The 18th Annual Trigild Fall Lender Conference, a commercial real estate debt conference, is set for October 17-19 at San Diego’s Hard Rock Hotel, according to a statement from a representative of Trigild. The event will feature keynote speakers that include futurist Peter Leyden of Reinvent; economist Sam Chandan, PhD; Ten-X’s Peter Muoio, Ph.D.; and Clarion Partners’ Donald D. Sheets.
SoCal Real Estate spoke with conference founder and Trigild president Judy Hoffman about the conference, her thoughts about the current CRE cycle and how she feels technology will change our industry in the year ahead.
SoCal Real Estate: What makes this conference different from those in the past?
Hoffman: With lower default rates, the length of the expanded economy, an uncertain political climate, and reduced foreign real estate investments, this year’s conference is more focused on looking ahead. We have speakers who will address the economy, commercial real estate performance, projected interest rates, and lending and investment trends.
What do you anticipate to be the hot-button issues this year?
We all know that at some point the economic cycle will change and no one wants to be caught swimming naked when that occurs. Therefore, key topics will focus on how long the economy will continue to expand, foreign investment trends, interest rates, underwriting for a possible downturn, CMBS loans, the potential impact of unregulated private lending, and how this will impact loan defaults and servicing.
What are your thoughts as to where we are in the CRE cycle?
The tax cuts and deregulation have given us a longer economic runway and an extended CRE cycle. My concern is that as inflation and the national debt increase, interest rates will rise, which will have a major impact on lending, investing, and loan servicing.
What do you think will be the most significant ways that technology will change our industry in the year ahead?
Regarding commercial properties, e-commerce will continue to affect brick-and-mortar retail. The ability for employees to work remotely will continue to impact office occupancy, although a leveling off is likely — there is still value for office users to be together physically in many industries to facilitate collaboration. The industrial/distribution space will continue to be strong, though technology may increase efficiency and decrease square footage needs.
In terms of hotels, with more millennials traveling and the increasing cost of labor, mobile technology is having a significant impact. You can now check in and out of your hotel, enter your room, and text in your room service order via your mobile phone. Drones are used for a virtual tour of the hotel, and in the future we will see robots delivering your meals and luggage.