Joey Odom is one of the top brokers and Atlanta Director at Stan Johnson Company based in their Atlanta Office. Joey has been with Stan Johnson Company for over ten years. Odom oversees the Atlanta office and southeast region, focusing on serving net lease buyers and sellers within the geography. Odom specializes in the sale of net lease retail properties, which is arguably one of the leading investment sectors within commercial real estate.
LD: What career path did you want to take when you were in college?
JO: My original plan in college was to go into youth ministry, and the college I attended had a strong program in this field. After a few semesters with this in mind, though, I shifted to a business focus in sales and marketing.
LD: What events in your career path brought you to your current position at Stan Johnson Company?
JO: Out of College I worked in the athletic industry for several years, but I had always been interested in the commercial real estate industry and was fortunate to know several people at Stan Johnson Company, namely Brad Pepin, who is a top producer at the company. Brad introduced me to the company and I was fortunate to be hired on soon after.
LD: Can you tell us what your “average” week of work is like?
JO: My role within SJC is the “player coach.” On the player side, our team (including Maggie Holmes, Mike Sladich & KB Yabuku) focuses primarily on representing sellers of net lease retail properties in the Southeast – it has been a tremendous year for our team on this front. In any given week, I will visit existing or prospective clients, manage current deals or strategize on upcoming listing pitches.
On the coach side, I work alongside our other teams in the Southeast. This includes Van Barron, whose team focuses on medical sales, Britton Burdette, whose team focuses on office and industrial sales, Jason Long, whose team focuses on retail sales and Jason Powell, whose team focuses on drug store and other retail sales. We are having a record year in the Southeast and are excited to continue the momentum. Additionally, my goal is to recruit top talent to join the Stan Johnson Company team.
LD: Joey, why do you believe the STNL space has become so hot? Why are there a growing number of investors entering the STNL space? Income Predictability? Less property management headaches? Perceived ease of understanding the STNL investments?
JO: The STNL space has grown hotter and hotter over the past few years. As a general statement, the space is viewed as a flight to quality and safety. It has been a safe haven investment for many individual investors deploying money from the market to alternative investments. Institutional investors have grown increasingly more active as well, with new and existing funds having larger allocations to net lease. Foreign investors have been particularly active in the space; in the past several weeks, we have closed with an Israeli group and a French individual investor, as examples. Even with compressed cap rates, yields for real estate in the U.S. are still very attractive to foreign investors, particularly those with turmoil in their own countries (Venezuela, Greece, etc.). Because Stan Johnson Company focuses exclusively on Net Lease Sales, we are able to tap into a broad array of investor groups, and are the bridge between institutional and private capital.
LD: Everyone has a few transactions that stand out in the careers. What is one deal thus far in your career that stands out to you and what is the significance to that deal?
JO: We were fortunate to be asked to present for a large portfolio of Dollar General properties several years ago, and were competing against several large competitors. In preparation for the pitch, I spent several days at the office until 4am! We connected very well with the client and were awarded the business. That year we sold 135 Dollar General properties for this client, and have closed in excess of 200 sites in total for them to date. More rewarding is the relationship we have developed with this client; I consider them very close personal friends.
LD: What advice would you give a young Joey Odom just out of college and starting his professional career?
JO: Some of the best advice I received was to not stress out too much about your first job. Every experience we have can be used as a stepping-stone, whether in that particular job or a future job. The key is to use every experience as an opportunity to grow, especially in turmoil or difficulty. I heard John Maxwell recently say, “Growth isn’t guaranteed in difficulty, but it’s the only environment in which it happens.” We can take comfort in difficulty or turmoil, knowing it has the potential to make us better.