Coffee Talk: Scott Rechler on beating the pandemic

RXR Realty CEO discusses how he prepared for and responded to the crisis

National /
Jul.July 26, 2021 10:21 AM

How do you get your company, investors and tenants through a year-and-a-half-long global crisis? “Communicate, communicate, communicate,” said Scott Rechler, CEO of RXR Realty.

In this installment of Coffee Talk, Rechler spoke with The Real Deal’s Amir Korangy about the importance of agility and engagement in times of crisis.

One of RXR’s greatest assets, Rechler said, has been its ability to tap into a “broad ecosystem of relationships.” The firm got ahead of the pandemic by getting intel from investors in Asia, holding meetings and forming task forces to address it starting in February 2020.

Armed with outside knowledge from public health officials and leadership from within, RXR was able to not only do short-term damage control, Rechler said, but also look to the future and plan for a rebound.

Most of the companies that lease from RXR are what Rechler called “major tenants.” When asked what became of its smaller ones when the pandemic hit, Rechler said RXR was able to cut its smaller tenants some slack by renegotiating leases for those who truly needed it.

“The first thing that we did,” he said, “was use all of our advocacy efforts to push for legislation to help support the small businesses to get through the worst of the crisis.” He mentioned a volunteer program at RXR where professionals helped small businesses, such as restaurants, navigate new ways of doing business.

On the subject of the slow return of workers to offices, Rechler said, “The worst thing we can have for our communities is a big swath of streets that have empty, dark buildings.”

Re-populating them hinges on offering something employees can’t get working from home. He talked about the shift from understanding real estate as an asset class to real estate as a service.

“It’s no longer about building four walls and signing long-term leases and just collecting rents every month,” Rechler said. “You have to activate what happens in those buildings. You have to create a sense of community.”


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Two more residential and life sciences buildings greenlighted in Fulton Market
Two more residential and life sciences buildings greenlighted in Fulton Market
Two more residential and life sciences buildings greenlighted in Fulton Market
RT Specialty Doubles office space in move to Third Millennium building in West Loop
RT Specialty Doubles office space in move to Third Millennium building in West Loop
RT Specialty Doubles office space in move to Third Millennium building in West Loop
Leo Burnett tower among properties to be bought in $660M deal
Leo Burnett tower among properties to be bought in $660M deal
Leo Burnett tower among properties to be bought in $660M deal
Cook County Assessor Fritz Kaegi with Aon Center, Willis Tower and Aqua Tower (Getty, Facebook via Kaegi)
Chicago’s trophy landlords infuriated as Kaegi boosts property assessments
Chicago’s trophy landlords infuriated as Kaegi boosts property assessments
Sterling Bay is unloading Fulton Market’s Hyatt House Chicago
Sterling Bay is unloading Fulton Market’s Hyatt House Chicago
Sterling Bay is unloading Fulton Market’s Hyatt House Chicago
Blue Owl Capital agrees to buy Oak Street Real Estate in $950M deal
Blue Owl Capital agrees to buy Oak Street Real Estate in $950M deal
Blue Owl Capital agrees to buy Oak Street Real Estate in $950M deal
Fulton Market West building signs three new tenants
Fulton Market West building signs three new tenants
Fulton Market West building signs three new tenants
UBS shops Neiman Marcus building on Mag Mile
UBS shops Neiman Marcus building on Mag Mile
UBS shops Neiman Marcus building on Mag Mile
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...