ULI Atlanta Blog

Broaden Your Worldview Of Real Estate

Reflections on ULI’s Center for Leadership

by Kyle Reis

The real estate industry in Atlanta is a paradox of sorts. With almost 6 million people currently residing in the Metro region, and growth projections of 2.5 million additional people in the coming years, the Atlanta region represents a relatively large and urbanizing real estate market. Despite the size of the Atlanta market, it amazes me how connected real estate professionals really are. Real estate is a personal, relationship-based industry even in a large region like ours.

There are many opportunities to educate yourself and engage with other real estate professionals in our growing region, but in my experience, the most fulfilling worthwhile investment has been Urban Land Institute’s (ULI) Center for Leadership. Entering its tenth year, the Center for Leadership (CFL) program offers participants a diverse and comprehensive understanding of the multiple aspects of the real estate industry in a format that encourages interactive dialogue to address Atlanta’s issues and opportunities. ULI Atlanta’s members represent the full gamut of real estate decision makers and influencers in the region, giving CFL participants face time with distinguished speakers and panelists, access to innovative projects, and exposure to the current and emerging leaders in the industry.

In March of 2018 the ULI Center for Leadership class toured the Auburn Avenue district. Here they are standing on the steps of Big Bethel Church. The author, Kyle, is in the front row on the far right.

I am fortunate to be a member of the CFL Class of 2016 and have continued my involvement in the program; serving as day-chair for the community building day in 2017, co-chairing the 2018 program and now chairing Center for Leadership in 2018-2019. The program spans a nine month time period in which the class focuses on various aspects of the real estate industry for a full day each month. These topics include infrastructure and regionalism, community building, housing and urban design, capital markets, design and construction, public/private partnerships, economic development, and leadership. What is fascinating is witnessing emerging leaders who have experience in a limited aspect of real estate connect the dots as they attain a more holistic understanding of a very complex multi-disciplinary industry.

One of the most unique aspects of the program is a team-based project, known as a mini Technical Assistance Panel (mTAP), where CFL participants engage with a local government, public agency or nonprofit client facing a complex real estate issue in our area, to offer our expertise, advice and suggestions. I had the opportunity to work on an mTAP for a historic building owned by the Atlanta Housing Authority called the Trio Laundry Building.

Members of the ULI Center for Leadership class overlooks the next phase of the State Farm Perimeter construction site from the top of State Farm building one in April 2018.

Other meaningful experiences include touring the Mercedes Benz Stadium during its construction; hearing Integral Group’s founder, Egbert Perry, give an authentic account of his personal and profession journey; and being challenged by Ed Baker, former editor of the Atlanta Business Chronicle, to think of leadership in a different light.

I encourage you to apply for the Center for Leadership today. Through presentations, panels, property tours and other activities, you will broaden your worldview, establish genuine long term friendships and connections, and expose yourself to rich and meaningful content that will energize you as a leader.

Applications for ULI’s Center for Leadership are due May 21, 2018. For more information  please visit: https://atlanta.uli.org/leadership-initiatives/center-for-leadership/

Apply to the CFL Program

Kyle Reis is the Director of Planning, Associate Principal at Cooper Carry.  He is a ULI member, Center for Leadership (CFL) Class of 2016, and Chair of CFL Class of 2018-2019

This article originally appeared in the May 14th edition of the Saporta Report

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