Rex Moroux, a commercial sales and leasing agent with Scout Real Estate Company, joined Discover Lafayette to discuss the commercial real estate climate in Acadiana in early 2021.
Rex began his real estate career at Coldwell Banker Real Estate and in the fall of 2018, joined Scout Real Estate, a firm headed up by his mentor, the late Hammy Davis, along with Jeff Landry and Chad Ortte. Previously he had toured and recorded as a professional musician throughout the U. S. and Europe.
Things have completely changed in Rex’s life since our first interview in 2018 when he was about to appear as a guest on Jeopardy, one of the only people from our region ever to achieve such an opportunity. One of the most important people in his life, Hammy Davis, passed away in October 2020 from Stage 4 brain cancer. “Hammy was the most important person in my life outside of my family…on so many levels, not just professionally. He was the greatest guy I have ever known. He was how I hope to be; if I can walk the world like him, I think I will have won.”
Yet, life does go on and Hammy’s tutelage has served Rex well. While Rex had never uttered the words “commercial real estate” before a fortuitous lunch with Hammy back in 2012, he now enjoys his career with Scout Real Estate. In fact, he has never been busier than he is now, even given the effects of COVID on the economy.
Scout Real Estate handles all forms of property management, from asset management, financial consulting services, maintenance oversight of properties, or any other issues facing owner/sellers of commercial real estate properties. Rex focuses on the brokerage side of the business, finding the right buyers and sellers for a transaction.
Lifelong connections help in the real estate business and Rex spoke of one such client and friend, VieMed owner Casey Hoyt, whom he helped along with partner Michael Moore in the purchase of the Talos Energy (formerly Stone Energy) building on Kaliste Saloom Road. He also represents families who inherit properties and don’t know the value or best use of real estate which may have been in the family for decades. Along with his cohorts at Scout Real Estate, Rex offers professional property consulting services on a one-time basis or a longer-term arrangements.
We spoke of the difference between residential and commercial real estate transactions, with due diligence being the key difference. A commercial deal is approached totally differently from the purchase of a home, with much more financial complexity and time needed to study, inspect and investigate all aspects of the property before closing.
A commercial real estate broker can take the burden off a buyer or seller insofar as time and effort is involved in closing a deal. Brokers also offer expertise in advising on 1031 Exchanges and ensuring that a client’s wealth is protected while minimizing tax burdens. A broker acting as an advocate for their client can prevent eager clients from committing to a deal before confirming it is right for their particular situation.
One ‘Hammyism’ that Rex shared was to “Go to work every day as if you’ve got $100 grand in your pocket. Meaning that if you’re obsessed with the commission, you won’t do right by your client. You have to be able to tell them that this is no good. You have to take the long view. You earn trust and then everybody wins. It always pays off if you keep your client’s needs primarily in mind.”
With the COVID shutdown, commercial real estate was impacted just as every sector of the economy. But interestingly, the initial fear that businesses would abandon the need for office space as employees worked from home over the long haul has not proven true. “People learned quickly that we need people in the office. Camaraderie among workers and the need to monitor employee productivity are important. Whatever was saved on rent, managers quickly learned that they had much less control over productivity and quality control.”
While sales in the commercial real estate market have fared well over the past year, there is a definite lull in the leasing market, especially retail space. It has proven difficult to get people to commit to a multi-year (3 to 5 year) lease which is typically sought in the commercial sector. Rex has been busy with sales of properties in the office and industrial realm. He predicts a boom as people return to normalcy, hopefully this fall as the stimulus monies help spark the economy and a higher number of people are vaccinated. And just as hopefully, those new retailers who have been hesitant to commit to opening a business will take the leap and open up.
If you heard our first interview with Rex, you know he gained renown as one of the only people from this region that has been selected to be a guest on Jeopardy. While he didn’t win, he loved the experience and the opportunity to be in the iconic Jeopardy studio and of course, meet Alex Trebek. Rex also shares that to win, “It’s all about the buzzer! You have to time out the last syllable. You can’t buzz in early or you get timed-out.”
Rex Moroux and his wife, Jessica, have three young children: Drexel, Solomon and Finley and live in Lafayette. For further information on Scout Real Estate, visit https://scoutrec.com/. To contact Rex, email firstname.lastname@example.org.