Agents changing the way they work in Nevada

Real estate agents in Nevada are looking into different ways to attract business.

Commercial vacancy rates are gradually improving in Las Vegas, but the landscape for occupancy is still well below what it was 10 years ago.

Real estate agents are now making cold calls and chasing leads in order to keep their business from busting, and many are specializing in selling foreclosed properties to banks and mortgage companies, which is something that agents were much more likely to avoid a decade prior.

"This is a brand new business with brand new players," said Kit Graski, a longtime commercial real estate broker and an executive vice president with Voit Real Estate Services, to VegasInc.

Before the bubble burst
When business was booming prior to the Great Recession, shopping centers, warehouses and office buildings were popping up all over the place.

"As long as you were near a phone, you had the ability to make money," industrial broker Dan Doherty, a senior vice president at Colliers International, told VegasInc.

Doherty told VegasInc that his best year ever was in 2009 due to a $26 million sale of a six-building industrial project off Rainbow Boulevard and Sunset Road. But in 2010, his business began to wither and his income dropped 85 percent.

Doherty said that business has started to improve, but competition for finalizing a deal is fierce. He said he's spending extra time pitching to people in person and on the phone, and he's started to offer free advisory work to potential clients.

"It's a lot of the stuff that we stopped doing when business got so good," he said.

According to Nevada Business, the office sector vacancy rate dropped slightly during the second quarter of 2013. The rate fell from 26.2 percent to 26.0 percent by the end of the quarter. Still, the year-over-year vacancy rate in the second quarter was 0.4 percent worse than in 2012.

By the numbers
The number of licensed Nevada real estate agents reached 22,141 right around the construction boom in 2003. That number skyrocketed 62 percent in 2007 to 35,800 agents, but the total of licensed agents has fallen to 23,056 this year, according to Gail Anderson, the Nevada Real Estate Division administrator.

The Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors showed a similar trend. The association had 9,400 members in 2003, but had nearly 17,500 in its ranks by 2007. That number dropped to approximately 11,300 in 2013.

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