–By Sunny Sajnani, Senior Director

sailing with MCADuring the late weeks of July and early weeks of August (known as the “late summer doldrums”), our pipeline slows to summer mode, mainly because most capital providers and clients go on vacations just before kids get back into school.  For the past few years, I have foregone a summer vacation for various reasons and could hear the crickets chirp in the office instead of phones ringing.  This year MCA decided to go on a sailing trip with the rest of the commercial real estate industry!

I and nine other guys hopped across the Atlantic and chartered a 55′ sailboat to go island hopping inCroatia. I’m actually writing this blog from the boat as we sail fromSplitto Hvar!  Yesterday I was contemplating the topic of this blog, and I thought about what it would be like if I were in the office (very quiet) and reminded myself that six out of the ten guys on the boat were commercial real estate professionals!

Here is a glimpse into our crew and something interesting I have learned about each of their specific roles in commercial real estate:

–          Crew Member #1: James Carroll (Spring Creek Companies) – James and his father Chris Carroll own Spring Creek BBQ and operate several other restaurant concepts.  They like restaurants, but they LOVE real estate as they own the bricks and sticks under a majority of their restaurants.

–          Crew Member #2: Chad DuBose (John T. Evans Co) -Chad has been working as a retail leasing and sales broker at JTE since he graduated college.  One of his best clients is Mi Cocina, and he has been involved in the lease negotiations for all their new locations.

–          Crew Member #3: Geoff Ficke (Marcus & Millichap) – Geoff runs an investment sales platform that focuses primarily on GSA (United States General Services Administration) buildings.  Because his concentration is very specialized, there is not a lot of competition in his space. Also, there is currently huge demand for GSA leases with interest rates as low as they are.

–          Crew Member #4: Houston Duncan (Lantern Asset Management) -Houston has been with Lantern since its inception and works on some really interesting deals.  Recently they acquired a failed condo deal inLas Vegas, which is currently being converted to an ultra-luxury hotel with some features in the works that will blow you away.

–          Crew Member #5: Will Stroud (Stroud Properties) – Will works with his family-owned company that invests in all types of commercial restate.  Currently he is working on a few senior housing developments in theNorth Texas area.

–          Crew Member #6: Sunny Sajnani (MCA) – I’m glad to be on summer vacation!

–          Crew Members #7 thru #10: Kevin Shtofman (business consultant), Pablo Garces (banker), Thomas Bellinger (accountant) and John Becknell (attorney) – Although these guys do not work directly in the CRE industry, I’m sure we will rub elbows professionally at some point!

This has been the vacation of a lifetime, and I’m glad to be spending it with guys who all have something in common…  Having a couple finance guys, a developer, a sales broker, a leasing broker, an attorney, a banker, a restaurateur, and an accountant on board, I smell a real estate deal in the works!!