2024 January Luncheon – Ryan Simonetti

YMWREA Luncheon Unveils Inspiring Insights with Convene CEO Ryan Simonetti on Commercial Real Estate Resilience and Future Trends

New York City, January 9, 2024 – The Young Men’s/Women’s Real Estate Association (YMWREA) organized a luncheon on January 9, 2024, which featured Ryan Simonetti, CEO of Convene. Caroline Merck of CBRE, the 2021 YMWREA Chairman, moderated the conversation with Simonetti.

During the discussion, Simonetti spoke of his career path, including its ups and downs. He told how he shifted from investment banking to hospitality and office space. His stories reflected the various sectors he’s worked in within the real estate industry.

Simonetti also spoke of the challenges he faced during the 2020 global pandemic. Stressing the values of transparency and adaptability, he highlighted how these qualities helped his company overcome difficult times. For instance, at the onset of the Covid outbreak, he was upfront with his investors about the struggles his business would face. He stated that to best position the company for a chance at future success, he would be forced to lay off hundreds of employees. This quick thinking and early action were some of the main reasons that Convene survived during that time.

Much of the conversation focused on the impacts of the pandemic on the commercial real estate sector. Simonetti discussed market recovery across different cities, noting New York City’s resilience. He spoke of outsourcing specific business aspects, suggesting that specialized providers could handle flexible office spaces more effectively than independent landlords. He also emphasized the importance of flexibility in business models and the need to adapt to changing circumstances.

Simonetti laid out his predictions for 2024, which include an emphasis on community-building and loyalty programs, much like the hospitality sector. He mentioned the importance of relationships with landlords, post Covid re-openings, and the potential for industry consolidation. He highlighted the growing trend of white-labelled assets as well.

As the discussion concluded, Simonetti reminded the audience that an engaged team can lead to client satisfaction. Despite the current challenges, he sees a positive future for the commercial real estate industry. By the end of the talk, audience members had learned strategies they can put into place to make the most of the opportunities in certain sectors.