Roy Schneiderman founded Bard Consulting in 2001. Bard provides real estate consulting services to institutional investors including pension funds and sovereign wealth funds. His particular areas of expertise include real estate investment analysis, quantitative analysis, asset and manager workouts, manager due diligence, investment management fees, real estate investment strategy formation, and land-oriented investment strategies.
• Fellow of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (FRICS)
• Member, Counselors of Real Estate (CRE)
• Member, Pension Real Estate Association (PREA)
• Member, National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries (NCREIF)
• Editorial Board of Real Estate Issues magazine
• Member, NASD Dispute Resolution Board of Arbitrators
University of California: Berkeley, California
MBA (Real Estate and Finance), 1984
Yale University: New Haven, Connecticut
MA (Philosophy), 1980
Beloit College: Beloit, Wisconsin
BA (Philosophy and Religious Studies), 1977
Phi Beta Kappa
Roy and I met during the time I was based in the San Francisco Bay Area, working for Institutional Real Estate (IREI). I trust my intuition and I felt immediately that Roy was a good guy – and I was right. As I had done a lot of real estate consulting in my career, it was so interesting to learn what Roy, Faye and their colleagues at Bard Consulting were doing as it differed greatly from my consulting experiences. We used to see each other regularly at IREI’s Editorial Advisory Board meetings – still considered one of the most valuable in the industry. Roy knows his stuff. He is considered a trusted advisor by some of the largest public pension funds in the U.S. Roy is also very generous with his time and counsel. I personally experienced those two attributes when I left IREI and was planning my next commercial real estate adventure.
Q. How did you get your start in commercial real estate?
A. It was not particularly a thoughtful start. I got my MBA from The University of California – Berkeley in 1984. There were basically two things you could do with a Berkeley MBA at that time: get a job in real estate in San Francisco or get a job in high tech on the Peninsula. I wanted to live in San Francisco, so, I ended up in real estate. My start was with a consulting firm called Keyser / Marston Associates. They specialized in working with redevelopment agencies – which still existed back then. I did a lot of financial and market analysis. One of my first assignments, back in 1985, was a pro forma for the build-out of Mission Bay. It was a 20-year model that had everything completed by 2005. There’s San Francisco for you!
Q. What advice would you give to someone has been in the commercial real estate industry for a short time or a student looking to get his or her start?
A. There are two things. The first more introspective and the second is more career oriented. First, know who you are. Know what you’re good at and figure out what you like to do, remembering that what you like and what you are good at is not always the same thing. At all stages in your career it’s important good to play to your strengths. Every once in a while, in terms of professional development and growth, it’s good do something at which you may be weak. Ultimately from a career perspective it’s always good to be playing to your strengths and doing what you enjoy.
From a content standpoint, the best background that anybody could have is working out troubles and working out problems. Find yourself someplace - whether it’s an asset management position or a workout group at a bank or a consulting firm - where you are fixing things that have gone wrong. You will get two or three years’ worth of experience for every one year on the job, and it will set you up well for the rest of your career.
Q. As you look back on your career is there anything you wish you had done differently and if so, what?
A. I’ve been a consultant my entire career. I’ve always felt that the best consultants were people who were not consultants their entire career, but also had spent some time in the industry. For a variety of reasons it never worked out for me to do that. I did have a couple of occasions but I remember being told, in no uncertain terms, particularly by the co-founder of a commercial real estate brokerage firm, who was kind enough to give me time for an informational interview: “Roy, you’re much more valuable as a consultant than you are to me.” I appreciated him taking the time to talk with me and give me his insight, even if I did not like it.
Apropos about playing to your strengths and doing what you’re good at, I probably bring a better skill set to consulting than I would have to asset management or portfolio management or marketing and the like. Maybe I took the easy way out - the path of least resistance. It was always easier for me to find the next consulting gig. However, I do regret not having spent time outside of the consulting environment. Also, I really wish I had lived and worked overseas for a while.
Q. Who have been the major influences on your career and how?
A. You learn something from everyone, although sometimes what you learn is what not to do! The single biggest influence has been Lynn Sedway, who isn’t an institutional person but who is a very well known in the San Francisco Bay area market. I worked with her for 7-8 years and learned a lot about how to think about real estate and even more about how to think about a real estate consulting business and client relationships. All of which has been extraordinarily valuable to me.
Two people who I have had the opportunity to work with later in my career also come to mind, the late John Koza, and the still-current Ted Leary – a couple of Bostonians cum Californians who both illustrate my point that you do not need to be a career consultant to be an excellent consultant.
Faye Beverett is my partner in Bard Consulting. She and I share important common values, but we tend to attack problems and organize ourselves very differently. There is a lot to learn from talented people who are different from oneself.
Thanks for all the emails supporting this project which was created to people, especially younger people, in the commercial real estate industry, insight that may be helpful to them in their careers.
I encourage you to forward this on.