The FORT Podcast: Edward Manuel

Pershing Capital is a real estate investment, development and advisory firm with a focus on single tenant and multi-tenant retail assets with E-commerce and recession resistant tenant bases. Today, you’ll listen as Chris interviews Edward about his deep dive into the retail sector of real estate. Edward will describe what retail has looked like over the last decade, how retailers have had to adjust during the pandemic and what opportunities lie ahead for the industry moving forward.

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01:45 — Edward’s Background and Career with Trademark Property Company & Pershing Capital
11:56 — When did you start getting ‘scared’ that e-commerce was becoming a thing?
13:39 — How do you create the mouse-trap of finding retailers to lease spaces?
15:16 — What is the timeline of pulling together a huge retail development?
15:57 — Why did you start Pershing Capital?
17:09 — What was your first deal at Pershing?
17:56 — What does the advisory side of the business look like?
18:45 — Do you outsource development?
19:30 — Why are certain aspects of development getting harder?
23:03 — What is going on in retail since COVID hit?
25:34 — How have tenants responded to the pandemic?
27:03 — Edward’s Thoughts on the Mall Business
31:09 — Why should e-commerce companies like Amazon also become brick & mortar businesses?
33:54 — Who is putting the majority of the investment into these properties for retail projects?
36:52 — What is a ‘co-tenancy clause’ and how do you feel about it?
41:07 — Have we discovered what our ‘sweet spot’ cost is for retail space per square foot?
41:47 — What is the zoning like to re-position these developments for a totally different use?
44:33 — Is there a time horizon that shows decreasing prices for retail spaces?
46:15 — Can a retail project be financed right now?
48:59 — If a real estate opportunity presented itself, how would you go about financing it?
51:47 — How can businesses occupy these retail spaces again?
52:55 — What opportunities within retail are you excited about going forward?
53:57 — What is the best advice you have ever received?
55:46 — What advice would you give to your 21 year-old self?


Episode Summary

Edward’s journey in real estate has been marked by early ventures that solidified his understanding of market dynamics, and throughout his career, he has harnessed the essence of location as a pivotal factor in property investment. This episode dives deep into Edward’s insights, extracted from years of navigating the real estate waters, both domestically and internationally.

Edward’s foundational years in real estate were molded by his keen observation of market dynamics and demographics. An advocate for thorough research, Edward shared that one of the cornerstones of his success has been his relentless pursuit of understanding local cultures and regulations when entering new, unfamiliar markets. This understanding, he suggests, is imperative to fully grasp the challenges and opportunities each market offers, especially when crossing international borders. His experiences across global markets have emphasized the indispensable role of forging genuine local partnerships. By collaborating with local entities, Edward believes investors can bridge cultural and knowledge gaps, thus unlocking the region’s true potential.

Diving into the technological evolution of the real estate sector, Edward accentuated the transformative role technology plays. Modern tools and digital advancements have redefined property management, making tasks efficient and providing a clearer lens to evaluate investment strategies. In Edward’s view, those who embrace this technological shift are poised to stay ahead in the competitive realm of real estate.

Challenges are a part and parcel of any industry, and real estate is no exception. Edward candidly shared his tryst with managing large teams and projects, underscoring the undeniable importance of effective communication. In his experience, ensuring that every team member is aligned with the project’s vision is crucial for its success.

The future of real estate, according to Edward, is tinted green. As the world pivots towards sustainability, green real estate projects are emerging as frontrunners, both in popularity and profitability. Such sustainable ventures not only address environmental concerns but also cater to the growing eco-conscious consumer base, thereby presenting lucrative opportunities for investors.

Risk, an intrinsic aspect of investment, was another topic Edward delved into. His mantra for evaluating risks combines thorough research, due diligence, and a long-term perspective. By continuously updating oneself with market developments, Edward believes investors can better navigate the volatile waves of the real estate market.

Edward’s passion for mentoring shone brightly as he reminisced about his role as both mentor and mentee. In the cyclical world of real estate, where experiences come full circle, Edward emphasized the profound impact of knowledge sharing. To those just dipping their toes in real estate waters, Edward’s advice was unequivocal: remain adaptable and never cease learning.

Edward Manuel’s vast reservoir of experiences, distilled in this episode, offers invaluable insights for both novices and veterans in real estate. His emphasis on research, adaptability, and embracing technology provides a roadmap for those aiming for success in this dynamic industry.

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