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High Hopes for ‘09

I had the pleasure of attending the Pension Real Estate Association’s spring meeting last week in Boston. It was a standing-room-only crowd, and the PREA folks (as well as the meeting chairs, among them Steve Quazzo) put on a great conference. Occasionally I heard someone say that the strong turnout represented a “lag-effect,” and next year will be different (i.e.: attendance will be way down). I doubt it. While the mood was not exuberant, it was definitely cautiously optimistic about 2009, and this is far from a replay of the early ’90s. Capital is plentiful; most real estate markets are in equilibrium; and (thank goodness) the election will soon be over. On the recruiting front, the news is equally positive, with most executive search firms relatively busy. What’s my prognosis for next year? I’m reserving my room for the ’09 spring meeting; there’s going to be a major-league shortage.

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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