At MIT’s Center for Real Estate’s 25th anniversary graduation weekend, Gerald D. Hines gave the keynote address sharing his five principles of success. (Gerald is founder and CEO of Houston-based Hines, one of the largest and most respected real estate investment, development and management firms in the world.)
For anyone involved in development or looking to understand what it takes to be a successful, world class developer, read on:
- Create Quality Architecture. Hines’ love affair with great architecture is the stuff of legend. Long ago he made a commitment to collaborate with great architects — prominent architects such as I. M. Pei, Philip Johnson, Cesar Pelli, Frank Gehry, and Robert A. M. Stern have all worked with Hines. He urged the audience to build “something that endures.”
- Commit to Sustainability. In the Hines lexicon, sustainability means two things. First, it refers to the durability of the buildings. Second, sustainability reflects the flexibility built into the design and construction of buildings. Hines is a leader in the EPA’s Energy Star program.
- Opportunities Exist in Acquiring Buildings – But Make Sure You Can Add Value. “You have to know when the cycle is at the top,” he said. “When you can borrow all the equity, it’s time to sell.”
- Mixed Use Developments Promote Better Communities and Also Lower Risk. Hines showcases prominent developments that exemplify the advantages of mixed use, all of which incorporate a range of uses, including offices, retail, hotels and condominiums.
- Human Talents Are Hidden Assets. Hines’ management structure is decidedly lean. Below a handful of very senior executives, other company leaders are compensated through 50 percent equity in the projects they are working on, not in the company as a whole. This arrangement reduces company risk while empowering the leaders and inspiring them to do their best work.