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  • By Jeffrey Thomas Marchesseault

Outstripped, outgunned and undone!

Four technical factors your competitors don’t want you to know about Guam’s buildup-era business environment

Guam’s multibillion-dollar military buildup will spur new investment, drive traffic, expand the population, and create thousands of temporary and permanent jobs. How will your business leverage 21st century technology to keep a competitive edge when 5,000 U.S. Marines arrive from Okinawa?

Here’s how you can leverage technology to milk four critical factors of the buildup-era for all they’re worth. If you don’t, someone else will.

Real Estate. After 20 years of slow growth and stagnation, the local property market is finally on the cusp of accelerated construction again. As builders re-secure contracts for affordable labor to meet demand for the construction of military and civilian infrastructures as well as vacation resorts—investments into retail, housing and hotels are obvious choices. But Guam’s strategic location, U.S. status, professional class and proximity to Asia could all soon look increasingly attractive, too, especially as nearshore and offshore enterprises in Asia and the Caribbean seek greener pastures beyond the taxing grasp of regional hegemons.

Other sleeping giants on Guam include a capacity for insured assisted living facilities and outpatient convalescent homes as well as agribusiness for regional food security. Data mining and social- media direct marketing could be game changers for Guam’s soft office market, undercapitalized silver sub-industry, and underdeveloped niche farming markets. Do your research and plan ahead.

Furthermore, the worldwide trend toward the commoditization, securitization, and liquidation of real property could soon take root in Guam, especially with the arrival of savvy buildup-era capital inflows. Nowadays, asset tokenization and an assortment of other financial technologies quickly qualify and compliantly manage a wider spectrum of capital classes for efficient entry and exit strategies throughout the global real estate market. Here’s what you need to ask yourself now. “Should I be buying instead of leasing, and can I foresee leasing out my title-held assets for higher rents? What can I do to prepare my real estate holdings for next-generation investment?”



Logistics. On-time delivery of goods and services will grow evermore critical but shouldn’t become more difficult during the buildup. The Port Authority of Guam and Guam International Airport Authority continue to invest hundreds of millions into hardening their infrastructures for efficiency and durability. Our seaport in particular is preparing for a level of high throughput tonnage not seen in decades.

Peak wharfage at the seaport is anticipated by or before the mid- 2020s and is expected to coincide with the arrival and site delivery of motherlodes of construction supplies. Private businesses depending on an uninterrupted flow of materials and products should double down on redundant IT and telecom equipment and services while building relationships with trustworthy shipping concerns that track and protect shipments with real-time data and reliable freight distribution. Anticipate the implementation of biometric security at the airport and the outlay of digital cargo security measures at the seaport.

Personnel – Attract the best talent by earning a reputation for prioritizing the job satisfaction of your employees. You can build your profile as an employer of choice, first by thoroughly valuing and training workers who want to meaningfully contribute and remain on their jobs because the rewards of teamwork, time off, and generous pay are so compelling.

Satisfied employees will be your brand’s best ambassadors in the buildup era. And both unofficial and official online marketing channels can support your business’s claim to fame, as happy employees can’t help but brag about how great you are. As Sir Richard Branson of the Virgin empire always insists, “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.” If your pockets aren’t deep enough to pay anything more than a competitive wage right now, that’s a start! Balance it with a sense of purpose that inspires productivity and profit and shares reward. You’ll be glad you did!

Industry Pacing. Finally, challenge your business to be a time pacer rather than an event pacer. Don’t just react—project! According to the Harvard Business Review, time pacers study the relevant market data, anticipate demand, invest in the research and development likeliest to positively impact their industries, and time the release of innovative products at regular intervals. This way they become both the foreseers and the drivers of change.

Jeffrey Tomas Marchesseault is a broadcaster and real estate broker who now works in economic development, national and international affairs for the government of Guam. Heloves to read, write, and riff about busted communication systems and how to fix them with technology. Send feedback to

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