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The lazy, hazy crazy days of summer are drawing to an end and, given the credit-market turmoil, many are glad to move on in hopes of brighter days. Of course, the aftershocks continue, and a Wall Street Journal survey last week hinted that they may usher in a recession. Over the past couple of years, I’ve heard real estate players, those with their hands on the levers, tout their beliefs that this market is different, and that fundamentals have changed. Well, they were wrong. I’ve been in the real estate business since 1972 and have experienced multiple cycles, including the wholesale collapse of the early ’90s. The humbling perspective gained during down times should teach us something, namely, that what goes up will come down. The recent wake-up call suggests that owners, investors and developers should take stock of their bench strength and make sure that talent is in place that has this perspective. In months ahead, it’s going to come in handy.

Tony LoPinto is CEO of Equinox Partners, an executive search firm specializing in the real estate industry, and parent company of SelectLeaders. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own.
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