I attended the PERE Forum in NY on Wednesday and Thursday. There was a very strong turnout and interestingly not of the usual suspects. I don't know about you but when I attend an event, whether I'm moderating a panel or not, I hope only to come away with one good new contact and it may not even be someone who I can directly do business with. Well, when you keep your expectations low, you're quite frequently pleasantly surprised and that was the case this week. I've picked a few of the comments made to include in the column this week but I have some good notes which I'll be happy to send you; just email me and say PERE Notes in the subject box (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Here we go:
36. There is money getting funded to some things now:
b. Distressed Strategies
c. There’s a new focus on multi-family
37. It’s surprising how quickly the SWF’s (Sovereign Wealth Funds) have retreated.
34. Investors will ultimately reward hard working fund managers who remained transparent and held their organizations together to complete the task at hand.
31. I’m going back to core-plus: income, stable assets and low leverage. Back to the future!
29. Is there enough capital in the world to address all the secondaries that will trade?
26. For most vintage 05-07 funds LP’s should be happy to get their money back; hitting a pref will be heroic.
24. LP’s are going to start rereading their partnership agreements. The lack of uniformity is likely to give rise to more standardized documents in the future.
20. There’s no need to act quickly-this is a bottom you can afford to miss.
19. Fund managers have to resist the urge to throw good money after bad; injecting equity into deals that you’ll lose anyway is a slippery slope and will be much harder to figure.
14. DSC (Debt Service Coverage) ratios were always meant to be whole numbers greater than 1.0.
I got a sneak peak of the enhancements to a portfolio managment and analysis software that I've been a fan of for many years. It was very cool. Anyway, it's good to see people in our industry are still pushing the technology envelope; it's always been a given that CRE is the slowest industry to adopt technology and doing things differently but we're getting there: Rissnet, Reuters Real Estate, Situs, CREOpoint, Resolve Technology, Realwired, REBackOffice, Real Capital Markets, RCA and others are all bringing us tools and services to make us more productive, more informed, more efficient and more successful. It seems to me that especially in challenging times like these we should be taking advantage or at least trying new tools. I know budgets are getting tightened but sometimes we can be penny-wise and pound foolish. Check out what these folks are doing, if only so you know.
The photo at the right is the Halloween costume of a good college friend whose name I will not mention for fear for his life. He has been a loyal reader of my stuff since the beginning and most week's he'll write me some wise-ass comment that makes me smile no matter where I am in the world. He and I used to play softball in Bayonne (NJ) Park and I'd eat over at his house on a regular basis. His mom and dad always made me feel part of the family-meaning they busted my chops just like they did with their own sons.
I don't know about you but since the election, notwithstanding that there are still a couple or three elections still up in the air, it feels different in America. I'm not talking about what I hear or see on TV, partially because I hardly watch TV. What I'm talking about is something that resembles a collective sigh, a sense of relief that, even with the serious financial stress we're all experiencing, we are going to get a chance to experience and participate in a dramatic change. We've all had a wake up call, like being doused with ice water while still in sleepy-time dreamland. It's not fun and for the first time in my lifetime, the problems are not limited to one segment of the population; correction, the world. And, as much as we might try, we cannot go back and change anything that's been done; we can only learn from it and do things differently going forward. The future is now; we can seize the moment and "be the change we wish to see in the world."
Where I'll be:
Nov. 14-16: Ormond Beach, FL with my brother Jay to visit our Dad.
Nov. 18-21: The Netherlands
Nov. 19: Amsterdam for INREV's Investor Platform and Committee Meetings.
Nov. 26-12/1: Montreal
Dec. 1-5: New York
Dec. 8-12: London and to moderate a panel at the Reuters Real Estate Global Property Outlook 2009 on the 9th (Invitation only).
Dec. 15-19: New York
Dec. 22-Jan. 2, 2009: Montreal
Feb. 19-20, 2009: Chapel Hill, NC to attend the Kenan-Flagler Center for Real Estate Development’s Annual Conference and Real Estate Challenge Case Competition.
Thanks for reading my blog.
Many of you know that my life is built on people, on community, on collaboration and on sharing. This platform gives us all a chance to connect and reconnect. I am grateful for your support, suggestions and contributions. Thanks a lot.
Note: These are my personal views and not that of my employer.