Commercial Real Estate

Executive Perspectives: John Gates

American ingenuity, determination, and bravado are alive and well, says the JLL divisional CEO.

John Gates oversees brokerage, capital markets, project and development services, and property management operations in the United States and Canada for JLL. The veteran commercial real estate executive joined The Staubach Co. 30 years ago; JLL acquired it in 2008.   

What are the short-term ramifications for your specific industry?   

“Virtually all operating businesses are experiencing meaningful revenue decreases with a much smaller decline in their cost structures (you keep paying people, pay the rent, etc).  This creates working capital challenges for some and risk for us all in the short term.  We also will see some tenants not be able to stay current with their rental obligations and we will likely see rental rates and asset prices fall but all of these things will recover.”

Have you found silver linings in these difficult times?   

“A number of them.  I think people are realizing how much they miss interacting with others so there is a greater appreciation for one another.  Families are having dinner together every night and parents are helping with homeschooling.  At work our leaders are stepping up in amazing ways, inspiring their teams, and keeping important client work going.”

How are you maintaining your company culture?   

“Prosperity has a way of kind of concealing leadership and real culture because things are so good, but adversity has a way of revealing true colors of people and therefore your culture.  I’m very proud of the true colors I am seeing from our people.  They are ever-present, working, and prepared for each other and for clients.  The teamwork has been unreal to see and be a part of.”

What will things look like for your company and industry in another six months? 

“American ingenuity, determination, and bravado are alive and well. Somethings will inevitably be different but our industry, and most others, will start to bounce back quickly and create jobs and income security for people.  Believe me, American business is very ready to get back to work full bore!”

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