Jodie Poirier is now the managing director of CBRE’s South Bay operations. She stepped into the role in February after two years as a director in the company’s advisory and transaction services occupier business, where she pursued large, often complex, occupier assignments throughout the U.S.
A graduate of Cornell University, Poirier earned her master’s degree in real estate development from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, then made her way through the ranks at JLL, Colliers International and the Davis Cos. before landing at CBRE. There, her team of three collectively won $83 million in business.
In her new role, she will focus on the South Bay area, which covers the twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, along with approximately 31.7 million square feet in the office sector and 220 million square feet in the industrial market. Poirier will oversee the 145 people involved in CBRE’s spectrum of service offerings — including advisory and transactions, capital markets and enterprise facilities management — across all lines of business, including office, industrial, retail and multifamily.
On the eve of her promotion, she sat down with The Real Deal to discuss South Bay’s challenges and the experiences that led her to a career in real estate.
What does your new role look like?
I’m responsible for running and growing our business in South Bay. On any given day, I strategize with our professionals on an upcoming pitch and bring in the right resources across CBRE. I also may meet with a team to go over their business plan, have lunch with a client, review monthly financials with our director of operations or connect our team with another market to support outbound business. Some days, I may attend a kick-off meeting for a new assignment. Overall, I’m building our brand in this market.
What are your hobbies?
I played Division I college tennis at Cornell University all four years. I also ran the Boston Marathon with my mom last year and raised $15,000 the Boys and Girls Club.
What is happening right now in the South Bay?
There’s a large industrial market here and it’s very tight. There’s a lack of space, making it a sub 1 percent vacancy [in the fourth quarter of 2016, the industrial market had a vacancy rate of 0.8 percent]. E-commerce and third party logistics are seeing a lot of activity, which could be bolstered by space coming from new construction. More than 1 million square feet of new construction were delivered in the fourth quarter of 2016, with nearly 1 million more under construction. The Brickyard, for example, in Compton, has about a half-million square feet of Class A industrial space for lease that’s 10 miles from the ports and 7 miles from LAX. [Poirier’s team is leasing the property].
How quickly are properties selling right now?
Industrial and infill are getting picked up very quickly. As for office and retail, El Segundo, with its proximity to the beach and airport, is attracting more interest [In the fourth quarter of 2016, the office market still had a 15 percent vacancy rate]. There is more retail and there are more amenities with an emerging work-live-play environment. It used to be that if you were going down Rosecrans Avenue, there were limited retail and dining opportunities. Now more have popped up. It’s changing the vibe of this area, which is great. Especially because our office is right here, too.
What was your first job in L.A.?
My first job in Los Angeles was during the summer after my freshman year in college. I interned in production on “Baywatch”. After a year in Ithaca, New York, I thought going to Malibu and Santa Monica would be a pretty good way to spend the summer. I worked on a lot in Playa Vista and we went off-site to film at Will Rogers State Beach in Santa Monica. The editors took me under their wing. I took scripts and summarized them into one-line continuity scripts, ran scripts to actors and actresses houses and took equipment from the studio to the set. I’d been on a Nickelodeon TV show when I was in middle school, called “Hey Dude”, and at the time, I thought I’d go into production.
Any other jobs before real estate?
The summer after I graduated from Cornell, I sold educational books door to door. You see it all. I was chased off a property with a rifle on the Fourth of July. Chickens came through a broken screen door in a single-wide trailer while I was on the floor giving a demo. I was bitten by a dog; I still have the scar. It truly taught me the fundamentals. I knew then that I wanted to be in sales.