In 1991, when Ron Rayevich first became involved with NAIOP as an institutional investor, he was president and COO at Prudential Realty Group and in charge of their $6.5 billion equity portfolio that boasted 350 properties across the United States. But real estate cycles and regulations soon forced Prudential, once the largest real estate developer in North America, out of the market, and their equity arm closed.
Although he officially retired from the industry at the end of 1994, Rayevich has continued to work as an independent real estate consultant and credits his NAIOP experience with not just providing him with business contacts, but also keeping him on the cutting edge of industry trends and opportunities.
“I’m more up to date than 99 percent of the people in real estate are. I have two REITs as clients and I’ve been on advisory boards for almost 20 years now,” Rayevich told Market Share in an interview. His past and present client list reads like NAIOP royalty: Billy Mitchell, Carter; Peter Cocoziello, Advance Realty; Anne Evans Estabrook, Elberon Development; Terry Stiles, Stiles Development — to name a few. A testament to the power of NAIOP networking, Rayevich notes that, “Beginning with my third client, all my clients have been through NAIOP.”
Rayevich, a driving force in the creation of the NAIOP National Forums program (today comprising more than 600 members), credits his 18-year membership on the NAIOP Capital Markets Forum with keeping him “as up to date today as I was the day I retired,” and providing value to his clients. “After I spend six hours with my Forum, I can tell you what every major lender is lending and how they’re doing it, and what the nuances are from the previous six months.”
In addition to serving as the NAIOP chairman in 1997, Rayevich also spearheaded the formation of the NAIOP Research Foundation as founding chairman and one of its first governors. Through the generosity and support of the more than 50 NAIOP Research Governors, the Foundation publishes several practical, forward-looking reports each year. Rayevich proudly points to the quality and scope of NAIOP research projects, “The research we’ve done is both practical and highly useful to all of our members.” Referring to the Foundation’s study of industrial space needs projection, he comments, “Is there an industrial developer who doesn’t have to have that information?”
“NAIOP has been really great in demonstrating flexibility to move through the industry waters, as it keeps evolving. And the evolution is going to be much faster in the future. We have to be nimble,” he said.
A self-proclaimed “urbanette,” Rayevich is a trend-setter himself, embracing the live-work-play lifestyle of a small city. Eleven years ago, Rayevich and his wife Helen relocated from Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, to Sarasota, Florida, drawn by the many cultural activities it had to offer, often within walking distance of their home.
Photo: NAIOP leadership participates in a groundbreaking during the 1970s.
This interview is part of a four-part series recognizing past NAIOP chairmen and their experiences in leading the organization, all in recognition of NAIOP’s 50th anniversary as a predominant association for commercial real estate. Join us at CRE.Converge, October 10-12 in Chicago, to celebrate NAIOP and 50 years of leadership.
Sheila Vertino is former vice president for information and research, NAIOP Corporate.