The FORT Podcast: Chris Rising – Co-Founder & CEO of Rising Realty Partners

Christopher Rising manages the day-to-day business activities of Rising, while also serving on its Investment Committee. Drawing on his experience as Senior Vice President, Asset Transactions at MPG Office Trust, Inc. (NYSE: MPG), Christopher is skilled at managing acquisitions and creative development. At MPG, he worked directly with the CEO to improve finances through debt reduction and restructuring.

On this episode, Chris discusses his early career learning the industry under John Cushman of Cushman & Wakefield before leaving to form his own company. He and Chris also discuss Rising’s emphasis on Impact Investing & ESG and how that plays in working with large tenants like Google and Amazon. They also deep dive into their predictions on the future of Office and Work as we exit the pandemic. Finally, they turn the table to ask Powers about his willingness to take risks, Fort Capital’s focus on technology adoption, and the future of Texas and California in the midst of the massive migration seen in the United States. Enjoy!

Listen on:
Apple Podcasts

(02:32) – Chris’ background and career

(08:08) – Was John Cushman always teeing up his company to be as big as it was?

(09:55) – Rising Realty Partners

(13:37) – How do you define impact investing and ESG? 

(20:51) – Why are office and commercial retail real estate the biggest emitters of carbon?

(22:13) – What’s the low-hanging fruit that you can go in to fix their carbon output?

(23:59) – How quickly does ESG requirements come up with ‘big-boy’ tenants like Google and Amazon?

(26:41) – Biden’s Push for Government Buildings to be ‘Green Certified’

(29:10) –  Rising’s Investment in Office and the Future of Work

(37:32) – Crowdfunding 

(44:26) – Experience Optimization Services

The Tables Turn

(47:49) – Chris Powers’ Willingness to Take Risks

(52:08) – Powers’ Focus on Technology

(54:07) – The Digital Economy Coming to Real Estate

(54:50) – Microsoft or Google for operating systems?

(55:16) – Maintaining Discipline with Adapting Technology

(1:01:54) – The Massive Population Growth in Texas and the Future for the States like California


Episode Summary

Rising’s expertise is not only steeped in years of industry involvement but also enriched by his innovative approach towards real estate investment and management, particularly in the context of office and industrial properties.

The discussion sets the stage by emphasizing the paramount importance of ensuring optimal air quality, light, and water within office and industrial buildings. Rising outlines the transformative role of technology in enhancing these aspects, ensuring a thriving and safe environment for occupants, and concurrently reducing operating expenses. The utilization of dedicated apps for real-time monitoring of building features stands out as a notable strategy, reinforcing the commitment to superior health and safety standards.

Rising’s narrative seamlessly transitions into his professional journey, shedding light on his initial foray into the principal business. He recounts a pivotal encounter with a broker, leading to his first venture in operating and leasing a building. This endeavor set the groundwork for the establishment of Rising Reality Partners, a collaborative endeavor with his father. The company’s significant progression is underscored, with a strategic shift towards the industrial and multifamily sectors, further bolstered in the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A deep dive into the realm of impact investing and ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) unveils Rising’s keen focus on these contemporary investment paradigms. Despite a setback in a substantial deal owing to the pandemic’s timing, his unwavering belief in impact investing is evident. The accent on carbon reduction and sustainability echoes the global trend towards environmentally conscious investment and business practices, resonating with Rising’s strategic vision.

The conversation steers towards the environmental implications of office properties and commercial real estate. Rising’s perspective on the significant carbon emissions from these properties and the consequent need for sustainable practices offers a compelling insight. The discussion underscores the criticality of minimizing the environmental footprint of commercial buildings, aligned with global carbon reduction and sustainability goals.

A pertinent discussion on Juniper Square unfolds, with Chris Powers outlining its transformative impact on investor experience and operational efficiency in real estate. The platform’s capabilities in streamlining the investment process and centralizing comprehensive investment information are highlighted, underscoring the pivotal role of technology in enhancing real estate investment management.

The dialogue evolves to explore the contemporary workplace dynamics, especially in the context of the return to physical office spaces. Rising’s observations on varied professional inclinations towards in-person work, coupled with the intrinsic value of office environments in fostering personal and professional growth, offer a balanced and thoughtful view. The discussion amplifies the significance of physical office spaces in nurturing professional collaborations, social interactions, and overall personal development.

The podcast delves into Rising’s insights into the burgeoning realm of impact strategies in real estate investment. He forecasts substantial growth in this domain, highlighting the successful execution of the Cheyenne Airport deal as a testament to the changing investment landscape. The conversation reaffirms the potential to rapidly amass significant capital, enhancing the scale and outreach of investment ventures.

In the subsequent section, Rising’s philosophy towards risk-taking unfolds. His inclination towards embracing risks is presented as a cornerstone for achieving noteworthy milestones in the real estate sector. The dialogue offers a candid examination of the interplay between risk and reward, imparting crucial insights for aspiring entrepreneurs and investors in the field.

In the penultimate segment, the podcast explores the crucial aspect of team buy-in for successful software implementation within organizations. Rising advocates for a supportive and engaged leadership team, ensuring effective technology adoption and integration. His insights emphasize the significance of training, accountability, and commitment to new technologies, ensuring their optimal utilization and contribution to organizational growth.

The FORT is produced by Straight Up Podcasts

Back to Top