S3E6: Case Swenson - Define and Hone Your Expertise

Season 3 | Episode 6
18m | May 24, 2023

Commercial construction and real estate development is a difficult space to break into, and building plans can change at the drop of a hat, forcing you to be flexible and nimble with clients. 

So joining us to talk about this dynamic and ever-growing industry is Case Swenson, alumnus and president/CEO at Swenson in the San Francisco Bay area.

Case joins host Amanda Kramer to share the trends and challenges he is seeing in the construction and real estate space, so-called “green building,” the skillset needed to enter this industry, and what he's learned from scaling a 4 generation family-owned business. 

Leeds Business Insights Podcast is a production of Leeds School of Business and is produced by University FM.


The importance of understanding your market

[00:11:22] I've seen a lot of different contractors go outside of their area, and a lot of times, they get hurt by doing that because they don't understand the market there, they don't understand the labor there. And it is very important to really understand the market that you're in, how much it costs per square foot, how high you can build, how wide you can build, what kind of municipality you're dealing with, and how difficult they are.

The value of leverage

[00:12:19] Leverage is the most important part of development and something that you should really focus on understanding. There's a difference between the science of money and the science of maybe something like brain surgery, and the science of money is complicated. But your deep understanding of that is the most helpful thing when it comes to doing development and construction.

What is the current challenge in the construction industry?

[00:05:24] Right now, the biggest challenge for us is the economic cycle. We have rising interest rates. Also, bring up cap rates, which is how your building is valued at the end of the day. 


Swenson - The Swenson Group

Case Swenson on LinkedIn

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