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Semi-Annual Newsletter: 2017 Midyear Update

May 24, 2017

By Matt Slepin

My headline from the first half of the year is that our real estate world still looks stable. The cycle is absolutely long-in-the-tooth. There will be a downturn, of course, but it feels that it will be driven by outside forces, not bad behavior in the real estate or financial services sectors. Business has, so far, survived the ignominies of the Trump Presidency, but the administration is certainly one of the major exogenous risks. And the timing in different sectors is what you see in the headlines – a market top but not a crash in multifamily, lots of change and dislocation in the retail sector, and questions across the board on the economic impacts of emerging technologies like driverless cars.

The search business has been steady, if not strong. We have expanded our team in Southern California and have opened a physical office in Newport Beach. We have expanded our four person team on the East Coast with an additional Principal in our Bethesda office, which is now three professionals. We have had assignments in all disciplines and sectors of the business with a growing body of work in leadership succession assignments due largely to baby boomer leaders’ planning for their eventual retirements. Mary and I co-wrote an article about this for the NAREIM Journal Dialogues, “Succession for the Rest of Us,” available here.

In addition to our search work, much of my fascination has come from hosting the Leading Voices with ULI Podcast series. You have probably received emails from both Terra Search and from ULI and I encourage you to listen in on at least one of the episodes and hopefully subscribe, which is easy to do from your smart phone. The conversations with leaders across the industry have been inspiring and have provided grist for the mill of my urbanist belief that we in the real estate industry are creating environments that make a real difference in our cities. We can reflexively think of the affordable housing folks as the only ones doing “good work” in our industry, but all these stories show the values, placemaking brilliance, and company-building vision of leaders from all corners of the business. These interviews have lifted my game and my perspective and I hope that you find at least some of the same.

Subscribe to the Leading Voices podcast series here.

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