The COVID-19 pandemic brought unprecedented challenges to every industry, including real estate. As they navigated such things as temporary business closures or reduced availability, real estate professionals turned to one another for help. M Patrick Carroll, the CEO of the real estate investment firm CARROLL, hosted a roundtable discussion for industry leaders from the real estate profession in May 2020. The group shared what they learned about leadership under the tremendous challenges of the pandemic. You can read more about Pandemic Changed the Real Estate Industry below.
Participants in the Real Estate Leaders Roundtable Discussion
M Patrick Carroll spoke with the following leaders virtually during the May 2020 event:
- Robert LaChapelle, who works as the Regional Managing Director for CBRE Debt and Structured Finance Group based in Atlanta, Georgia
- Kris Mikkelsen, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Managing Partner for Walker and Dunlap Investment Group based in Atlanta
- Blake Okland, the Head of Multifamily Investment Sales and Vice Chairman for Newark based in Charlotte, North Carolina
Real estate professional M Patrick Carroll started the discussion by talking about how shifting his expectations allowed him to keep up with business tasks throughout the pandemic. For example, he discovered he could still communicate effectively with people even when he could not meet with them in person.
However, he does acknowledge the transition was difficult as a leader in an industry so dependent on face-to-face interactions. Carroll states that his biggest concern when the pandemic first arrived was assuring his employees that everything would be okay. He had to find a way to do that with everyone working from home.
M. Patrick Carroll Discusses the Importance of Investing in Communication Technology
The inability to get out to talk to clients and investors personally was one of Carroll’s greatest challenges in the early days of the pandemic. Despite this, M Patrick Carroll feels pleased that CARROLL could communicate to clients and investors that it is a solutions-oriented company. The cooperation his organization received from the people it serves was instrumental in keeping CARROLL open and thriving during the pandemic.
Carroll also states that the pandemic gave the company an opportunity to invest in new types of communication technology such as online meetings. He now feels that having several avenues of communication available is essential to the survival of any company, since no one knows what the future brings.
The Pandemic’s Influence on the Multifamily Housing Industry
Carroll and other industry leaders added their insights regarding how the pandemic brought abrupt changes to the multifamily housing market. The group sees trends already forming, such as people moving out of rental units in high cost of living areas like San Francisco and moving to states with lower rental costs.
The ability of millions of Americans to work from home throughout the pandemic has been the biggest contributor to this trend. Many employers have seen benefits from the arrangement and will allow employees to continue working from home now that health threats from COVID-19 have subsided. This willingness on the part of employers has given employees new flexibility to live wherever they would like. Read about Pandemic Changed the Real Estate Industry below.
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