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“Crazy” ideas can lead to great things

Adam Ifshin named best boss in CRE by

In March, I received humbling news: alongside an absolutely incredible coterie of industry peers, I was named to GlobeSt’s CRE Best Bosses of 2024 list. It’s such a tremendous honor to be recognized in this way, and I’m grateful to my colleagues at DLC who put me up for this award and to the editors of GlobeSt for considering me.

Ultimately, though, this honor belongs to the amazing people who make DLC a great place to work and a disruptive, innovative part of the CRE landscape. My team surprised me with a cake this week to celebrate, and I told them exactly that. The recognition belongs to them, because they follow me down some paths that outsiders may think are truly crazy, and because they not only meet but exceed goals I’ve set for the company to thrive.

So, I thought back to a recent path that was considered “crazy.”

At the end of 2023 – an environment in which interest rates had increased significantly, lenders were rapidly retrenching, and transactional volume was falling of a cliff – we closed on a four-property, $100MM transaction with Blackstone. Everyone thought I was nuts, particularly given the broad industry turmoil and Blackstone’s reputation as a shark.

Aerial shot of The Shops at Prescott in Prescott, AZ, acquired in 2023 by DLC in a four-property transaction.

Many in the industry saw obstacles and risk, but we saw opportunity, and we convinced the DLC team to engage.  DLC has a history of successful acquisitions from Blackstone, and we were confident we had the right lender relationships to accretively finance each acquisition.  There was transactional turmoil, but our leasing team was executing new leases left and right and we developed strong conviction about leasing up the portfolio’s vacancies while still in due diligence, significantly de-risking the acquisition.

While the transaction took longer to close than originally anticipated, the outcome was a very favorable acquisition of four shopping centers in Arizona, Colorado, New Jersey, and Ohio.  And we closed the financings with lenders that outperformed our underwriting.

While some may have thought it was a crazy idea, but the outcome speaks for itself.

As I’ve said before, to face complex challenges, that invariably means you are going to need a team. And if you’re not a team player and you’re always going to be me first, then you’re going to be me last.

Above all, I try to be the biggest cheerleader I can be for our team, to empower them to take risks and run with projects and celebrate one another’s successes. I completely trust our people and try to always be available for assistance or guidance, but at the end of the day I want them to know and feel the autonomy they have in their roles.

Every single person at DLC is integral to our success, regardless of their role, department, or tenure; we are and always have been a people-focused company. This honor belongs to all of us at DLC, and I thank them for their trust.

And here’s to many more “crazy” ideas.

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