Mackay Reid has been working with Extra Space Storage for almost ten years now. As Senior Director of Asset Management, Reid oversees asset strategy and execution. In his work, he identifies value-add opportunities within the company’s self storage portfolio, drives the projects through concept and feasibility, and ensures project execution adheres to budget and schedule.
Learn more about Reid’s work with Extra Space Storage and get insights into his career, the challenges he’s faced, and his greatest accomplishments in the Q&A below.
Q: How did your career path lead you to Extra Space Storage?
A: I used to work in the private real estate securities business. In that industry, I had the opportunity to become familiar with several different commercial property types, including self storage. I always found non-core assets most intriguing, such as senior housing, medical office, self storage, etc. During the Great Recession, our industry suffered greatly, and I found myself looking for a new opportunity. I was excited to learn that Extra Space Storage was headquartered in my hometown of Salt Lake City and was determined to be hired here. I interviewed for a couple positions before finally landing in Asset Management. It’s been a tremendous experience. We have a great culture, and storage has been a leading sector in the commercial real estate world for the past decade. It’s been fun to be a part of it.
Q: What is the best advice you’ve received in your career?
A: Never discount the value in being a generalist. I was told by a mentor early in my career to develop a broad range of experience, knowledge and skill sets. That can mean a breadth of skills across multiple disciplines or within the same genre. Doing so has helped me pivot when opportunities presented themselves professionally, but also led to a more rewarding and rich life personally.
Q: Which experience(s) in your career influenced who you are today?
A: Without a doubt, living through the Great Recession in the real estate business helped shaped who I am today. In 2007, I was young and inexperienced and kept hearing phrases like “New paradigm shift for cap rates” and “Real estate always has and always will go up.” Then, everything changed, and the industry suffered greatly. My risk profile changed, and I became wiser about what I wanted to do, how to go about it, and how I feel about prospective opportunities. This in-part is what has led me to stay in the self storage business, which historically has been a great hedge in the real estate world in good times and bad. We will have to see if that profile continues or patterns shift in the future.
Q: What has been the most challenging aspect of your career?
A: Exercising patience with my own career ambitions and recognizing the value of other people’s skill sets that I may not have. I think many of us desire to advance in our careers quickly, and when things don’t move at the pace we feel it should, it can be gut-wrenching.
Q: What has been the most fulfilling aspect of your career?
A: I love the problem-solving aspect of my job. Finding the most optimal way to maximize an asset could be a simple addition on a parking lot, or it could be a mixed-use redevelopment, or even disposing for a higher and better use. Evaluating every possible opportunity, building a creative approach and strategy, then executing on the strategy is a fun process. Seeing a project go from an imaginative concept to completion is very fulfilling.
Q: Describe your most successful endeavor with Extra Space Storage.
A: Generally, it’s been to help create, shape, and develop the value-add process at Extra Space Storage. Tapping that resource for FFO growth that was largely underutilized—I think has been another lever for Extra Space Storage to continue its position as an industry leader, and it’s been fun to be a part of it.
Q: What advice would you give to future Extra Space Storage leaders?
A: Develop a broad range of skills, experience, knowledge, and relationships. Become self-aware of your best talents and abilities to contribute. Grow those talents. And probably above all, be enjoyable to work with. You can be the most knowledgeable, skilled, or experienced individual in your field. But if you are surly, snappy, rude, or grumpy, you’ll likely limit your career path wherever you currently stand and close a lot of doors in the long term no matter how talented you are.
This article is part of an ongoing series of interviews with Extra Space Storage (NYSE: EXR) team members. Mackay Reid is the Senior Director of Asset Management at Extra Space Storage.