Real Estate Developer Stephen Wendell’s Take on Submarkets, Fundamentals and More

October 14, 2023

Mountain Shore Properties began with your father, Charlie Wendell, who developed and leased commercial buildings to tenants like Pizza Hut and Allied Chemical in the early 80s prior to hotel development for some of the most prominent hoteliers in the world like Hyatt and Marriott. What are the key characteristics of a successful CEO that you learned from your dad as you watched him grow the firm? 

I grew up watching my dad be a professional “firefighter.” Great CEOs have a unique ability to address decisions from multiple perspectives to unlock value for everyone involved. As a CEO, you are trying to anticipate and mitigate issues before they arise while problem-solving in real-time. I witnessed my dad treat every person he encountered with respect both professionally and personally. This built the company’s reputation for decades through various economic cycles, the importance of which cannot be overstated. I also got to see firsthand what it means to truly pivot (sometimes on a daily basis). I don’t measure success in terms of always being right, it’s about working with reality to get to returns with a long-term outlook while earning respect and maintaining relationships along the way. This includes hiring with your own weaknesses in mind and having an executive team that complements each other. Mountain Shore’s conservative underwriting and financial discipline are under the purview of Ryan Reich, an astounding engineer of deal structure and financial analysis on a micro and macro level.

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