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Posted on: Thursday - Dec 3, 2015

by: Jennifer McEachern

Last month, LEDIC Realty Company announced plans to locate its new national headquarters in Memphis creating 300 new jobs in Tennessee. LEDIC, a fully integrated manager, owner and developer of multifamily properties across the country, has acquired more than 9,000 apartment units this year making it among the fastest growing real estate firms in the nation. The company now manages 40,000 apartment units and employs over 1,100 team members nationwide.

LEDIC’s investment of more than $10 million will be used to build a new state-of-the-art facility which includes an impressive training center. We had a chance to talk with Pierce Ledbetter, CEO of LEDIC, who told us more about the training center and why Memphis is the right fit for LEDIC.

Why did LEDIC select Memphis for its national headquarters?

Memphis was chosen for its central location and deep talent pool of real estate accountants, developers and managers. Ever since Holiday Inn was founded by Kemmons Wilson here in Memphis, our city has attracted real estate professionals from across the country to locate here creating a local culture with skilled entrepreneurial talent suited to growing real estate.

What factors were considered when making the decision?

People, product and price are three hallmark deciding factors when marketing apartments, and these were the top three factors when making our decision. Memphis has talented real estate professionals and a range of locations with access to ultra-high-speed internet, both critical factors in our search process. 

We looked at cities like Austin, Texas, which has Google Fiber, and considered how ultra-high-speed internet could transform our business. By centralizing job functions, we can allow Memphis-based professionals to serve apartment communities around the nation via live streaming of classes and management updates, but it takes that internet speed to accomplish this. We learned from several providers that as long as we could find a building within 500 feet of fiber, we could accomplish our goal. That helped narrow our search, and we found a building along a fiber route with a completely vacant floor, ideally suited to building out a LEED certified high-tech training center serviced by a 10 gigabit per second circuit. 

Just a few years ago, we would have been happy with a single T-1 line. In our new space and in our new business model, we’ll be able to leverage the internet equivalent of about 6,500 T-1 lines. Put another way, LEDIC will have enough bandwidth to stream 1,724 Netflix movies, all in HD, all at once, with no lag. While movies are obviously not our industry, the innovation of using video content of our own creation and having a real time presence in communities across the country will enable LEDIC to grow more efficiently, taking advantage of enormous economies of scale. 

 

Tell us about the process of choosing the location for LEDIC’s national headquarters and how the city and state helped along the way.

When we began the process, we initially considered letting our current lease in Memphis expire and going elsewhere. Within 48 hours of LEDIC notifying the Chamber of Commerce of this decision, a team of city, county and state representatives visited LEDIC to listen to its needs and goals. LEDIC was able to review options with representatives and compare them with a variety of relocation options. Responsiveness was immediate, and the speed and clarity of decisions helped LEDIC see that our best option was to stay in Memphis.

What do Memphis and the state of Tennessee have to offer a company like LEDIC?

Memphis and the state of Tennessee offer a great workforce and a university system tailored to develop top talent. In particular, the Department of Finance, Insurance and Real Estate at the University of Memphis brings special appeal for real estate firms thinking about locating in Memphis. The Memphis medical district, including ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, have been magnets for high tech talent, such as database programmers, whose skills now intersect with our industry. A revolution of how real estate is managed will be won in part by who has scale and who makes the best use of technology.

In addition to the location, workforce and availability of ultra-high-speed internet, are there any quality of life aspects that helped sway your decision to stay in Memphis?

I have lived in Memphis much of my life, with time also spent on the West Coast and New York, where I was born. Having had the opportunity to spend time in other parts of the nation, I am amazed at how quickly the Memphis area has added to the quality of life. I regularly ride the Green Line and have recently learned to paddle a kayak in the Wolf River. With the continued expansion of trails connecting Memphis, improving safe walkability and cycling, I see Memphis becoming safer and more neighborhood friendly, bringing development back to the core of the city for generations ahead.

To learn more about LEDIC, visit ledic.com