Chris Moses, who grew up in Little Rock, worked at Moses Tucker Real Estate after college and after stints as a senior retail adviser at Healstone Investment Real Estate in Irvine, California, 2003-08, and Marcus & Millichap of Atlanta, 2008-11.
He earned a bachelor’s in real estate finance from Arizona State University in Tempe in 2000 and a master’s in real estate development from Clemson University in South Carolina in 2011.
In July 2013, Chris Moses became president and CEO of Moses Tucker Real Estate, founded by his father, Jimmy.
What is your favorite part of being a real estate developer?
Seeing a building built where there was once an empty lot or seeing a vacant building renovated. I think the most interesting thing for me is witnessing the process of something old and forgotten become something new and vibrant.
Moses Tucker has opened a Fayetteville office. What’s the company up to in northwest Arkansas?
We are primarily focused on third-party brokerage and property management. However, we have several new exciting mixed-use and retail developments planned for northwest Arkansas, one of which will be an adapted reuse project close to the UA. Right now, we are working to develop relationships in that part of the state.
If you had a magic wand, what new projects would you zap into existence in downtown Little Rock? Northwest Arkansas?
If I had my way, many of the buildings that were torn down over the last 40-plus years would still be standing, and we would be redeveloping those buildings. If you look back at old photos of our downtown in the 1950s, many of the old buildings had tons of character and would have added so much to the landscape we have now.
What real estate lessons did you learn from your father, Jimmy Moses?
Jimmy has taught me about the importance of personal relationships in this business and also how important it is to have a vision for the future. Jimmy is great about meeting with other civic leaders in our community and always making an effort to be involved in the community and studying other successful cities around the country. Sometimes it’s easier for me to stay out of the limelight, but I know that in order to have success in this field, trust and personal relationships are key.
What are the pros and cons of working in a family business?
In our family business, I see mostly pros. My dad and I have the same work ethic and share the same goals for central and northwest Arkansas, and those goals include a client-first mentality and attention to details. Furthermore, I think we both are adamant about surrounding ourselves with incredible talent.
Mistakes are said to deliver some of the most meaningful lessons. What was your most important mistake that has helped shape your career?
My worst mistake involved speculating on unimproved land in what is now the new East Village neighborhood. About 15-plus years ago, I bought a few pieces of property in that neighborhood and used 90 percent bank debt to finance the acquisition. The neighborhood wasn’t quite ready for development back then, and we didn’t have an income stream to help offset the debt service each month. We ended up having to make cash calls on a regular basis to keep the property afloat and came close to the bank foreclosing on us. However, prior to the bank stepping in, we received an offer from someone and ended up selling the properties to him.
This deal taught me about the importance of making sound investments that are set up on the front end with a bona fide return analysis.