Christopher Rising

Christopher Rising

CEO | Rising Realty Partners

Industry
Commercial Real Estate

Location
Los Angeles


Featured In
CSQ Q2 2019, Visionary 

Christopher Rising: The Lifelong Angeleno and DTLA Developer Shares Strategy and Concerns

Rising Realty Partners was founded by father-and-son Nelson and Christopher Rising with the sole purpose of creating great places using impact-focused strategies. The company decreases its environmental footprint by incorporating sustainable practices into every asset; integrates cutting-edge technology to drive efficiency; and implements strategic wellness programs to increase tenant satisfaction, retention, and well-being. The company currently owns One California Plaza, The CalEdison Building, and The Trust Building in Downtown LA and has committed $300M to invest in Los Angeles and eight other Western U.S. markets.  

What are your biggest business concerns surrounding COVID-19? 

We don’t have great visibility as to how hard our tenants have been hit just yet, though we will likely know over the next couple weeks as the rent default time periods kick in. Retail tenants have obviously been decimated, but it’s unclear how the COVID-19 stimulus package will support their business. Our main goal at Rising Realty Partners is to focus on the issues at hand, which means intensely reviewing cash reserves and cash flows. We’ve told our team to remain calm, listen intently, and be responsive and empathetic. We also know that we must keep to the facts that we know.

What is your current business strategy for dealing with the situation? 

We’ve used technology as a force multiplier since the day we started this company and our use of technology has only gotten stronger during this time. We have increased the number of Zoom video meetings. We also have continued to utilize our existing smart technologies for a high-performing virtual workplace, such as GChat, Asana, Google Drive, Box, Yardi, and VTS. GSuite products allow us to work collaboratively in real time.

Since we manage physical properties with essential businesses as tenants, we have our property teams rotating being on site. The fact that our team is so mobile allows us to operate the properties with less people on site because we share information in real time.

Since we manage physical properties with essential businesses as tenants, we have our property teams rotating being on site. The fact that our team is so mobile allows us to operate the properties with less people on site because we share information in real time.

We really believe that the best way to get through this pandemic and move forward is to practice being good citizens, adhere to the social distancing protocols, and promote our city government’s Shelter in Place ordinances. So, we did enforce these policies on site at our assets and ask that our team follows suit for those that are working from home.

Rising Realty’s Trust Building in the historic Spring Street Financial District.

How do you think things will look in your industry a year from now?

It’s not clear when we’ll be able to get back to work in offices and we certainly can’t come back too soon. The economy is effectively a forced shut down and most people can’t try to make money even if they wanted to go outside. Q2 will be hard and I think unemployment will be 15% by the end of June. But I think there is a lot of money from the government coming into the system, and it will flood through the summer. This is Keynesian economics in real time. Our hope is that it is successful and we can get small businesses back to work, rehire those who were laid off, and start to come back.

This is definitely a wakeup call for many industry professionals who have been slow to adopt technology into their business. I think we will see technology become of renewed importance for companies and buildings. Software and tech security will be prioritized and companies will have to make decisions on whether they spend money at people’s homes or in their office. Thus, I think we will see a bifurcation of work that can be done at home and can withstand some lack of IT security and that which will be done at the office.

I also think proptech investment in assets will increase as property owners everywhere are evaluating how to manage their properties better. This might include technologies that streamline landlord-tenant communication, cleaning and maintenance, automated utilities for reduced energy consumption/emissions and security.

What have you learned from other difficult times in the past?

This too shall pass. Our team has seen every recession since the 1970s. We have seen oil embargoes and buildings destroyed by terrorism. We will get through this. It is a scary time but it’s important that we lean on each other for support and stay connected. I’m proud of how hard our team has been working and our use of technology is really shining through and proving itself to be a worthwhile investment we made very early on. We’ve also learned that good communication is paramount in uncertain times and have established open lines of communication. This makes the decision-making process clear and simple and prevents panic.

Rising Realty CEO Chris Rising.

Safe–and entertained–at Home: What business leaders are doing with their downtime 

 

Morning routine?
I’m waking up early, as I normally would, to exercise and set the tone for the day. My days include a lot of calls and Zoom video meetings.

Currently binging?
[Sports documentaries on Netflix like] Sunderland ‘Til I Die and The English Game. Xbox with my son, where we play Madden, RBI20, and NBA2k.

Currently reading?
Lots of Twitter. Finishing the Silver Ships series of Sci Fi books. Reading the Stoics.

What are you doing to spend quality time with those you’re sheltering with?
I’ve been sheltering with my wife and three kids. We’ve been enjoying every meal together, watching movies, playing games, and getting out for walks.

What are you doing to stay healthy mentally and physically?
Meditating, going on family walks, and exercising.

Where are you dreaming of visiting once things are back to normal?
We want to go back to London where my wife is from.