William Poorvu: Cycles, Crises, and Characters in Real Estate

William Poorvu will describe how the current economic crisis -‑ wrenching as it has proven to be -‑ was entirely predictable, driven by excess financial speculation in real estate.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
6:30pm @ Central Library
Recommended reading:
Staff Picks: The Business of Real Estate

William Poorvu was in charge of the real estate courses for 35 years at Harvard Business School where he was an adjunct professor in entrepreneurship. In his presentation Cycles, Crises and Characters in Real Estate, Poorvu will describe how the current economic crisis—wrenching as it has proven to be—was entirely predictable, driven by excess financial speculation in real estate.

Such crises, explains Poorvu, are not new. "These man-made disasters occur approximately every ten years," he asserts. "The problem is that our memories rarely exceed five years." Poorvu’s talk examines the implications of a system that rewards short term behavior and offers some insights as to how the current crisis will impact the fortunes of the real estate market, the broader economy, and investors looking for opportunities. 

The school’s first adjunct professor, its first adjunct professor with a named chair, and the first non-tenured professor at Harvard University to be given emeritus status, Poorvu is the author of several books on real estate, the two most recent being Creating and Growing Real Estate Wealth: The 4 Stages to a Lifetime of Success and The Real Estate Game: The Intelligent Guide to Decision-Making and Investment. His entrepreneurialism has extended to the private sector where he has started businesses in real estate, television and investments.

Poorvu is a life trustee and former vice chair and treasurer of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, a trustee and treasurer of the Gardner Museum, and vice chair of the National Public Radio Foundation. He is a member of the Carnegie Corporation Investment Committee and a former member of the Yale University Investment Committee and of the Yale University Council.