13 Questions on Commercial Real Estate with Christ Sheldon: Managing Director, Capital Markets/Net Lease Group at Cushman & Wakefield, San Francisco, CA
In 2012, Chris Sheldon was acknowledged as a “Rising Star” at Cassidy Turley (now Cushman & Wakefield) after emerging as a net-lease market expert. Specializing in the disposition and acquisition of single and multi-tenant net leased investment properties, Chris has since grown into one of the top NNN brokers in the nation. He and his team have closed upwards of 115 properties, worth $800 million, in the last two years. Bright and grounded, Chris is a loyal advisor to his many clients. We caught up with Chris to get his refreshing take on the market and where it is heading, in addition to discussing topics outside of CRE.
CREXi: Who do you admire most in the real estate industry, and why?
CS: Anyone working hard and having fun putting deals together.
CREXi: What do you like about the NNN market, and where do you see it going in the next 18 months?
CS: I like that the NNN market is very steady, and I think it will continue to be. It will be fascinating to see how the investor market reacts to the consolidation of retail and where they choose to invest moving forward.
CREXi: What markets do you think are poised for a growth spurt?
CS: I like markets where young people want to live- typically dynamic urban markets around the country. I think these markets are poised for the most growth. Markets like Denver, Austin, Nashville, Seattle, Portland come to mind, to name a few, aside from the major gateway markets like New York, Chicago, Dallas, SF, and LA.
CREXi: What is the most memorable NNN deal you worked on?
CS: We sold an eight property SF Bay Area Bank of America portfolio in 2011 just as we were emerging from the last recession. The properties were all very established locations in the Bay Area with massive deposits and significantly below market rents, even in 2012. We received 117 offers on the properties. It was the first time post-recession we had seen such frenzied interest in real estate, and we ended up selling the properties at a blended 3.50% cap rate- which at the time was unfathomable.
CREXi: What industry advice do you always carry with you (or first that comes to mind)?
CS: Always be kind to people and be humble (more general life advice than industry, but always applicable).
CREXi: What deal situation makes your ears perk up?
CS: Anything where there is an unrealized opportunity.
CREXi: What role do you see tech playing in the commercial real estate landscape over the next ten years?
CS: It’s tough to say as the question is so general. It will be everywhere in every facet of the business, even more so than it already is. I am hopeful that it continues to make the industry better and more productive, from marketing to retail to networking.
CREXi: If you had all the money in the world, where in the real estate market would you invest?
CS: I think there will always be demand for CBD locations in major urban markets for all asset types.
CREXi: If you had all the money in the world, what would you do with your time?
CS: I would still work, but I could be more balanced. I’d spend some more time outdoors and travel more with my family.
CREXi: What would you tell your 20-year-old self regarding a) work and b) life?
CS: Don’t stress too much. Just work hard and be confident in the fact that if you work hard and are smart, respectful, and honest, that good things will eventually come your way. And have fun!
CREXi: What is the biggest thing you learned in 2016?
CS: Be honest and provide excellent advice. We are starting to see a market in transition, and now is a time to provide useful information versus what you think people want to hear.