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The commercial real estate world was evolving and changing at a steady clip before the pandemic hit. Now it is morphing faster than ever. More than 10 years into a slow but steady expansion cycle, the national commercial real estate markets have been unpredictable since the start of 2020 but thanks in large part to the industry’s leading CRE professionals and their stalwart guidance, cautious optimism has persisted.

While uncertainty has made for an understandably challenging trip through uncharted terrain, the savviest commercial real estate executives (many of the best in the country happen to be based in Orange County) have helped steer the course for their industry and its customers. This list contains some of the very best of them in the O.C. region today.


Ed Hanley is president and founder of Orange County-based Hanley Investment Group Real Estate Advisors, a real estate brokerage and advisory services company that specializes in the sale of retail properties nationwide – ranging from single-tenant properties to multi-tenant retail properties, and anchored-shopping centers. With over a $9.5 billion transaction track record, HIG has earned the distinction of being ranked number one in the U.S. based upon its company size and sales volume, according to Green Street Advisors. Hanley, a 30-year retail real estate industry veteran, advises his clients on successful acquisition and disposition strategies that drive efficient execution and optimize asset value. His clientele ranges from developers to individual investors, family trusts, institutional lenders, pension funds, and public and private real estate investment trusts. Hanley and the team closed 221 transactions in 27 different states in 2021, including 90 deals in 90 days in the last quarter of 2021.




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