Meet a Governor: Eva Stevens

Eva Stevens

Eva Stevens, President and COO, United Properties

Why did you decide to become a Research Foundation governor?
I’m very interested in how change in the world will impact real estate and what we invest in. I think the NAIOP Industry Trends Task Force and the studies published by the Research Foundation put the association on the leading edge, and I joined to be a part of that.

Why is the Foundation’s work important?
It demonstrates thought leadership and encourages members to remain curious. Change won’t slow down – it is speeding up. The Foundation is getting out ahead of what is going on today and how that will impact CRE. Having a disciplined look at what’s going on now and in the future is really beneficial to all of us.

What are you most optimistic about in the industry right now?
I’m really optimistic about how vibrant the industry is. There are almost four generations in the workforce right now and that is really impacting the way space is being used. That change is very interesting. I’m also positive about the investment market, which continues to be strong. There is a lot of capital looking for sound CRE investment and that is encouraging.

What keeps you up at night?
The pressure that I put on myself to be thinking ahead of market shifts, and preparing the next generation of leaders inside of our organization to be prepared to take the reins. People need to be resilient problem-solvers and curious individuals. I feel responsible for making sure that they’re ready.

What advice do you have for the next generation of commercial real estate leaders?
Remain curious. Always be asking yourself, “How is what’s going on in the world and how people are living and working going to impact the real estate we own and operate?” Asking that question helps ensure you are not caught unawares, whether that’s functional obsolesce or real estate in the wrong location.

Eva Stevens is president and COO of United Properties in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is a member of the Industry Trends Task Force, the Editorial Board, the Audit and Investment Committee, and the Investment Management II Forum. She has been a Research Foundation governor since 2016, currently serves as the vice chair of the Foundation and will become chairman in 2020. Stevens has announced her retirement from United Properties effective Dec. 31, 2018, following a 40-year career in commercial real estate.