Making the Business Better: A NAIOP Chairman’s Retrospective
It’s hard to imagine, but back in 1971 when Brian Hogg was introduced to NAIOP, office and industrial development in Atlanta was limited. Seeing the potential, NAIOP’s then-Executive Director Jimmy Johnson planted the seed for a small group of developers to form a chapter in Atlanta. “We got excited about the ability to get together in an organized manner,” Hogg explained in an interview for Market Share. “At that time, there was no formal education in real estate. What we started was an on-the-job training program, teaching each other about real estate development, on a planned, comprehensive basis.”
“It was ‘Real Estate Development 101,’ teaching each other what we knew,” Hogg recalls. At both regional and North American NAIOP conferences, “We learned how to make the business better and enhance the value of the real estate we were dealing with.”
As chairman of NAIOP’s education program and a member of the executive committee, Hogg advocated for expanding the curriculum taught at conferences. Hogg pulled together “people who were primarily real estate people, who were doing the work – developers, an architect, a lawyer, motivational people, financial people and a negotiating guy. We even had the Imagineering guy from Disney speak at one conference,” he remembered.
The other driving force behind the formation of NAIOP was the need to fight the Interstate Land Sales Registration Act. Written “to protect consumers from buying residential land in Florida that was underwater, there was no carve-out for commercial real estate.”
Hogg went to the Department of Housing and Urban Development, laid out the case on behalf of Technology Park/Atlanta and NAIOP, and convinced HUD to exempt commercial properties from the bill.
That big legislative win fueled membership growth for NAIOP. During his year as chairman in 1980, Hogg’s goal was to help NAIOP reach 2,000 members. That year, he made 56 speeches and visited every chapter. In fact, he even made three speeches in one day, visiting Dayton, Columbus and Cleveland for breakfast, lunch and dinner! On another trip, Hogg, fellow developer Paul Morgan from Seattle and architect Hank Metzger from Phoenix whistle-stopped for NAIOP across Canada in one week, beginning in Vancouver and stopping in Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto and Montreal.
With a career that spanned from Atlanta to Southern California, Hogg recalls, “I experienced seven downturns, and each one had a little different ‘personality’ to it.” Through it all, his career advanced with positions in prestigious firms like Duke Enterprises, Technology Park/Atlanta, Irvine Company, Coldwell Banker Development and his own company, Intercoast Group, which he formed in 1981. Hogg is perhaps best known for his office and retail leasing and marketing activities during the last 22 years of his career for Portman Holdings in Atlanta, a worldwide developer of hotel, office and retail projects.
Hogg says the connections he made through NAIOP “basically made my career. I was in the association for at least 40 years, and I’ve gone all over the country. I still maintain a lot of those friendships and contacts. You can pick up the phone and say, ‘I’m a NAIOP member and you are too.’ You always get a great reception on the other end.”
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.