John Goff, one of America’s savviest commercial real estate investors, says he “wasn’t smart enough” to have seen the Great Recession coming in 2007. But the billionaire had an inkling. At the time he was chairman of the board of Fort Worth-based Crescent Real Estate, one of the nation’s biggest REITs, with a portfolio of 54 office buildings. “Every asset we had was getting an offer,” Goff recalls. But when he surveyed the landscape, “I didn’t understand the pricing, found nothing to buy,” he says. So in August 2007 he did the only thing that made sense: He sold.
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