As the second quarter comes to a close, we thought it would be a good time to take a look back at some of our recent Four on Friday interviews. Below are links to and excerpts from four interviews from recent months. They are good examples of the insight into the commercial real estate markets, and the personalities that help shape those markets, that we try to provide every Friday.


Headshot-robertsimons1) Bob Simons of Hartman Simons

 Key excerpt:

Any predictions for how the retail real estate market will fare for the remainder of the year?

 Simons: All indications are that the markets will continue to remain strong for the remainder of 2015. Many of the REITS and institutional buyers have the money to pursue acquisitions, but with many of the “core-plus” retail assets having already traded in this current cycle, there is a shortage of product available on the market. The current demand for “core-plus” retail assets far exceeds the available supply, and, as a result, cap rates will continue to remain very low for these types of assets. I do worry about the potential impact of inflation, whenever that may hit us, and the potential impact that will have on consumer spending and retail sales.


6a014e870beeae970d01b8d126ccfd970c-320wi2) Hunter Amos of Lockton Companies

 Key excerpt:

What type of benefits, above providing insurance, do you provide your clients/commercial property owners?

 Amos: One of the things I’ve enjoyed most about this job is trying to add value to clients outside of just the insurance world. Having been in commercial real estate for the majority of my career, I feel like I have a strong network of principals, investors, lenders, developers, and brokers. Figuring out what a client’s needs are and trying to help connect them to the folks that might be able to help is extremely satisfying to me. It could be anything from equity and debt to just getting them in front of someone that might be able to help lower their bottom line.


6a014e870beeae970d01b7c7a14520970b-320wi3) Ray Schoenbaum of Ray’s Restaurants

 Key excerpt:

 What are the best tips you have in opening, and maintaining, a successful restaurant?

 Schoenbaum: The most important lesson I know is to listen to the guest and give them what they want. I listen every day. I read social media and adjust [based on what’s being said.] The guest is always our focus, and so training is very important to make sure the guest gets what they want.


6a014e870beeae970d01b7c75b41ac970b-320wi4) Ian Weiner of PEBB Enterprises

 Key excerpt:

What is the most satisfying aspect of working in commercial real estate? What is the most challenging?

 Weiner: The most satisfying aspect is the diversity of things I work on a daily basis. No day is ever the same, and you always have to anticipate your next deal. The most challenging aspect is the competition in today’s marketplace to find deals. Everyone is looking for the same type of asset, and there is a lot of money out there.