I was asked to take part in one of the panel discussions to talk about Stirling Properties and the risks, challenges, and opportunities of being a private, regionally-focused real estate firm that deals in multiple property types.
In contrast, others on the panel were CEOs of large public REITs and foreign-based development firms who discussed the same issues from their vantage points.
Needless to say, my perspective was starkly different from theirs in many aspects.
Interestingly enough, several other trustees approached me afterwards to say how much they envied our position of being able to grow in our own backyard and carve a unique niche for ourselves.
What was amazing was that these comments came from some of the largest multinational retail developers in the world.
Sometimes going halfway around the world helps us to focus even more clearly on our own backyard.