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NAIOP U | Veterans in the Industry: How to Navigate Market Downturns 1/22/21

NAIOP University kicked-off its 2021 curriculum Friday, January 22, 2021 with “Veterans in the Industry: How to Navigate Market Downturns” featuring NAIOP SoCal Board Member Eric Paulsen, CEO Topside Real Estate and John Combs, Founder and Principal RiverRock Real Estate Group.

Moderated by 2021 NAIOP U Chair and NAIOP SoCal Board Member, Richard Sung, Newmark, NAIOP U’s webinar began with each panelist describing the multitude of economic downturns they have experienced in their career. One thing became clear. After each socioeconomic crisis, everything eventually turns back around.

Paulsen was questioned why he made the decision to go out on his own and start Topside Real Estate in the middle of a global pandemic. His response, “there is no real good time to do anything. You might as well do it when the road is all upside.” Paulsen used the Dot-com Bust as an example, comparing San Francisco’s unnecessary office space shopping spree to today’s toilet paper shortage. For San Francisco’s market, it was nine months after that the market had recovered, not the proposed three to five years.

Agreeing with Paulsen, and having quit his job in Dallas, Texas to move to California during a previous market downturn, Combs said, “every downturn is an opportunity for people to really double down and take on whatever risk you are comfortable with because the return is going to be so great. And these market changes are what creates net worth. It is not the day-to-day up market.”

Navigating through the COIVD-19 pandemic has been far from easy. However, focusing on the future keeps Combs and Paulsen moving forward. “No matter where you are in the cycle, you have to think about where the jobs are, the job growth” explained Combs. 

In 2021, that means preparing for employees to migrate back to the office, whether that is full-time or part-time. The future is flexibility and safety accommodations for staff. For RiverRock Real Estate Group, the emphasis on frequent sanitation and comfortable outdoor workspaces are going to make for a safe work environment that encourages employees to come back to the office.

“Office is where the company’s culture and values are best expressed,” Combs said. While 2020 threw many challenges to the way of commercial real estate, the good news proves to be that the market will turn upside. For young professionals in the industry, Paulsen, Combs and other veterans are reaching out to ensure everyone succeeds in 2021.

To view the full recorded presentation, please visit your Member Hub.

Join us for next month’s NAIOP U webinar! Click Here for more information and to register.

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