We are proud to welcome Dan McCoy, Co-founder and managing partners and BSH Companies, 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 Dan.
Describe your current position and what an average workday is like for you.
I am co-founder and Managing Partner at BSH Companies. We are a small firm with a focus on self storage, multi-family and other opportunistic investments where we think we can add value and generate predictable, attractive returns for ourselves and our investors. Previously, I was an executive with CBRE in their Global Workplace Solutions division helping large healthcare systems construct and operate their real estate. Today, I have one other partner and approximately 15 other employees (either direct or contract basis) on our BSH team.
In your view, what is the biggest opportunity in commercial real estate today?
Transitioning from a 13 year period where debt and equity were readily available at rates which made cost of funding projects extremely low, back to an environment where funding costs are more in line with historic averages. In 2022 virtually everyone, in real estate and the broader economy both, expected rates to rise – very few people expected them to increase at the rate which they have. This will present challenges, and opportunities, both. Some people have forgotten that the last 10 years or so were an anomaly…
What does the world need from real estate professionals today?
I think this answer stays somewhat constant…the world needs professionalism, integrity and data-driven solutions to real property problems and needs. UW-Madison was a pioneer through Dr. Graaskamp’s work in establishing real estate as an academic discipline backed up by hard research. We need more of this – ideas, supported by research, to solve problems such as affordable housing, lowering cost of occupancy and enhancing environmental sustainability, construction processes that use less resources, etc.
What are the industry’s most profound changes over the last 15 years? Looking to the future, how do you think the industry will change in the next 15 years?
Consolidation within the brokerage world – when I joined TCC in 2001 we had about 6,000 employees. Today, CBRE Group (who purchased TCC in 2005) has 115,000 employees. This has changed their focus to encompass markets around the world rather than just here in the United States. This is in direct response to the needs of their investor and corporate occupier clients.
Going forward into the next 15 years – I think the biggest change needs to be on the construction front. How can we build the facilities the world needs using fewer natural resources during course of construction and in a way that lowers the lifetime energy cost to operate the building post-certificate of occupancy? This is a challenge that will have benefits far beyond our industry.
What do you enjoy most about being in the real estate profession?
Few careers allow the ability to be outside in the field on a job site or deep the in details of facility operations in the morning and in complex legal, financial, or strategic analysis in the afternoon. Real estate gives the ability to spend time in very different worlds, and use different skills, all in the same day. I think that’s unique.
What’s the most interesting or fulfilling project you’ve worked on?
My first project on my own after leaving the Trammell Crow Company. It was a ground up multi-family development adjacent to Denver University, with cooperation from the university administration, on land purchased from a church. There were lots of stakeholders involved and the job finished in early 2007 right before the U.S. economy collapsed. It was stressful and rewarding all at the same time. I learned a lot.
What advice would you give to our students who are about to embark on a career in real estate?
Try and work in different areas within real estate prior to betting your career on one narrow discipline. Give yourself 5 years or so, optimally within the same company, to work in construction, capital markets, brokerage, development, etc… This will help you find the right track and area for long term happiness. And, if you have the entrepreneurial spark and want to eventually work for yourself, own your own real estate…work for a large organization first. Learn on someone else’s nickel for a few years!