LOS ANGELES—Education is the key to breaking into the industry’s flourishing niche markets—like net lease, healthcare and student housing—according to the expert panelists at the CCIM Thrive conference in Downtown Los Angeles. With Camille Renshaw, CCIM, director and lead broker at Stan Johnson Co., moderating, panelists, including Paul McDowell, president of the office and industrial group at American Realty Capital Properties; Jonathan W. Hipp, president and CEO of Calkain Cos.; Phillip J. Kayden, senior investment officer at Ventas Inc.; Douglas J. Kligman, CIO at Vesper Holdings, discussed how the niche markets have integrated into the mainstream CRE sectors and how investors and brokers looking to operate within this space can break in.

All of the experts agreed that education was the first step to breaking into these niche markets, and that means reading both trade publications and industry periodicals produced by research platforms. Additionally, almost all of the panelists recommended reaching out to an expert in the field. “Find someone who is highly successful in the sector to get that knowledge,” said Kligman, adding that “it is important to partner with someone on your first deal.”

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