The multi-family real estate industry is one of many that had to find creative ways to navigate the challenges of the pandemic. Certain companies stood out amongst others in this fight, one of which being CARROLL, an east-coast based real estate investment firm founded by entrepreneur and philanthropist M. Patrick Carroll.
The company facilitated a webinar in May 2020 to give a platform for industry leaders to share ideas and experiences. Some of the participants include Robert LaChapelle, the Regional Managing Director for CBRE’s Debt & Structured Finance Group in Atlanta, Georgia; Kris Mikkelsen, the Managing Partner and COO of Atlanta-based investment firm of Walker and Dunlop; and Blake Okland, Vice Chairman, Head of Multifamily Investment Sales for Newmark — and of course, the company’s CEO Carroll himself.
Finding new, creative ways to communicate with employees and clients in an industry that is predominantly face-to-face was one of the primary obstacles during the pandemic, according to Carroll. “We are a solution provider to our investors and to our renters,” he said. “[This] has been instrumental in keeping us afloat during the shutdown. We’ve also invested a lot in communications technology,” Carroll continued. “If you’re not versed on this technology, if you’re not putting new content out regularly, you’re lagging behind.”
Carroll believes there will be a mass exodus from pricy cities such as Silicon Valley and San Francisco towards cities with lower rents. Arizona, Boise and Salt Lake City are likely destinations, as long as major companies keep work-from-home options in place.
“I won’t lie; the middle of March, 2020 was kind of scary. However, I stressed optimism to my people. It’s the American way. When I talk with people from Europe, it’s really obvious that we Americans are more hopeful and optimistic,” explained Carroll. “I think if you wake up with a positive attitude every day, that’s your advantage, because your competitors probably aren’t doing that.” In the closing moments of the webinar, the entrepreneur said, “You can take any bad situation and fix it.”