Industry Outlook 2018: Real Estate

This Industry Outlook is a portion of the 2018 Arizona CFO Spotlight Survey Report

2018 Arizona CFO Spotlight Survey logo

The 2018 CFO Spotlight Survey attracted respondents from a number of industries in Phoenix and Tucson. We will highlight the real estate segment here in terms of growth, risk factors, strengths and trends.


Real estate investment and management groups primarily responded to the Survey — two-thirds based in Tucson and one-third based in Phoenix. Optimism has returned to this industry along with real estate activity. More than 62% of CFOs are "very optimistic" about the prospects of their companies in 2018, compared to 43% being "somewhat optimistic" in 2017. Half of respondents expected revenues to increase significantly, which is similar to 2017.

About half of respondents also planned to increase their prices in 2018 after the same percentage expected to raise prices in 2017. Their biggest concerns are staffing, population stability, and reputation management. CFOs pay attention to social media and review sites as well as investing in cybersecurity measures. Half of respondents in real estate acknowledge that they had to terminate employees in the past year to manage cybersecurity risks.

CFOs expressed uncertainty with changing immigration laws, both from a tenant perspective and how policy might impact their labor costs. A consistent policy is viewed as good for business growth by 37.5% of respondents.

More than 37% of CFOs are concerned about border security and immigration policy, but not to the same degree as leaders in last year's Survey. Most of the respondents believed the Trump administration would have "some positive impact" on the business climate in Arizona. Available skilled labor and better tax incentives could support their growth. To keep good talent, CFOs in real estate are focused on bonuses and compensation, health and retirement benefits, flexible schedules and also work-at-home options. With regard to population growth or decline, CFOs cite complexity in land development and water supply issues as a long-term challenge rather than a short-term concern.

Top three infrastructure concerns in real estate: public transit, utlities improvements, and IT improvements

CFO says:

"That is the bulk of what I've done in a year—revamped policies and procedures to secure assets and protect us."

Average Revenue

$22.5 Million

Average Number of Employees


Revenue in 2018

  • 50% We will increase significantly 50%
  • 38% Will increase slightly 38%
  • 13% Will decrease slightly 13%

Top Areas of Focus

  • Staffing and labor costs
  • City infrastructure and land development
  • Working capital
  • Company culture
  • Process and systems review


63% very optimistic
38% somewhat uncertain

Access to Cash?

emerging concern

Border Security?

38% some impact
50% very little impact

Environmental Issues?

not a problem

Trump Administration?

mostly positive

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Eric Majchrzak
Eric Majchrzak

Eric Majchrzak is CEO and a Principal of BeachFleischman. He joined BeachFleischman in 2012 and is responsible for the firm’s overall strategic direction while ensuring the mission, vision, and values are met.