry events.”
—Rachel Bliss

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