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Doing It Differently

Dallas-Fort Worth
Doing It Differently

In the private equity/institutional real estate playing field, there's a problem: they all look the same and do the same things, says L&B Realty chairman and CEO Andy Smith. (It's the same with SUVs, cell phones, and cupcake stores.)

Andy Smith

The winners today are the ones who break out of that rut. Andy tells us that his employee-owned and managed firm has no debt and likes to find transactions off-market, where the pricing (and the game) is different. Those deals don't follow the drawn-out processes; they're more fluid and involve a lot more give and go, he tells us. For more specifics, Andy will be among the featured panelists at Bisnow's Second Annual Real Estate Summit this Monday  at the Westin Galleria. (You can still sign up here!) At the event, Andy anticipates discussion about who has money to invest, what kinds of deals are out there, and expectations on returns. ?We live and die by our investment performance,? he says.

Kurz Group Mini
Andy Smith running the London Marathon
Something else Andy's seeing hit the streets: the return of club investing. For investors who don't mind joining forces with three or four others, there's a buying power for larger assets that might be too bulky for an individual: ?In their minds, it's the best of both worlds; they still get control of a separate account but don't have to be in a fund, and they get to have a few other investors.? Mixing work and pleasure, Andy recently returned from the UK after meeting with an L&B partner, Mayfair Capital, to explore the London  property market. He was on the run (literally) participating in the London marathon (pictured at mile 13 crossing the River Thames on London's Tower Bridge) and finishing in 3 hours 57 minutes and 59 seconds. Next: a triathlon in the very exotic location of Rockwall.
Seattle skyline

Yet another top dog working our Capital Markets Event on Monday is Mohr Partners chairman Bob Mohr. Last year (which you may recall wasn't a particularly active one), his firm completed more than 2,500 deals and expanded its presence across the country. The tenant/ corporate services firm has 20 offices and in the past few weeks opened  new offices in Seattle (pictured), Charlotte, and expanded its Cleveland office. A third office in  Southern California is on the way and about eight new offices have been added in the last 18 months. ?We expect to continue our growth this year, too,? he tells us. ?We've created a lot of momentum for the people we've added and we look to add another three or four  new offices by end of this year.? He says the recession is a good time to grow as long as you have the ?guts and money? to do it.

Bob Mohr and his Dave Matthews Band collection

Bob says CRE consolidations created an opportunity for Mohr Partners to provide clients with an alternative to affiliates or networks by representing only the corporate client/tenant/user and not the landlords. On Monday, Bob will join our expert panel (yes, you can still sign up here). When you see him, say ?happy anniversary,? too, as Mohr Partners marks its 25th in July. You can also ask him all about his favorite band: The Dave Matthews Band. We snapped him with his signed guitar and autograph collection (a gift from his wife). He's seen the band perform more than a dozen times. Does that qualify for groupie status?