ULI Orange County/Inland Empire What’s New?

YLG Spotlight

Luke Hamagiwa
Investment Associate
KBS Realty Advisors
YLG Workshop Committee Co-Chair

How did you find your way into the industry?

My senior year of college I had no idea what I wanted to do with my career. I knew certain things I didn’t want to do, but couldn’t figure out what type of career I wanted. After a lot of soul searching and fortuitously finding a mentor working in real estate private equity, I knew I wanted to do the same. Like most people, I liked the tangibility of real estate along with its financial principals and ability to create exponential wealth.

What advice would you give to an emerging young leader just starting their professional career?

Learn and maintain humility, network and ask questions. I think humility allows for personal and professional growth. I’m a victim of not being humble all the time and need to be reminded of how much more I have to learn. Networking should be a no-brainer and asking questions allows for continued growth, which should always be a goal. These are all things I hope to do over my lifetime.

 What traits do you think define a successful leader?

In my opinion, leaders who lead by example and get their team members to “buy-in.” It’s one thing to manage people to complete tasks as a means to an end, but it’s another to get them to understand the rationale of why and take ownership of tasks. Being so young and “green” myself, I’m always amazed at how much more value I can bring when I have buy-in.

What is your current job and what types of projects are you working on now?

I work for an investment management company primarily focused on buying commercial assets across the United States. Currently, we own and manage about 44 million square feet, amounting to ±$10.5B in AUM. I specifically focus on acquisitions and asset management in the Midwest of about 3.5MM square feet of Class A office product.

What do you find most challenging about your profession on a day-to-day basis?

I’ve been in my current role for less than a month, so practically everything is a challenge on a day-to-day basis. However, historically speaking, managing unexpected changes on a daily basis. Whether it’s on a specific asset we own, a potential acquisition, or something internal, there always seems to be something unforeseen to deal with.

What are you looking for in terms of career development – OR In what areas would you like to professionally develop further?

I’d like to become the most well-rounded real estate professional I can be. While still young, I’d also like to develop better leadership skills, as I hope those will continue to be more and more useful as I gain experience. Ultimately, my focus is to provide myself optionality in multiple facets of the industry so I can truly dictate my own career path. Whether that entails working up the corporate ladder or trying to be entrepreneurial remains to be seen.

Describe a situation that was a great learning experience.

Recently, I was tasked with wearing more hats. My job had assumed two additional roles it didn’t previously own and it was a battle of learning to be both efficient and effective with my time. I can recall one specific major modelling error I made on a potential acquisition that wasn’t caught until the last minute. It was a realization that there needs to be a balance between efficiency and effectiveness. While trying to complete things too fast, I lost effectiveness and my work product suffered.

How do you deal with stress at work?

Remember that In-N-Out doesn’t close ‘til 1am and hope to have my work done by 12:45.

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