NAIOP Massachusetts Installs 2020 Leadership Team: Leslie Cohen to Serve as 2020 Chapter President, Sara Cassidy Moves to Board Chair; Special Awards Given

At its Annual Meeting on November 20, NAIOP Massachusetts, The Commercial Real Estate Development Association, elected a new President and Board members, along with a new Leadership Council. The Board includes the principals of many of the region’s leading commercial real estate firms.

Leslie Cohen, Chief Operating Officer and Head of Asset Management at Samuels & Associates, was elected President of NAIOP Massachusetts for 2020.  In this capacity, she will work closely with NAIOP staff and Chapter leadership to guide the organization. Sara Cassidy of AEW, who served as the 2019 President, will serve as Board Chair; Tom Andrews of Alexandria Real Estate Equites becomes President-Elect; Jessica Hughes of Tishman Speyer will serve as Treasurer; and Patrick McMahon of Federal Realty Investment Trust becomes Secretary.

“NAIOP is the voice for an industry that plays a critical role in the region’s economy and competitiveness. Our members are innovative, engaged in their communities and focused on ensuring that Massachusetts is a great place to work and live,” said Cohen.  “At the same time, we have a great opportunity to foster diversity across the field.  I look forward to collaborating with other senior NAIOP leaders to implement new initiatives that will cultivate a broader pipeline of talent interested in all aspects of the commercial real estate industry.”

Cohen has been part of the Samuels team for more than 17 years. She previously served as the President of CREW Boston (formerly NEWiRE) and has served on the Board of Trustees and the Building Committee at the West End House in Allston, on the Building and Grounds Committee at Tufts University, and, for the second time, will co-chair Heading Home’s Housewarming event. In 2013, Cohen was selected as a Boston Business Journal’s 40 under 40 honoree. In 2014 and 2018 she was honored as one of Bisnow’s Power Women in Commercial Real Estate.

“NAIOP’s volunteer leaders represent the best of this industry. NAIOP’s Executive Director Reesa Fischer and I are honored to work with professionals like Leslie in our efforts to advance and grow the industry,” said Tamara Small, CEO of NAIOP. “Their creativity and energy will allow our organization to address the needs of commercial real estate professionals while focusing on advocacy, education and professional development.”

The 2020 Leadership Council members include:

Chapter Affairs Chair: Michael Wilcox, The Bulfinch Companies, Inc.

Developing Leaders Chair: Alex Schultz, Davis Companies

Developing Leaders Vice Chair: Sam Campbell, JLL

Diversity Equity & Inclusion Chair: Taidgh McClory, TH McClory, LLP

Diversity Equity & Inclusion Vice Chair: Amanda Strong, MITIMCo

Government Affairs Chair: Carolyn Desmond, Skanska Commercial Development

Government Affairs Vice Chair: Matthew Snell, Nutter McClennen & Fish

Membership& Marketing Chair: Tina Snyder, DivcoWest

Membership& Marketing Vice Chair: Katherine Shoss, The Bulfinch Companies, Inc.

Program & Education Chair: Robert Borden, CBRE

Program& Education Vice Chair: Michael Buckley, Avison Young

Awards Chair: Allen Breed, MITIMCo

Golf Tournament Co-Chairs: Andrew Gallinaro, National Development and Sarah Lagosh, Eastdil Secured

Developing Leaders Board Liaison: Abby Mondani, Oxford Properties

Communications Chair: Wendy Pierce, Goldstein Pierce PR

Strategic Development Co-Chairs: Kerry Hawkins, JLL; Derrick Goodwin, Lee Kennedy Company; Dan McGrath, Berkeley Investments; Kathy McMahon, National Development and Adam Weisenberg, Sullivan & Worcester LLP

In addition, the following industry leaders joined the NAIOP Board for three-year terms:

Katharine Bachman, Gravestar

Marcella Barriere, Google

Kevin Benedix, Boston Global Investors

Lawrence Curtis, WinnDevelopment
Russell DiMartino, Skanska Commercial Development

Todd Fremont-Smith, Nordblom Company

Richard Galvin, CV Properties

David Goodhue, Colliers International

Taran Grigsby, Fidelity Real Estate

Timothy Guy, Clarion Partners

Andrew Hoar, CBRE

Shawn Hurley, Marcus Partners

Gary Kerr, Greystar

Sarah Lagosh, Eastdil

Charles Leatherbee, Trammel Crow Company

Douglas Manz, HYM Investments

Steve Marsh, MITIMCo

John Myers, Redgate

Tinchuck Ng, Cottonwood Management

Alex Schultz, The Davis Companies

Kirk Sykes, Accordia Partners

Joseph Zink, Atlantic Management

NAIOP Massachusetts also presented several special awards to select members who have made significant contributions to benefit the industry.  Sara Cassidy presented the 2020 President’s Award to Rob Borden of JLL in recognition of his exceptional leadership, strategic direction and vision as Vice-Chair of NAIOP’s Program Committee.  Larry Feldman of GZA was presented with the 2020 NAIOP Government Affairs Champion Award in recognition of his years of work on NAIOP’s Brownfields Redevelopment Committee.  His advocacy has resulted in countless laws and policies that encourage the cleanup and redevelopment of contaminated sites in Massachusetts.

The Annual Meeting was held prior to the start of the NAIOP/SIOR Annual Market Forecast, which included an economic overview by Kelly Whitman, Vice President of Investment Research at PGIM Real Estate, and market updates from Kristin Blount (Downtown), Executive Vice President, Colliers International; Robert Byrne (Suburbs), Managing Director, Cushman & Wakefield; Ben Coffin (Cambridge), Managing Director, JLL; Rick Schuhwerk (Industrial), Executive Managing Director, Newmark Knight Frank; and Chris Skeffington (Capital Markets), Senior Vice President, CBRE.

About NAIOP

NAIOP Massachusetts, which represents 1,650 members, is the leading organization for developers, owners, and investors of office, research & development, industrial, mixed use, multifamily, retail and institutional real estate in the Commonwealth.  NAIOP advocates for policies that advance commercial real estate while providing outstanding education and networking opportunities.

Navigating the Permitting Maze Course Highlights Continuing Education and Association’s Advocacy

On September 21 and 28, NAIOP Massachusetts University presented Navigating the Permitting Maze: A Crash Course in Environmental Permitting to 40+ students from a range of backgrounds looking to master real estate permitting fundamentals in Massachusetts. This course, led by VHB instructors and complemented by several industry experts and panelists, centered on introducing permitting basics, including development of an early permitting strategy and timeline with colleagues and state and local regulators, as well as more complex issues, such as transportation analyses, historical property concerns, climate resiliency, appeals, and much more.

Not only did this course provide valuable education for new and continuing real estate professionals, it made connections to NAIOP members’ experience with advocacy at the legislative, regulatory, and judicial level.

Basics of Environmental Permitting, and Trends from State and Local Directors

During the first day, students started the morning with sessions led by Kyle Greaves and Lauren DeVoe of VHB, on the Massachusetts Environmental Permitting Act office (MEPA) review process which coordinates public review of a development’s environmental impacts. Next, students received instruction on the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA) Article 80 regulations and process. Over the last five years, MEPA has analyzed about 1,300 large developments, with the majority (60%) culminating the review process with an Environmental Notification Form, and the remainder split between needing an Environmental Impact Report or a more in-depth process. For developments in Boston, Jonathan Greeley, Director at BPDA, which has approved over 11 million square feet for development in 2018 alone, emphasized that successful projects start with community outreach early in the process. Jonathan served on a trends in development panel with MEPA Director Deidre Buckley and moderator Greg Peterson of Casner & Edwards LLP during day one of the course.

greeleypresentsIMG_0504-cropJonathan Greeley, Director at Boston Planning & Development Agency

Permit Extension Act Protects Developments During Great Recession

Mary Marshall, Partner at Nutter McClennen & Fish, presented the final session on Day 1 on the Post Entitlement Permitting Stage. Mary made a connection between NAIOP’s legislative advocacy and environmental permitting, stating that during the recession, when many developments stalled due to the economy and financing, NAIOP formulated the Permit Extension Act, which was signed in 2010 by Governor Patrick (and expanded in 2012) to allow projects to maintain permits so that they could be “shovel-ready” when the market improved – avoiding several years spent reapplying for permits. Tamara Small, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, added that a more recent advocacy connection with permitting is that NAIOP successfully changed the railroad-right-of-way statute in the 2018 economic development bill signed by Governor Baker this August. This means that developers will have more clarity about whether and when they must coordinate with MassDOT on building on former railroad rights of way.

Commercial Real Estate Professionals Advocating for Industry

On the second day of the course, individual sessions were designed for “deep-dives” into more technical areas. Jamie Fay, a waterfront planning expert at Fort Point Associates, a TetraTech company, led a session on the Massachusetts waterfront planning Act (Chapter 91) and how it affects development. Jamie is an active member of NAIOP’s government affairs committee and served as an advocate for reasonable regulation of the waterfront when the legislature worked on the issue and passed legislation in 2007 — and in the years following, as the Department of Environmental Protection promulgated regulations. New developments like Clippership Wharf and Encore Boston Harbor are subject to Chapter 91 rules. Stephanie Kruel, a climate resiliency planning expert at VHB, walked through climate resiliency checklists and analysis during the project planning phases. Stephanie serves as co-chair of NAIOP’s climate resiliency committee – a subcommittee of the government affairs committee.

To bring the areas of waterfront issues, historic resources issues, climate resiliency and environmental permitting together in a real-life example, the course ended with a project spotlight and panel presentation by four individuals from the General Electric Innovation Point team: Elizabeth Grob, VHB, Jeff Porter, Mintz Levin, Peter Cavanaugh, GE and Todd Dundon, Gensler.

GEpanel4IMG_0529-cropJeff Porter (Mintz Levin) moderates Project Spotlight Panel on GE Innovation Point joined by Peter Cavanaugh (GE), Elizabeth Grob (VHB) and Todd Dundon (Gensler)

NAIOP would like to thank all of the many experts whose time and energy made this course such a success. Due to popular demand, the permitting course will return in 2019.

Make sure to check out all of the NAIOP Massachusetts University offerings including the upcoming Real Estate Finance Fundamentals course on October 26, 2018. Have ideas on other courses NAIOP could offer? Let us know!

 

 

6 Steps to Building a Career in Commercial Real Estate

100_0642On February 24th, NAIOP Massachusetts hosted a career panel where dynamic young professionals from the Developing Leaders program offered helpful advice on how to jumpstart or further a career in Commercial Real Estate. Speakers included Molly Davis, Associate Director at Newmark Grubb Knight Frank; Katie Grimes, Business Development Associate at Red Thread; Chris LaFrance, Associate Director of Acquisitions at Intercontinental Real Estate Corp.; Tucker McCrabb, Research Analyst at AEW Capital Management; Jennifer Price, Assistant Vice President at Colliers International; and Sarah Weatherbee Walker, Senior Director at Keller Augusta Partners, who moderated the program.

100_0652At the event, Keller Augusta Partners shared these tips below for college students who are interested in a career in Commercial Real Estate.

The Commercial Real Estate industry is very competitive. Successful candidates must be able to demonstrate experience and interest in the CRE field early and often. Here are some helpful ways to break into the industry:

  1. Coursework
    • Be sure to do exceptionally well in real estate classes (impress your professors!) and maintain high GPA
    • Highlight significant projects or case work from your courses on your resume
  1. Internships
    • Full time summer positions
    • Part-time /semester opportunities
    • Contract work
  1. Industry Professional Organizations
    • Seek out a student membership or student rate for attending events
    • Join committees to make more meaningful connections, don’t just attend events
  1. Leadership Roles within On-Campus Organizations
    • The event planning process is a great reason to reach out to industry professionals
    • This becomes an excellent resume talking point
    • If your school doesn’t have a group, create one!
  1. Networking
    • Utilize your Alumni, Personal & Professional network to build up your industry contacts
    • Be specific about your job search & career objectives during networking/outreach conversations
    • People want to help but being vague puts more work on them
    • Create your 2-minute elevator speech and practice it!
  1. Skills
    • Academic performance (GPA/Test Scores) is highly regarded at top firms
    • Strong emphasis on quantitative skills across many positions

100_0659Below are some additional resources available from NAIOP Massachusetts.

Student Association Membership (SAM) program
Open to any full-time student who is not otherwise employed in the industrial, office, multifamily, mixed-use or related commercial real estate industry. Must present a valid school ID and current full-time schedule.

Benefits include: free admission to networking events and educational programs, opportunities to meet industry leaders and decision makers, access to NAIOP’s national database, special Student Association Membership (SAM) Career Dinners and informational interviews.

University Membership
Available to colleges and universities offering undergraduate programs in real estate and includes up to 25 student memberships.

NAIOP Massachusetts Job Board
Includes full-time jobs and internships. Open to all, NAIOP Members can post jobs for free.

100_0657View all photos from the event.

We Need Jobs, But Also Skilled Workers

computer_handsThe Boston Globe recently reported that “the state’s tech sector is growing fast, but a shortage of qualified workers is preventing Massachusetts from becoming the capital of the nation’s innovation economy”, according to the 2014 State of Technology Report released by the Mass Technology Leadership Council. “Creating the jobs isn’t the hard part – filling them is the hard part,” said Tom Hopcroft, chief executive of MassTLC. “We can’t find enough people with the skills to fill all of these tech jobs.”

These are not the only types of jobs that remain open according to this Boston Globe graphic, which shows that it is not just the high end tech jobs that are having trouble finding workers.

So, what is worse – not having the jobs, or not being able to provide the workers for those companies that are expanding? It should be the former.  Trying to create new jobs is not only difficult, but there is actually no proven way to do it.  If what we have is a gap in training, or the proper transportation to access trained workers, we should be able to remedy that.

Local and state government should be partnering with local community colleges, vocational schools, and universities to work directly with those businesses that are fortunate enough to be growing and hiring.  If we don’t fix this imbalance expeditiously, we may have bigger problems.  Companies will begin expanding elsewhere and, then not having any local jobs to fill would be a lot worse.

Four New Tools for Real Estate Marketers

Monday’s program on Jumpstart Your Marketing included a wealth of ideas and examples of how to navigate the modern marketing mix, including new approaches to websites, how to select the right social media platform for the job, and knowing when to let the product speak for itself. Among the case studies and client examples, the speakers shared a handful of resources guaranteed to help marketers make better use of their time, get a new perspective on their work, and reach their target audience.

Here are four new tools CRE marketers should know about:

Speakers at NAIOP's Jumpstart Your Marketing program (l-r): Susan Shelby, Mo Doerr, Diane Danielson, Steve Steinberg, Tina Snyder

  • HootSuite – One of the best tools to automate and organize social media, HootSuite allows you to post once on multiple channels (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and others), as well as scheduling tweets, retweeting, and tracking. As Diane Danielson said “This allows me to write once and publish twice!” We use the service as well, and have found it invaluable for managing NAIOP’s social media efforts.
  • Texting To SellTina Snyder, speaking with colleague Steve Steinberg, shared this cost-effective way to generate leads from property signage. A call to action is displayed asking passers-by to text a unique Mobile ID, after which they instantly receive two text messages back: The first shows pictures and listing details for that property, the second provides contact info with an option to receive an immediate call back. Each time a property’s unique Mobile ID is texted, you receive an alert with your prospect’s contact information. It’s a simple, effective and low cost option to generate leads!
  • Guts: Advertising from the Inside Out, by John Lyons: A classic how-to book recommended by Mo Doerr, who raved about the author’s provocative approach to strategy.  One of her favorite quotes: “Have teeth, will bite. A strategy is a carefully designed plot to murder the competition. Any idea that makes your competition hate you, cry foul, or quietly invoke Chapter 11 qualifies.” (currently out of print, but still available online)
  • Facebook –Facebook isn’t new, but what many don’t realize is that it has greater customization options than may be obvious. Diane used the landing page for SouthField as an example, showing how, through careful use of custom tabs and graphics, they were able to fully brand their Facebook Page, keeping it tightly integrated with the rest of the SouthField marketing materials.

These are just a few of the tools available to today’s marketing professional – what are your favorites? Is there a tool you can’t live without, or one you wish you’d never wasted your time on? Let us know – comment today!

Get the Most Out of Membership: 5 Tips for You and Your Firm

Everyone knows effective networking is a key to continued business success, personally and for your company.  It is through the cultivation of long-term business relationships that existing business expands and new opportunities open up.

One of the best opportunities to network with peers and potential clients is by being an active member of one or more trade associations.  There is an association for almost every niche, locally and nationally, and beyond networking , they offer many other benefits including seminars, workshops, social events, and issue advocacy.

NAIOP at Night, a popular networking event

But just joining an association is not enough. To get a good return on your investment, follow these five tips to building relationships through associations:

1.  Join the right organizations for you.  There is probably more than one association you should consider. Go beyond the obvious and think about who you want to network with.  If you are an attorney, of course you will benefit from learning and sharing with your fellow lawyers, but you won’t get nearly as many business leads as from a group that represents your target industry (which is why so many top real estate lawyers belong to NAIOP.) Find out from friends and colleagues who the association’s members are, and ask yourself if those are the people you need to be developing relationships with. If so, then join!

2.  Participate.  Just being listed as a member of an organization has limited benefits – you must get involved to reap the full value of your membership.  Get started  by attending  programs and introducing yourself,  especially once you’re seated at a table (and don’t always sit with people you already know!)  Remember, you are there to get to know people and for them to get to know you.  Like any kind of relationship building, don’t race to the “finish line” and don’t use these meetings as selling opportunities.  But do come prepared with business cards and be ready to share a clear, concise, and brief description of what you do.

3.  Join a Committee. The gold mine of networking is within the association’s committee structure.  Organizations are always looking for members to volunteer on their many committees, such as program, membership, government affairs, social, and charitable events. There is no better way to get to know others and develop business contacts than by working with them on a common goal.  It’s enjoyable and you get to contribute your ideas and see their effect. (Learn more about NAIOP’s committees)

Networking at NAIOP's 2010 Bus Tour

4.  Speak up!  Talk to people at programs and events.  If there are coffee breaks, discuss the subject matter of the educational event.  Best kept secret for networking: while listening to the presentation, prepare a relevant question for the speakers if there is a Q&A period.  Often no one is ready to ask the first  question, so stand up, say your name and company and ask away.  It’s a  great way to get noticed.

5.  Get on the leadership track.  Once you have a better knowledge of the association and have sampled some of their committees, consider becoming a part of the volunteer leadership.  Choose a committee you have a strong interest in and where you feel you can contribute.  Make a commitment to attend regularly and to consistently contribute to the group in some way, whether it be suggesting program ideas, finding speakers, hosting meetings, recruiting new members, etc. Organizations promote from within and generally choose those members that show leadership qualities.

Bottom line: Join, participate, and enjoy; the benefits will come your way.

Gerald Hines’ Five Principles of Success

Gerald Hines

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:

  1. 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.” 
  2. 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.
  3. 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.”
  4. 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.
  5. 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. 

To view Gerald Hines entire talk, please click here.
To learn more about the MIT Center for Real Estate, click here.
To learn more about Gerald Hines and his firm, click here.