Letter: Forbes J. Rutherford, President of Rutherford International Executive Search Group Inc.

January 25, 2008 – Toronto, Canada

Forbes Rutherford has provided specialized HR consulting and Executive Search services to both national and international property and investment firms for the past twenty-five years. Having dealt with a broad cross section of the industry’s senior executives and rising stars, Mr. Rutherford is in a unique position to observe the changing macro trends and oncoming challenges facing the Canadian and International real estate community. Additional information on Mr. Rutherford’s background may be viewed at the following web links: www.rutherfordinternational.com or http://www.linkedin.com/in/rutherfordintl or https://www.xing.com/profile/Forbes_Rutherford

Topic: Real Estate Careers & Compensation In 2008 - Getting Noticed

By way of an introduction, Rutherford International is as the name implies - an international executive search firm that is focused ‘almost’ exclusively on the commercial real estate and construction industries. We emphasize ‘almost’ as we have more than a passing interest in supporting the portfolio and organizational requirements of venture capitalists and private equity fund clients.

We’ve been a keen observer of the real estate industry for twenty-five years and have experienced more than one industry cycle. The bursting of the United State’s housing credit bubble, is the result of pumping an industry with super-easy financing and profligate lending, which is reminiscent of the commercial real estate meltdown in the early 90’s. Clearly we are entering a chaotic economic period, with the reverberations seemingly chasing the time zones.

We might very well be at a tipping point; I therefore see no harm in you having a passive interest in what opportunities may be available; and to learn how to access them. Career management is a function of effective positioning, serendipity, resilience, perseverance; and when it reveals itself, the ability to recognize opportunity. I’ve met few candidates that have effectively mapped out their careers; more often than not, the governing factor is simply being in the right place at the right time. Being in the right place at the right time is a function of leveraging your network of contacts and utilizing selective tools to stay informed and accessible.

The following is an outline of some of the services and sources of information you might want to consider using:

1. Rutherford International www.rutherfordinternational.com

Rutherford International’s client base includes national and international financial institutions, REITs, full-service real estate companies, private equity groups, developers, general contractors, including legal, architect, engineering, facility management and brokerage firms. The company conducts senior executive and Board level search, leadership assessment and project team assembly. Periodically, where there is strategic local or national advantage, we facilitate the merger or joint partnering of corporate entities.

To register on our system: http://www.rutherfordinternational.com/careersite/ 

2. North American Real Estate Recruiters (Positions less than $100K base salary)

A division of Rutherford International, NARER is an Ad Selection service which optimizes the web traffic on Rutherford International's Career Site, and our knowledge of job board recruitment. The service combines the reach of the Internet with Rutherford International's candidate evaluation process; and caters to positions under $100,000.00 in base salary. Our professional recruiter’s help clients project manage the hiring process by assisting them to attract candidates, screen resumes and select a short-list. The cost of this service is considerably less than a normal search. We do not actively recruit but process respondents from selected job boards such as www.rematrix.com/careers and the Rutherford Web system. To be notified of opportunities, please update your file utilizing the information above and/or REmatrix.com's International Job Board.

3. REmatrix.com

With organizations around the world re-structuring their hiring practices to incorporate Web enabled recruitment systems, REmatrix.com has established an International Real Estate Job Board and Resume Submission system targeted specifically to real estate professionals seeking career opportunities throughout North & South America, Europe, Middle East, Asia and the Pacific Rim. The REmatrix Career Site is part of REjobnet.com, a network of linked real estate job boards.

Individuals and companies aligned directly or indirectly to office, industrial, retail and multi-family real estate, including land development, design, construction, finance, investment management, professional services, corporate services, facility management, municipal planning and building supply should participate in this service.

Job fairs slated for February and March 2008 are targeting Western Canada and Abu Dhabi, UAE.

4. Real Estate and Finance News Sources and Informational Links

a. 4500 International Real Estate News Links - http://www.rematrix.com/resummit/news.html

b. Knowledge Portal Supported by Google/REmatrix

Unlike most search engines, which access the Web indiscriminately, the REmatrix “Smart” Engine is indexed to a growing list of real estate research institutions and academic's throughout the world. http://www.rematrix.com/research/research_microportal.html

c. Compensation

We're in the midst of collecting data for our 2008 Industry report, however we invite you to compare your current compensation with that of your Canadian and American peers.

http://www.rematrix.com/careers/careers_compens.html

d. Interview Series on Employment Issues in Real Estate

http://www.rematrix.com/careers/careers_commdiscuss.html

e. Access Virtual Business Communities

LinkedIn.com or Xing.com or Plaxo.com are but a few examples the compliment their communities with active job boards.

I’ve designed the above services as a cogent means for real estate professionals to locate a broad variety of timely information to assist them in their career management.

One can’t predict how the sub-prime debacle will spill over on to other sectors of the economy including the commercial real estate industry. I suspect it will be dictated by the degree of optimism the American consumer has in his or her future. Clearly the Federal Reserves aggressive rate cut and an effective fiscal stimulus during the election year run up may give stocks and optimism a shot in the arm however it needs to be implemented quickly as housing is a $23 trillion asset class that is in an aggressive deflationary mode. The supply of intended homes for owners has reached a level of vacancy which surpasses all records since 1956. Business Week reports that the supply of unsold homes will carve an average of 10 percent out of home values over the balance of this year. Match this reduction in consumer asset wealth against current household financial obligations relative to their disposable income, which is just shy of 20 percent and one would conclude that the American consumer is walking a high wire.

What is one to do with respect to managing their career in an economy that is teetering weighted by a general morass of insecurity?

If your position is susceptible to the vagaries of the market, you hunker down, elevate your game, stay informed, get registered, and get passively active by being observant to opportunity and open to solicitation. Most importantly, learn to recognize business opportunities, which always but briefly reveal themselves within the cracks of chaotic systems.

Sincerely yours,

Forbes J. Rutherford, President
Rutherford International, January 25, 2008
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/rutherfordintl
Xing: https://www.xing.com/profile/Forbes_Rutherford

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