By Luci Scott for Arizona Builder’s Exchange
Chris Anderson, managing director and regional partner of Hines, oversees the huge real estate firm’s projects in Arizona and New Mexico, and one of his mantras is: Never give up.
“These deals are long and complicated, a lot of pieces and parts, and a lot of personalities involved,” he said. “We don’t stop until we acquire our goal.”
He is bullish on Phoenix, where he sees a lot of opportunity, although Hines is not a volume developer. The company is selective, tends toward larger projects and focuses on follow through.
Hines’ does not aspire to volume, so it is less dependent on the real estate cycle.
“There are a couple of firms that, when the music stopped, they didn’t have a chair. … They lost everything,” Anderson said. “We try to manage risk appropriately and not be greedy. … We try to minimize the peaks and valleys and run a good, sustainable business,” he said.
To do that, he says, he hires good people, fosters communication, trusts and empowers his people, and compensates them for doing a good job.
Sets aside time for family
As for managing his own life, he keeps a hard-and-fast rule that he doesn’t work from Friday night sundown until Saturday night sundown.
“That 24-hour period I set aside, and I spend time with my family,” he explained. “My wife keeps me grounded.”
In addition, he runs 15 to 20 miles a week to stay in shape and maintain good health.
Anderson received an undergraduate degree in finance from Arizona State University, worked in project management in construction and then worked in commercial banking.
In grad school he picked up master’s degrees in real estate and construction management from the University of Denver and was hired by Hines.
After about six-and-a-half years in Hines’ Phoenix office, he moved to Albuquerque to be closer to his and his wife’s families, and to allow their children to know their grandparents and cousins.
In Albuquerque for seven years before returning to Hines, he worked as vice president of development for Forest City Enterprises, the company that developed Mesa del Sol, a master-planned community of 13,500 homes. He gained broad experience in infrastructure, roads, sewer and water lines, communications, commercial development, single-family lot development, retail, and politics with city, county and state.
“I have a great appreciation for people who do master-planned communities,” he said. “They’re very hard and complex, but very rewarding too. … They’re a lot of fun.”