- April 2012: Vol. 24 No. 4

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The New Deal: Designing a Game Plan for Investing in a Transforming Marketplace

by Douglas Tibbetts

This time is different, very different. And to be successful in the marketplace, investors and managers must reset expectations and adjust strategies. What’s worked in past cycles may not apply — demand is changing, technology dampens growth in the commercial sector, the industry does not require as many middlemen and returns will be lower. Advantage goes to proven operators with hands-on skill sets to manage properties and deliver performance as well as a few financial giants, which attract capital from institutional investors, seeking safety in gold-plated brands. Boutique allocators looking for value-add or opportunistic returns gain little traction — many cannot get out from under track records eroded in the recent crash. And no one wants to take a chance on new players. Of course, advisers who peddle financial structures over real estate acumen need not apply either.

I guess you could say I am an industry veteran — I started more than 40 years ago when major insu

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