Problem solving has become the biggest rent in retail brokerage in recent years—and it isn’t surprising. While all asset classes have seen a shift in demand this cycle—some for the better—and there has bee a general trend toward more experiential real estate, the retail sector has experienced the most significant change. As a result, the retail broker’s role has also changed.

“The biggest trend in the past couple of years and for the foreseeable future is problem solving,” Chris Wilson, head of national agency leasing at JLL, tells “Many centers are showing signs of disruption from the disconnect in rents for luxury to the repositioning of malls to the evolution of the grocery industry. As retail continues to change, we at JLL need to be problem solvers for our owner clients.”

Wilson was named head of national agency leasing earlier this month, a promotion that included the title of EVP. Prior to taking on the position, Wilson served as Southwest Brokerage Retail Lead for JLL. He will now oversee brokerage and leasing services for JLL’s extensive institutional retail portfolio. “Since I sold my business, Wilson Retail Group, to JLL in 2014 I have had the opportunity to contribute to the growth of JLL retail in the Southwest by implementing best practices and working to become one team, things that I have strived for my entire career,” he says about taking on the position. “This new role allows me to take my efforts to a national level where I will look to grow the national retail agency leasing platform through training, strategic recruitment and multi-market representation. With JLL’s acquisition of HFF in 2019, we now have a robust, full-service platform that provides investors with services throughout a property’s lifecycle, from acquisition and financing, to leasing stabilization to disposition.”

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.

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