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IPE Real Assets recently ranked the top 100 of the world’s largest real estate investors.  As the article notes, “The top three highlight the diversity of the world’s largest real estate investors today: a Middle Eastern sovereign wealth fund, a European pension fund manager and a global insurance company.” Active in all aspects of real estate investing, our consultants stand ready to assist you as you seek to fill key posts in your organization.  For more information on our executive search services in real estate and financial services, contact 20/20 Foresight Executive Search at www.2020-4.com or 646-873-6890.

The Top 100: Real Estate Investors 2018

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In this article, 13 members of the Forbes Real Estate Council share their insights on “how developers and investors can keep a close eye on fluctuating markets and how they can determine when is the best time to act in response to trends they notice.”  Do you have the right team in place to act as needed?  Talk over your needs with one of our consultants.  For more information on our executive search services in real estate and financial services, contact 20/20 Foresight Executive Search at www.2020-4.com or 708-246-2100.

13 Insider Tips To Take Your Real Estate Game To Another Level

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Despite the fact that valuations have increased while cap rates have been compressed, industrial/logistics real estate remains attractive to investors.  With 56.8 million sq. ft. of industrial space absorbed nationwide during Q1 2018, the industrial vacancy rate dropped to 4.7 percent – a record low.  At 20/20 Foresight Executive Search, we have our finger on the pulse of activity in the commercial real estate sector and assist our clients in finding the ideal candidates to assist them as they grow and thrive.  For more information on our executive search services in real estate and financial services, contact us at www.2020-4.com or 708-246-2100.

Investors Still Can’t Get Enough of Industrial Properties, Experts Say

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Pension funds are looking for higher yields, according to the global Investment Intentions Survey 2018 co-published by Pension Real Estate Association.  It shows that “56 percent of global investors plan to increase their exposure to real estate over the next 24 months.”  If you want to be sure to have the right person in place to interact with pension funds and their representatives, we can help.  For more information on our executive search services in real estate and financial services, contact 20/20 Foresight Executive Search at www.2020-4.com or 646-873-6890.

Pension Funds Hunt for Higher Yields in CRE

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Cushman & Wakefield, a huge player in commercial real estate, has filed for an initial public offering.  Experts say the filing shows that the “company is betting on the continued growth of commercial real estate around the world and greater participation from institutional investors in the property market.” If you’re in agreement on growth in the sector, we are here to find the right professionals to add to your firm.  For more information on our executive search services in real estate and financial services, contact 20/20 Foresight Executive Search at www.2020-4.com or 646-873-6890.

One of the world's largest commercial-real-estate companies is going public

THE PERILS, PITFALLS AND POSITIVES OF SOCIAL MEDIA ENGAGEMENT FOR JOB CANDIDATES

Reid Behrens, Senior Principal, 20/20 Foresight

Taking our cue from our clients, professionals who have career aspirations are told by our consultants to consider how sharing their personal lives, opinions and random thoughts on social media may affect their professional life and career path.  After all, seemingly bright futures have flickered to darkness because of incivility in tweets or posts on social media platforms. 

The Survey Says…

According to a survey in 2017 by CareerBuilder, 70 percent of employers review social media presence to screen candidates before hiring. That’s a jump from 60 percent in 2016 and a mere 11 percent in 2006.

We have found that social media musings can come back to haunt even the most qualified job candidate.  Therefore, we counsel job candidates to review what’s on their social media sites and delete anything that could be deemed problematic and to post only positive or good news during the hiring process. 

Because we realize going completely dark by deleting accounts might raise red flags with employers, we also advise candidates to keep a presence, but make sure nothing written could reflect poorly on him or her.  Our counsel is backed up by that CareerBuilder survey which also revealed that 57 percent of employers are less likely to interview a candidate if he or she has no online presence.

We’ve discussed with candidates the fact that in today’s politically polarized and increasingly uncivil atmosphere, any post or comment perceived to be offensive, be it political, religious or racial in nature, can derail an otherwise positive job candidate’s trajectory.

Benefit vs. Risks of Social Media

As you are well aware, with hundreds of thousands of resumes posted online from which to choose, any negativity on social media can land a job candidate’s resume in the circular file.  With this in mind, we ask candidates to weigh the benefits vs. risk of moving up the career ladder for the pleasure of debating politics with far-flung “friends” they haven’t seen since 6th grade or have never met in person.

The CareerBuilder survey also showed that concerns raised as a result of reviewing social media caused 54 percent of employers to decide not to go forward with a job candidate.  The three most cited reasons were:

·       Provocative or inappropriate photographs, videos or information;

·       Disclosures about the candidate drinking or using drugs; and

·       Discriminatory comments related to race, gender or religion.

People published a real life example of a candidate getting fired before being hired. According to the magazine, a job candidate was informed that he’d been hired pending a drug test.  Within 20 minutes of getting the good news, an employee at the hiring company saw this post on Facebook from the new “hire”: “S***! Anyone know how to pass a drug test in 24 hours?!”

Just as we -- and most employers -- use background checks to get a fuller assessment of a job candidate than what is revealed through a resume or interviews, social media screening is another tool to determine whether a candidate should be hired.  And, unlike criminal background checks, employers can research a job applicant’s social media profile without making the applicant aware

According to the results of a 2016 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the top four reasons why HR professionals said they use social media screening in evaluating job candidates were:

·       The ability to gather more information on a candidate than would be provided by a traditional resume and cover letter;

·       To verify information in a resume and cover letter;

·       Social media sites were included in the resume; and

·       The time and effort expended is outweighed by the information gained.

On a positive note, we let candidates know that if done right, cultivating an online presence also can lead to an offer if a candidate posts with the intention of getting a job she or he wants in mind. In fact, the CareerBuilder survey showed 44 percent of HR professionals have found posts or comments on a candidate’s social media site that resulted in them hiring the candidate. What was on social media that had a positive influence?  The top four were:

·       A candidate's background information supported their professional qualifications;

·       Great communication skills

·       A professional image; and

·       Creativity.

In addition to counseling job seekers to review their social media presence, we also tell them to do internet searches of their name using two or more search engines.  We do that because candidates might be unaware of a social media site that was created as a practical joke or personal attack and could contain entirely false information.  There also is the chance that there is more than one person with the same name in the same industry whose background might not be as positive.  In our opinion, it’s better to know that going in, so it can be handled proactively.

If you're interested in learning more about how we research and vet candidates for our clients or any other information on our executive search services in real estate and financial services, contact 20/20 Foresight at www.2020-4.com or 646-873-6890.

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It’s no secret that real estate investors are “making big bets that industrial properties will keep gaining as retailers focus on their online operations.”  If you’re an executive in industrial real estate looking to fill key roles, our consultants are tuned into the marketplace and can help you find the professionals that will be invaluable as you determine where to invest.  For more information on our executive search services in real estate and financial services, contact 20/20 Foresight Executive Search at www.2020-4.com or 708-246-2100.

Property Investors Vote on Future of Retail With Their Dollars

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Some of the key issues discussed during presentations at the annual REIT Week investor conference included analyzing warehouse data, finding yield through new avenues and shifting real estate investment strategies.  If you’re looking for the right people with expertise in these areas to add to your team, the 20/20 Foresight Executive Search team can help.  For more information on our executive search services in real estate and financial services, contact us at www.2020-4.com or 646-873-6890.

Five Takeaways from Nareit’s REIT Week 2018

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For the first time since tracking began in 2000, U.S. employers had more job openings than there were job seekers in April.  According to the Wall Street Journal, “U.S. job openings rose to a seasonally adjusted 6.7 million at the end of April, a record high, and more than the 6.3 million Americans who were unemployed during the month.”  Dealing with a historically tight labor market can be challenging for employers.  Our consultants are available to assist you in finding the ideal candidate.  For more information on our executive search services in real estate and financial services, contact 20/20 Foresight Executive Search at www.2020-4.com or 708-246-2100.

American Job Openings Now Outnumber the Jobless

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In this article, Spencer Levy, the head of Americas research at commercial real estate services firm CBRE, says he’s not one to offer stock picking advice, but he does have opinions when it comes to his favorite sectors among public and private REITs. On top of his list are industrial and multifamily, with retail at the bottom. Where so you fall and how does that affect your hiring decisions?  For more information on our executive search services in real estate and financial services, contact 20/20 Foresight at www.2020-4.com or 646-873-6890.

CBRE’s Head of Americas Research Offers a Contrarian View on Retail REITs

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Several large proposed REIT mergers were announced during the first quarter with pundits opining the activity isn't over.  Will mergers -- small or large -- affect your business and its human capital needs?  For more information on our executive search services in real estate and financial services, contact 20/20 Foresight at www.2020-4.com or 708-246-2100.

The Time May Be Right for More M&A in the REIT Sector, Analysts Say

Will Salary Disclosure Laws Close the Pay Gap or Bring Unintended Consequences?

by Stephanie Cook, Senior Principal, 20/20 Foresight

That question that job candidates hate and struggle with -- how much do you make? -- may no longer be asked in many places across the nation as states and municipalities are passing laws prohibiting employers from asking prospective employees their salary history.  

Our clients in New York City lost their ability to ask candidates about their salary history with a law that went into effect in November 2017.  If found in violation, New York City employers can be fined can be as much as $250,000. San Francisco’s "Parity In Pay" ordinance takes effect on July 1, 2018 with employers in the City by the Bay facing penalties of $100 to $500 per offense starting July 1, 2019. 

In addition to those mentioned above, the states and cities that have already enacted the restriction on salary history are:

·       California (in effect);

·       Delaware (in effect);

·       Puerto Rico (in effect);

·       New Jersey (in effect for state agencies only);

·       New York (in effect for state agencies only);

·       Chicago (in effect for city agencies only);

·       Louisville (in effect for city agencies only);

·       New Orleans (in effect for city agencies and employees of contractors who work for the city only);

·       Pittsburgh (in effect for city agencies only);

·       Albany County, NY (in effect);

·       Westchester County (in effect);

·       Connecticut (takes effect Jan 1, 2019);

·       Massachusetts (takes effect in July 2018);

·       Oregon (takes effect in January 2019);

·       Vermont (takes effect July 1, 2018); and

·       Philadelphia (passed, but being fought in court by the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia)

Meanwhile, legislatures in Michigan and Wisconsin passed measures prohibiting local jurisdictions from banning pay history inquiries and the governors of Illinois and Minnesota vetoed bills that banned the questions from being asked by employers in their states. 

Amazon Weighs In

Preemption language laws brought forward in Washington and Mississippi were voted down.  But, tackling the issue head-on, Amazon, one of the largest employers in Washington, announced in January that recruiters and interviewers working on its behalf can no longer ask interviewees what they made at their last job or consider their past pay.  With 30,000 employees in California where the law is in effect and thousands in other jurisdictions nationwide,  Amazon’s company-wide policy makes sense for them and was reflected in a statement released by the company that said the move is "in response" to changes in city and state law.

 Salary Inequity

Advocates behind the new laws believe that because of historical salary inequity between the sexes, demanding a salary history keeps women locked in a cycle of lower pay than men.  According to the Institute for Women's Policy Research, in 2017 the ratio of women’s to men’s median weekly full-time earnings was 81.8 percent.  Interestingly, the Harvard Business Review published a study in 2017 that found that women who were asked and refused to give information about their salary history were offered less than women who did disclose it. Conversely, men received a higher salary when they refused to answer the question than did the candidates who provided salary history.

As legislatures and local governments have been considering laws, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit determined that considering prior compensation when setting a worker’s pay perpetuates gender disparities and defies the spirit of the Equal Pay Act.  The opinion says, “Before this decision, our law was unclear whether an employer could consider prior salary, either alone or in combination with other factors, when setting its employees’ salaries.  We now hold that prior salary alone or in combination with other factors cannot justify a wage differential.”

Some human resources and recruiting professionals believe that with the need for employees to continually add new competencies to their skill sets, going on past history alone is unfair to candidates and their skills.  There also is the fact that we are seeing many more job seekers who see salary as just one part of the compensation equation and are willing to sacrifice pay for more-flexible schedules, the opportunity to work remotely, an easier commute or other benefits they find key to job satisfaction.

Offering a bit of leeway, while the laws block employers from asking applicants about salary history in interviews or on applications, job applicants are not prohibited from providing their salary history on their own.  Also, in some jurisdictions, employers still are allowed to ask applicants the salary range they expect for the roles and responsibilities of the position there are seeking.

Amid all this activity, we have found that from an employer perspective, the patchwork of regulations is confusing and complicates the hiring process.  But, whether passed piecemeal across the nation or if a federal law is enacted, the primary question remains: Will eliminating salary history questions assist in solving the pay inequity between men and women?   

Unintended Consequences?

As a senior principal in an executive search firm who deals with salary issues on a daily basis while counseling employers and job candidates, I have concerns on unintended consequences of these laws and how they will affect the hiring process: 

·       When a prospective employer cannot determine a candidate’s current salary, will the initial offer be lower than it might have been had it been revealed? 

·       If they can’t ask about previous pay levels, will this cause an employer to ultimately pay less, rather than more had they had the knowledge? 

·       Could it be possible that these laws will diminish, not enhance, the chances for parity in pay between the sexes?

Answers to those questions are speculative and debatable at this point as the laws are recent and most haven’t been implemented. 

Our Counsel

As we work with our clients to help them navigate the confusion resulting from these new laws being passed and enforced piecemeal across the nation, we are counseling them that:

·       Employers may need to alter their mindset about compensation and negotiation;

·       As the ability to determine what applicants are earning becomes less available, employers should pay even more attention to the experience, aptitude and skill sets of candidates and assessing how relevant they are to the job being filled;

·       They should consider conducting more frequent competitive market analyses and using the data to set salary ranges for each position and consider sharing pay bands with applicants;

·       Clients may want to opt to ask applicants what their salary expectations are early on in the process. The answer can help screen out candidates whose salary demands are too far outside of the range of what they are willing to offer; and

·       Clients with operations in several states and cities should consider not waiting to alter their hiring policies simply because a certain state or city has not outlawed salary history questions.

Know that with or without salary history data, on behalf of our clients we will continue to conduct respectful salary negotiations with both parties having full knowledge of the salary offer and the salary request.

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Rising interest rates have seemingly ended a seven-year rally for REITs, but there remain pockets of strength, according to a REIT analyst with Sandler O'Neill + Partners quoted in this article.  REIT senior executives often turn to us when looking for professionals for their teams.  For more information on our executive search services in real estate and financial services, contact 20/20 Foresight at www.2020-4.com or 646-873-6890.

Are REITs Oversold?

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News for mall and shopping center space leased to retailers isn't good -- it "fell to its lightest level in six years in the first quarter of 2018 as retailers continued to focus on their top-performing locations and shed marginal stores, with announced store closures totaling nearly 100 million square feet so far this year alone."  Has the disruption in the retail real estate sector made you rethink the make-up of your team? Talk it over with our experts. 

US Shopping Center Demand Falls to Six-Year Low as Net Absorption Declines and Store Closures Pile Up - CoStar Group

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According to Reuters, "The first significant adjustment to post-crisis U.S. financial regulation, passed on Tuesday, is not going to unleash financial Gomorrah...Congress’s tweak to the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial rules mostly eases restrictions on small and 'community' banks, allowing them to make mortgages more easily and loosening some troublesome red tape." Does this good news make you more confident in adding to your senior team?  For more information on our executive search services in real estate and financial services, contact 20/20 Foresight at www.2020-4.com or 646-873-6890.

Breakingviews - Rollback of Dodd-Frank won’t roll back time

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With U.S. unemployment falling to its lowest level in 17 years, this Forbes contributor explores how two major commercial real estate types, office and industrial, could be affected.  Are you are a senior executive determining who you need in the c-suite with you?  For more information on our executive search services in real estate and financial services, contact 20/20 Foresight at www.2020-4.com or 708-246-2100.

These Real Estate Segments Could Benefit From The Good Jobs Numbers

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Do you think the deal between Prologis and DCT indicates strong demand for industrial assets? This article has observations that maintain the deal could be the beginning of a barrage of M&A activity in the industrial REIT sector.  Do you need to add the right staff in advance of any movement?  For more information on our executive search services in real estate and financial services, contact 20/20 Foresight at www.2020-4.com or 708-246-2100.

Prologis/DCT Deal Shows Strong Demand for Industrial Assets, Might Signal M&A Boom

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2017 was an excellent year for asset managers with both robust net inflows and great fund performance.  However there are concerns over “rising costs and growing regulatory and compliance pressures,” according to two new reports covered in the following article.  Solutions offered by Boston Consulting Group are to choose between becoming more niche “or look to M&A to try to address your growth opportunities.  What you are seeing is that the big are getting even bigger and that is placing even more strain on the middle managers.”  Are you are middle manager determining who you need in the executive suite with you?  For more information on our executive search services in real estate and financial services, contact 20/20 Foresight at www.2020-4.com or 708-246-2100.

M&A the key to asset manager survival, report says

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CoStar Group is out with the news that more than 90 million square feet of retail space scheduled to hit the market in this year.  As first quarter results are released by REITs we have a window into whether or not progress is being made in the industry.  For more information on our executive search services in real estate and financial services, contact 20/20 Foresight at www.2020-4.com or 708-246-2100.

Mall owners fight back against 'scythe-wielding grim reaper of bankruptcy'

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Should REITs use the new U.S. tax law as an incentive to abandon their tax-free structure to satisfy capital needs, or is it best to stick with a status that provides entry to a special set of investors?  According to this article, Third Avenue Real Estate Value Fund portfolio managers Jason Wolf and Ryan Dobratz argue in a letter that “some U.S. REITs should consider converting to a regular corporation, known as a C corp, to ‘maximize the value for shareholders over the long term.’”  Leadership of REITs often turn to us when looking for executives to their teams.  For more information on our executive search services in real estate and financial services, contact 20/20 Foresight at www.2020-4.com or 646-873-6890.

Under New Tax Law the Question Is, To Be or Not to Be a REIT?