Getting to Know Our Readers – Ben Stevens and The Skyline Forum

Maintaining a vibrant, ever-changing blog is not an easy endeavor, and I’ll be the first to admit that it’s not always fun. But what makes blogging worthwhile for Mike and I is the opportunity the blog creates to interact, either through email, phone, or social media with our readers.

Meeting Ben Stevens

Well, a few months ago a follower of our blog, Ben Stevens, reached out and asked to meet up. Ben is an MBA candidate with an emphasis in Real Estate and Urban Economics at the University of Wisconsin, and he was visiting Milwaukee over his winter break. He came by my office and we had a short but pleasant chat about real estate, travel, careers, and our families. I was impressed with Ben’s intellect, energy, and drive and he knew real estate well, despite being new to the industry.

Ben has a fascinating, non-traditional background. He spent the better part of his adult years as a writer and theologian living and studying in the United States and Europe. His interest in real estate and the reason for his career change, came because of interactions he’d had with several architect and urban planning friends in Europe. Over time, he developed a passion for the built environmental, and that passion drove him to return to graduate school and study the business of real estate.

skytest7The Skyline Forum

Since our meeting in Milwaukee, Ben and I have kept in touch and a few weeks ago, he asked to interview me for his real estate video podcast series – The Skyline Forum. It was a unique and rewarding experience. At the same time, it was intimidating to be “the expert” given that I’m still in the early years of my transition to institutional real estate – who am I to opine on institutional real estate? But I had fun doing it, and I hope you go check out the series and watch a few of his episodes; I think you’ll enjoy Ben’s temperament and humor, and appreciate the knowledge imparted from the architects, developers, and real estate professionals who have taken part in the series.

About the Author: Born and raised in the Northwest United States, Spencer Burton has over 20 years of residential and commercial real estate experience. Over his career, he has underwritten $30+ billion of commercial real estate at some of the largest institutional real estate firms in the world. He is currently President and member of the founding team at Stablewood. Spencer holds a BS in International Affairs from Florida State University and a Masters in Real Estate Finance from Cornell University.