Meet Partners Trust’s new associate Jeffrey Peterson, who is likely to translate his notable successes in the homebuilding industry into even greater achievements within Los Angeles real estate. With an impressive and cultured background, having lived in numerous countries worldwide, Jeffrey brings with him an astute knowledge of the global market and a boundless curiosity to explore and unlock the unknown – whether that be a new travel destination or a facet of home design and construction.
PT: You just recently joined Partners Trust. What drew you to the company, and why did you choose Partners Trust over other L.A. brokerages?
JP: Over the years, as a principal, I have been engaged in buying, developing and selling many properties. I believe that Partners Trust is an outstanding platform for me to continue to undertake residential real estate opportunities both as a principal and agent. After having multiple discussions and meetings, in tandem with my own due diligence, I am convinced that the client-centric nature, values and practices of Partners Trust are superior to any other brokerage.
PT: Prior to working at Partners Trust you served as CEO for home builder Standard Pacific Corp, now CalAtlantic Homes, at a time when the company and national housing market were facing tremendous challenges. You were credited for positioning the company to weather the downturn and to better compete as market conditions improved. What were the secrets to your success?
JP: When the residential real estate market contracted between 2005 and 2010, most homebuilders were faced with excess land inventories, declining unit sales and home prices. Additionally, publicly traded companies experienced massive diminution of their stock prices. At this time, I was elected to be Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of the company, and undertook the management of a multi-faceted process to explore all options to preserve the company. In summary, we renegotiated a massive amount of debt liabilities, raised additional equity through both a rights offering and capital infusion from a private investment firm, rationalized operations and costs and positioned the company to continue as a viable national homebuilder.
The secrets to my success were not secrets at all; it was a combined effort on the part of many employees, advisors, consultants and others who worked tirelessly towards preserving the company. My role was to direct and incent everyone to diligently evaluate and pursue each alternative, to work long hours, to rationalize operations, and to not falter in face of the enormous challenges and market conditions of the time.
PT: Let’s talk about today’s real estate market. How do the challenges vary from your days as CEO for Standard Pacific Corp?
JP: In comparison to the residential real estate market a decade ago, today is nearly euphoric. With that being said, one must always subscribe to the basic values of utility, valuation and affordability when considering real estate.
PT: Beyond your career as CEO of a publicly traded homebuilding corporation, you have substantial experience across a broad spectrum of both the financial and real estate industries — from buying and selling companies to advising on mergers and acquisitions, and now representing buyers and sellers of residential real estate. If you weren’t in finance or real estate, what would you be doing?
JP: Great question. My passion is what I am presently doing. I have a phenomenal family. We value our relationships and cherish time spent together, both at home and while traveling.
PT: Having lived and worked in New York, Australia, South Africa, Holland, France and, of course, Los Angeles, your career has made you a true global citizen. What country and/or city beyond L.A. was your favorite and why?
JP: Frankly, Los Angeles is idyllic from so many perspectives – professionally, personally and financially. Nevertheless, outside of Los Angeles, Paris will always be a favorite. My family and I have travelled much of the world, and I have an unsatiated curiosity to see more. Each city, region and country holds so much allure.
PT: You mentioned you love to travel. If you could go somewhere new right now, where would that be?
JP: India and Southeast Asia.
PT: What do you do to satiate your wanderlust while in L.A.?
JP: I love to discover the several culturally diverse pockets of the city, such as the brewery art scene in Downtown L.A. Aside from exploration, I like to golf, dine at new restaurants, socialize with friends and, of course, be with my family.
PT: We understand you’ve been involved with design and building homes, too. What inspires you about the design/construction process?
JP: I characterize my residential real estate development as “to raze and to raise.” I find great satisfaction from design, construction and, most importantly, when a family is able to thoroughly enjoy quality living in a property that I have developed.