Scott Muldavin, CRE
Who are the Counselors of Real Estate?
When you become Chair, you realize that although you thought you answered this question quite often, it becomes a regular part of nearly every interaction. You also realize that people close to you really do not quite get it. “No, Phil (co-worker), The Counselors is not just appraisers and consultants” And my favorite: “No Dad, The Counselors is not a group of lawyers.”
In addition to perfecting my elevator speech, answering this question is critical for all of us as we continue our five-year journey to increase the size, diversity, and quality of our membership (as codified in our new 5-Year Strategic Plan).
First, let me clarify how I define our size and diversity goals. Size is easy. Our Strategic Plan sets our target at 1200 members by 2020—which, when normal attrition is considered, sets a goal of 100 new members per year for the five years of our plan. Challenging, but doable if we work hard and smart.
Diversity and quality are more complex and interrelated. Expanding diversity of thought is a requirement to maintain cutting edge thought leadership and the quality of our membership. Not only do we need much more diversity by gender, race, and age to reflect the population using and working in the real estate industry, but we also need diversity by professional occupation. Consolidation of multi-national service firms; growth and globalization of investment management companies and corporate real estate groups; increased specialization; and the critical role of building technology, enterprise software solutions, mobile applications, data analytics and other “new” occupations to the functioning of the real estate industry make this diversity imperative. It is hard to maintain thought leadership if we do not fully reflect the breadth of thought and work in the industry.
Now, for my answer to the question of who we are:
“We are a group of 1000 real estate leaders known for our thought leadership; industry engagement, giving back, and trusted relationships.”
The thought leadership of our members is astounding. Our members have written over 100 of the industry’s most important books and thousands of articles that have helped form the foundation of real estate education. Our members are renowned global strategists and investors; pension consultants; corporate real estate leaders; and manage scores of leading real estate service firms. Our appraiser, broker, and consultant members advise their companies and clients on their most difficult and important challenges. Our members lead global information/analytics firms like Real Estate Capital Analytics, CoStar, REIS, Trepp, and Green Street Advisors. Our members are international specialty leaders in most property types and members from smaller markets are the “go to” real estate problem solvers in their communities. Need I go on?!
Our members are also highly engaged with the industry and their organizations; writing, speaking, teaching, and participating in hundreds of committees, task forces, and work groups committed to moving the industry and society forward.
Our organization and members are committed to giving back to our industry and communities. Our Consulting Corps and Foundation provide direct assistance to organizations confronting complex human problems where advanced real estate thought can help. Our members have amazing records of philanthropy—all supported by a culture where our most important forms of individual recognition—The James D. Landauer/John R. White and James Felt Awards—celebrate individual commitment to giving people hope through amazing charitable acts of kindness.
Trusted relationships are at the heart of who we are. Counselors earn the trust of their clients/companies through rigorous independent problem solving and adhering to the highest ethical standards. We trust each other, as a result of our unique collegial culture, high standards, and personal respect for each other. Our trust leads to rewarding business and personal enrichment.
This is who I think we are—and I am proud to be a Counselor of Real Estate.