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New Board Member Profile: Brian Mutchler, Senior Managing Director at Harrison Street Capital

By Monika Multhauf

October 3, 2023

Grainger Hall
Brian Mutchler

We are proud to welcome Brian Mutchler, Senior Managing Director and Chairman of the Capital Markets Committee at Harrison Street Capital, to our Board of Advisors. His industry insight and experience will be a valuable addition to the Graaskamp Center for Real Estate as we work to maintain our position as the global leaders in real estate education. Read below to learn more about Brian.

Describe your current position an what an average work day is like for you.

I have worn many different hats during my 15-year career at Harrison Street. Currently I am a Senior Managing Director and serve as Chairman of our Capital Markets Committee, lead our Special Situations Group and am a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. Previous leadership positions held include Head of Operations and Co-Head of Asset Management. There is no such thing as an average workday at Harrison Street, especially in the current capital markets environment. Constant, transparent communication with our lenders, partners and investors is a must. Thus, lots of meetings, zoom calls and even good ole fashioned phone calls too.

In your view, what is the biggest opportunity in commercial real estate today?

In terms of product type, debt returns look very appealing in today’s market given we are probably in a “higher for longer” interest rate environment. Mezzanine debt is a good place to be in the capital stack. In terms of sector opportunities, I am very bullish on the future of senior housing. Given where demographics are today, the ever-increasing life span, and focus on longevity and wellness, today’s seniors to want to live in a state-of-the-art community with friends and family while enjoying 5-star cuisine and countless activities….every day! Sounds like a great way to spend retirement to me.

What does the world need from real estate professionals today?

Calm. Communication. Collaboration. The 3 Cs. The days of the lone wolf developer are over. It takes a level head, teamwork, constant communication, creativity and grit to get deals done in today’s market environment.

What are the industry’s most profound changes over the last 15 years?

I am constantly surprised and impressed by the quality of the students entering the commercial real estate industry, not only from an intellectual perspective but also from a soft skills and EQ standpoint. I can tell you I was nowhere near as polished when I joined the industry over 20 years ago. I predict the next 15 years will bring about the most profound changes the industry has ever seen…gone are the 45-60 days necessary to close a deal…instant liquidity will dominate the private real estate markets allowing for much more transactional volume, greater market access, and wealth creation for the CRE industry.

What doe you enjoy most about being in the real estate profession?

The people…with constant learning as a close second. My peers at Harrison Street as well as our partners, lenders, counterparties are all extremely gifted, hard charging, and never afraid to ask the tough questions and challenge my assumptions. Love the constant learning opportunities this industry provides me and humbled to be a part of it.

What’s the most interesting or fulfilling project you’ve worked on?

Raising my 16 year old son and 13 year old daughter alongside my wife Vicki (also a UW RE Grad!) ….they are the best ground-up development project ever!

What advice would you give yo our students who are about to embark on a career in real estate?

Listen. Be Humble (but persistent). Never give up….and don’t forget to take time to have fun.