Working in Cannabis Real Estate: An Interview with Lani Flores
Here at WeCann, we pride ourselves on having some of the best people in the business to support your search for cannabis real estate in California.
Our own Lani Flores recently executed a lease on a property with incredible speed. So what does it take to work in the cannabis industry? How do brokers like Lani work out deals with those who may be hesitant in the cannabis industry? I asked Lani these very questions.
A: So you recently closed this Newport listing fast. Can you describe to me what the process was like?
L: It was really fun! Here’s the thing, when it comes to selling cannabis real-estate, it’s like two people are eventually going to get married, but they’ve never met.
It’s true. For many not in the industry, Cannabis still seems “out there.” It’s part of Lani’s job to introduce property owners to the potential of the cannabis industry before they make any significant commitments, much like introducing someone hesitant about marriage to a hopeful future spouse.
L: As agents, we scour these cities that will have ordinances (allowing for Cannabis properties). It takes a lot of time and a lot of effort to database and cold-call these property owners and pitch like, “Hey, do you want cannabis people in your space because the city is going to move forward.”
It takes a lot of time and energy to educate landlords and owners about our clients.With an industry like ours, it’s already born with a bad rap. Lots of landlords and owners are skeptical of us.
For this particular listing, the owner was really cool, really nice. She seemed overwhelmed by all the inquiries from brokers and cannabis operators in regards to her property. She’s got a great location.
A: How do you think you stood out in the sea of all those brokers?
L: Something I love about working in the industry, as women, we’re already in a male-dominated industry, and in the cannabis industry, it’s like, okay, we need to make our mark here. I think she related to that.
But it went deeper than that too. Lani went on to say that they built up a trusting relationship that other brokers weren’t able to do.
L: Aside from both of us being passionate about empowerment, I worked very hard to gain her trust. I gave her insight on what the cannabis industry looked like and what kind of clients we represent.
Lani wanted to make it clear that the clients aren’t just anyone. These are reputable people making a profit who can do wonders for space and bring a ton of value to the property. Lani said diligence and trust were paramount to her success.
L: I really honed in on my skill as an agent. You know, just trying to really educate her on the market but really mastering my craft in the Cannabis industry as well.
Lani also made it clear how important it was to navigate both sides.
L: I’m representing her, but I’ve got several clients that want in there. It’s a very interesting balance to navigate both sides with as much transparency, honesty, and integrity as I can. I think just approaching it that way helped destigmatize what the cannabis industry looks like.
A: You touched on something I want to delve deeper into. Because there’s this taboo around the cannabis industry, how else do you work to destigmatize it?
L: Sometimes it’s difficult, but I feel like more and more people are becoming open to actually listening. Ultimately, I try to be as open, trusting, and approachable as I can be. I don’t want to come off shady. I direct people to our website so they know we’re real and legitimate and back it with the clientele we have. These are real folks running businesses; they’re just selling a different kind of product.
Covid kind of helped, too, because cannabis was deemed essential and was thriving during a pandemic. I get personal as well. I want people to know that not just the business owners but the consumers of cannabis are just everyday people who understand the plant and how it can heal. Now, what we’re trying to do in the industry is solidify that and make it safer for people to partake in it.
I compare lots of dispensaries to merging a Starbucks and an Apple store together. That’s what an upscale dispensary looks like these days.
Breaking down these barriers with openness, honesty, and comparisons people can relate to has helped Lani in her career. While there’s a long way to go as far as stigma, it’s clear that Lani and WeCann are a part of the positive change.
What would you say are some of the most rewarding parts about working in the Cannabis industry?
I love growing in this business as a woman and supporting other women in this business. But it’s also about the plant. It’s a medicinal plant that’s progressed to where it is now and gone so far as far as legality goes. It’s amazing to be a part of this industry and a part of the movement to solidify its necessity and I hope everything else gets fixed along the way.
Lani is one of WeCann’s passionate and successful agents making great strides for clients. If you’re looking for cannabis zoned real estate or licensing, contact us today!