Friday, February 2, 2018

Robin Goodchild: A friend who has made a difference in the commercial real estate industry.

Robin recently retired from LaSalle Investment Management.  This is pre-retirement bio.

Robin is Head of LaSalle’s European Research and Strategy Team of 9 people who are responsible for the strategy for over €10 billion of property assets. His principal function is to identify opportunities in European property markets and to formulate strategies for investors to exploit those opportunities. He is also responsible for developing new ways to analyze markets and managing portfolios.

Dr. Goodchild has over 35 years’ real estate experience. He joined LaSalle in 1997 as Research Director, prior to which he was a partner at Gerald Eve, Chartered Surveyors for 12 years. He has been involved in property investment since 1985 and specializes in devising practical portfolio strategies that deliver the required returns and developing practical ways to analyze the risk profile of real estate portfolios. Dr. Goodchild has also been involved with the strategy for all of LaSalle’s European funds since joining the company.

Dr. Goodchild holds both Doctorate (1979) and Masters (1975) degrees in land Economy from the University of Cambridge. He is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, honorary President of the Society of Property Researchers, a member of the scientific committee advising the first Professor of Real Estate at ESSEC, Paris, a trustee of the RICS Education Trust, a recipient of an Achievement Award from the European Real Estate Society, and is a frequent speaker at property conferences across Europe.

When I started traveling extensively in Europe in 2004 I met Robin, probably at an industry event.  He’s a very likable guy, with a dry sense of humor – like me – and we hit it off. Periodically we would catch up with each other and share stories of the road, oh, and of course, the global commercial real estate industry.  As I've traveled to London we've been able to catch up periodically.  He's not only a very smart guy, he's a down to earth person.  

Q. How did you get your start in the commercial real estate industry?

A. I am a third generation property professional. My father so enjoyed his work that it was very easy to follow him, even if what I have done over my career is very different than him (and my grandfather).

My university education was designed to get me into commercial real estate and it worked. I started at Gerald Eve as a trainee surveyor in 1971. Four years later, having qualified as a chartered surveyor, I decided to return to university because I wanted to research the effects of a land tax policy that was then in force in the UK. It turned out that the benefits of commercial property research were just about to be realized and, by the time I finished my thesis, there were a number of opportunities to become a property researcher.

Q.  What advice would you give a younger person in the industry or a student looking to get started?

A. The real estate industry is highly people centric so work hard on your network. Also keep your technical skills as up-to-date as possible. You will need to be able to use all the latest gizmos throughout your career.

Q.  Looking back on your career, what would you have done differently?

A.  I have had two 20 - year careers, first at Gerald Eve and then with LaSalle. That wasn’t planned but everything worked out quite well, especially my time at LaSalle. I don’t regret, for a moment, not having worked in more organizations but am pleased that I didn’t stay in one place as might have happened.

Q.  Who have been the greatest influences on your professional career?  How?

A. Inevitably the surveyors I worked for and with at the start of my career at Gerald Eve. These were particularly Michael Hopper, Mike Beaman and Tony Taylor. My father, Gordon, was very important. From him I absorbed the ethical standards required from a professional before I even started my career.

More recently I have worked with some wonderful colleagues at LaSalle from whom I have learnt lots, notably Lynn Thurber (who always wants to know the ‘So What?’ of an interesting piece of research), Jacques Gordon, Gerry Blundell and Bryan Ellinthorpe.

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