Turns Out CRE and Poker Are Similar


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Schwarz says over the long haul, skill will outweigh luck if one remains disciplined.

PHOENIX—For ViaWest Group founding partner Steven Schwarz, playing poker is more than a hobby. Combining statistics and psychology, poker prepares the Phoenix real estate veteran for successfully negotiating complicated real estate transactions, analyzing market trends and predicting the future growth of submarkets. Nicknamed the “czar” among his poker buddies, Schwarz keeps meticulous spreadsheet records of every game his friends have played for the last 10 years.

Schwarz’s meticulous nature has served him well during his 22 years in real estate. ViaWest Group made headlines this summer for purchasing the $163.1 million Biltmore Financial Center, three class-A office buildings at the northwest corner of 24thStreet and Camelback, the largest multi-tenant office sale in the Phoenix area at the time since 2007, according to CoStar. ViaWest Group manages more than 2 million square feet and owns 1.5 million square feet in the Valley ranging from Nexus, a 120,000-square-foot office property at the ASU Research Park, to the Chandler Midway Corporate Center, a 139,800-square-foot mixed-use office and office condominium project…

Turns Out CRE and Poker Are Similar

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