October 12, 2020
If any time has called for clarity and long-term perspective, it has been the year to date and especially the past seven months. To help provide that clarity and perspective, Marcus & Millichap has assembled five industry heavyweights for an Oct. 15 webinar titled “Cutting Through the Fog: Insights from Commercial Real Estate Industry Leaders.”
With Marcus & Millichap CEO Hessam Nadji leading the discussion, the panel will also include Doug Bibby, president of the National Multifamily Housing Council; Tom Bisacquino, president & CEO, NAIOP; Wendy Mann, CEO of CREW Network; and Tom McGee, president & CEO, ICSC. On the agenda will be subjects ranging from current and near-term asset performance to the upcoming elections. Connect Media spoke with Nadji in advance of the webinar to set the stage.
Q: The economic recovery was thrown a curveball when the President suspended negotiations for a second stimulus package until after the elections. Once past the initial disruptive effect on the markets, is this delay likely to make an impact primarily on the margins in terms of affecting the speed of the recovery?
A: Although many facets of the U.S. economy continue to perform better than expected, many other parts of the economy face a dire outlook. If industries like travel, tourism, restaurants and experiential retail do not receive additional support, the consequences for the entire economy could be severe. The closure of these companies could slow consumption and business spending. That will spark another form of contagion in the U.S. – an economic contagion that transfers from industry to industry. Another round of stimulus is the needed inoculant – it can slow or stop the economic contagion. That wave started in hotel and retail properties but could spread to all real estate including apartments, office and even industrial.
Q: In terms of the makeup of the panel, you’ve gathered together representatives from a cross-section of property types, which have experienced varying impacts from the pandemic and resulting economic downturn. What are some of the themes that office, retail, multifamily and industrial have in common in the current environment?
A: Gathering leaders from across the industry will deliver a broad perspective and outlook, enabling participants to see the impact of the pandemic on all facets of real estate rather than just one silo. In addition, the trade organizations these leaders represent have been tremendous advocates of the industry in the shaping of public policy, and their insights will help investors calibrate risks and position their portfolios for the future.
Q: The panel is also comprised of some of the strongest leaders in the industry, and they’ll be discussing how the current environment has brought out and sometimes tested their leadership qualities. What would you say is the most important quality of a leader in times of uncertainty?
A: Times of uncertainty can draw forth a range of important leadership characteristics. Tenacity and grit to withstand the onslaught, compassion and empathy to understand the hardships, and the ability to look forward to see new possibilities and ways to adapt. Most importantly, leaders need to help others take decisive action to mitigate risk and capitalize on the opportunities that arise. All of the leaders on the panel have demonstrated these characteristics and many more – Doug Bibby even postponed his scheduled retirement to ensure the NMHC had a seasoned leader at the helm through these challenging times. That’s another thing great leaders do – they put the good of the organization and their constituents ahead of themselves during times of turbulence.
For comments, questions or concerns, please contact Paul Bubny