My Toughest Challenge: Herb Weitzman

The Weitzman chairman discusses success during the economic downturn.

“Without a doubt, the toughest challenge occurred with the economic crash of the late 1980s. It might seem like ancient history, but it changed our business in ways that are still being felt today—particularly in the areas of underwriting and the lack of speculative development. The crash was caused by the convergence of a tax law that gutted the advantages of real estate ownership, a savings and loan crisis, a banking crisis, an oil glut, and a recession. No one could have been conservative enough to come out of this real estate crash unscathed. No one—and I mean no one—was interested in Texas real estate during this period. Still, I founded my company in the middle of the downturn, and the lessons we learned taught us not only how to survive but how to succeed.”


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