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NEWSWIRE: How Bill Rose’s Job has Changed During the Pandemic

From the den of his San Diego home, Bill Rose was finalizing an investor purchase of a single-tenant Starbucks building and overseeing construction of a Chic-fil-A while guiding other transactions and generally calming clients’ nerves.

Relying on Cisco Webex, Zoom and contractor photos instead of actual face time, the senior managing director of Institutional Property Advisors and of the National Retail Group for Marcus & Millichap hasn’t missed a beat in his new office digs. “This isn’t perfect,” he said, “but it’s working. We’re still doing deals.”

Isolation reinforces that retail real estate is an interpersonal trade, the 30-year industry veteran said. “While it’s important to shelter in place, everyone I talk with wants to get back to the office because they miss the camaraderie and getting out to dine and shop.” There is one big plus to self-isolation, he says. Rose’s frenetic Southern California commute has been replaced with a seconds-long walk.

Rose devotes significant daily time to client outreach “to see how we can help give guidance with options.” Given the volume of sidelined tenants, one challenge is projecting stabilized investor income. “We’re talking with centers where 70 percent of tenants are paying rent and others where 30 percent are paying,” he said. “Come August or September, there’ll be greater clarity.”

Even in adversity mentors like Marcus & Millichap co-founder George Marcus, Ernest Hahn Inc. founder Ernie Hahn and former Hahn CEO and current GPI partner Lee Wagman “found ways to make it happen,” Rose said. “So even during global sheltering, we’re finding ways to make deals happen.”

Just as Rose was saying his days “are literally filled with conference calls,” an alarm alerted him of his next meeting. He noted, “Investors still need to put their money to work.”

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