Predicting the Future

Emerging Trends

To guide your company’s direction, it’s helpful to gain insight on what those in the development community believe the future holds. You could ask them directly for their thoughts and predictions. Or you could read the Urban Land Institute’s Emerging Trends in Real Estate® 2013. In this report, the ULI has compiled and interpreted the information from 900 personal interviews and surveys with influential real estate leaders, somehow making sense out of a mountain of opinions and educated guesses.

We were particularly interested in how the publication rates future development potential in the Seattle and Portland areas. We learned that Seattle is rated sixth out of fifty-one United State locations in investment, eighth in development, and seventh in homebuilding. It is “one of the best markets for younger adults” due to tech businesses. (The recently completed Colman Tower in downtown Seattle seems to support this point of view, as its residential units are focused on younger adults.) Interest in office and industrial space is also relatively strong. Portland, Oregon is rated seventeen out of fifty-one locations in investment, twenty in development, and twenty-third in homebuilding. Its economy “displays stability but few signs of quick improvement.”

As a firm that also provides services nationwide and around the world, we were also interested in information in other areas. In addition to the United States, the ULI evaluated Canada, Latin America, Brazil, Mexico, and other countries. More Information.

Take-Aways That Keep On Giving

When was the last time you attended a business seminar or presentation and walked away with a message that stuck with you? Sometimes the simplest things end up informing your approaches to tasks or dilemmas—year after year.

The specific example I’m thinking of was a seminar presented by a woman from Starbucks, probably 10 years ago. Her title was “Innovation Team Leader” and her team’s purpose was to think up new products. They had ambitious goals and she spoke about how they worked to achieve them. These are the two take-aways that have stuck—and proven valuable to me time and again:

Take-away 1: To be a successful team leader, you don’t have to be the person with all of the ideas or knowledge or creativity. That’s why you have a team.

Take-away 2: The best-performing team will include a little something of everything. You need the big-picture dreamer, the practical person who can execute, the naysayer who will point out potential pitfalls, the financial expert who helps you understand the return on investment…you get the idea.

While it’s human nature to want to work with people who are like you, resist the temptation! Populate your team with people who are different from you—and each other.