Beyond The Bio: 16 Questions With Hanley Investment Group CEO Ed Hanley

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BISNOW

This series profiles men and women in commercial real estate who have profoundly transformed our neighborhoods and reshaped our cities, businesses and lifestyles. 

Every November, Ed Hanley grows a mustache. It isn’t to be cool and trendy, it’s to help raise awareness for men’s health. The CEO of Hanley Investment Group, based in Corona del Mar, California, engages his team to grow mustaches on behalf of the Movember Foundation.

The fundraising is not just part of Hanley’s philanthropic efforts, it is also personal. In 2009, his father died of prostate cancer. His team has raised over $187K since 2011, putting his team among Movember’s top 1% of fundraisers in the U.S.

Hanley, a big Elvis Presley fan, has a multibillion-dollar track record and over 25 years of experience in real estate. The CEO, who was born on a military base in Taipei, Taiwan, advises retail clients around the country on acquisition and disposition property strategies.

His company’s clients include developers, individual investors, family trusts, institutional lenders, pension funds and public and private real estate investment trusts. As of Aug. 1, Hanley Investment Group has sold 71 properties in 2018 in 22 states. The company completed transactions in about 40 states in the last several years.

Bisnow: How do you describe your job to people who are not in the industry?
Hanley: I put buyers and sellers of retail properties and shopping centers together and own a real estate brokerage company made up of elite agents.

Bisnow: If you weren’t in commercial real estate, what would you do?
Hanley: Event planning. I enjoy bringing people together.

Bisnow: What is the worst job you ever had?
Hanley: I have worked my entire life and considered all the jobs I have held a blessing. 

Bisnow: What was your first big deal?
Hanley: I sold a 154K SF Target-anchored shopping center located in San Dimas, California, within a few years of being in the business.

Bisnow: What deal do you consider to be your biggest failure?
Hanley: Not telling my dad I loved him more often. My dad died of prostate cancer in 2009. You just never know how long you will have [with] those that you love in your life. It taught me to treasure the time I have with my family and my friends.

Bisnow: If you could change one thing about the commercial real estate industry, what would it be?
Hanley: Reduce the amount of paperwork involved in transactions and improve the quality of data and information provided by third-party companies.

Bisnow: What is your biggest pet peeve? 
Hanley: People who send or answer text messages right in the middle of a face-to-face conversation I am having with them without excusing themselves first.

Bisnow: Who was your greatest mentor?
Hanley: My college rowing coach. He taught me the value of hard work.

Bisnow: What is the best and worst professional advice you’ve ever gotten?
Hanley: The best professional advice I ever got was to get into the commercial real estate business.

Bisnow: What is your greatest extravagance? 
Hanley: Going to Europe with my wife and three children for three weeks.

Bisnow: What is your favorite restaurant in the world?
Hanley: I have only been there once, but the experience was amazing. It is called Veeraswamy, an Indian restaurant in London, located at 99-101 Regent St. It was opened in 1926 by Edward Palmer, a retired Indian Army officer and the grandson of an English general and an Indian princess. They offer some of the best Indian food in a great atmosphere.

Bisnow: If you could sit down with President Donald Trump, what would you say?
Hanley: I would ask him if he is planning on running for re-election.

Bisnow: What’s the biggest risk you have ever taken?
Hanley: Starting Hanley Investment Group Real Estate Advisors in 2004.

Bisnow: What is your favorite place to visit in your hometown? 
Hanley: Roberto’s Mexican Restaurant in Solana Beach and “D Street” Beach in Encinitas.

Bisnow: What keeps you up at night? 
Hanley: Wondering if I had accomplished enough during the day.

Bisnow: Outside of your work, what are you most passionate about?
Hanley: My family.