Any follower of my blog or LinkedIn posts knows that I am passionate about CRE Tech. I read all the blogs, especially Duke Long’s and Michael Beckerman’s, sit through countless demos, spend hours researching new gadgets and tools, and am always happy to talk to anyone about the latest and greatest.
Why do I care?
Before it was a Tim McGraw song, “Do you want fries with that?” was simply McDonald’s way of up-selling or growing the check. Having grown up in a restaurant family, you learn pretty quickly that the easiest sale is already standing in your restaurant with their wallet out, waiting to hand you money.
Through the magic of the search bar, I read some of my past posts about goals. It was fun to look back and see what I’ve accomplished, and it was less fun to see which goals slipped through the cracks.
When doing a Google search for “goals”, the first entry that comes up discusses SMART goals, which stands for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound. I noticed that when the goals were met these criteria, I had better success at reaching them.
With that in mind, here are some of my goals for the coming year.
This week, our president-elect, Donald Trump, is meeting with the leaders of some of the biggest technology companies in the United States including Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Oracle, Cisco, IBM, and Intel. Rumor has it that Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk may even make an appearance.
Amazon’s announcement that they will open grocery stores without cashiers has been a hot topic this week. The questions I have heard include, “How will it work?”, “Why didn’t anyone else think of it first?”, and “How will we replace all of those cashier jobs?”
The big news of the week is the merger between VTS and Hightower. These two companies had been competing for the same clients and building very similar platforms, and are now coming together to “accelerate our product roadmap”, according to Brandon Weber, Co-founder and CEO of Hightower who will now assume the role of Chief Product Officer at VTS.
You can add me to the list of bloggers taking the easy way out this week and writing about what they are thankful for. I skipped last year, but in looking back at my Thanksgiving posts from 2011 (the infancy of my blogging experience), 2012 (post-Superstorm Sandy), and 2014 (dedicated to tech), they are some of my favorites.
For an hour on Tuesday night, I sat riveted watching David Blaine’s latest special on ABC. The opening shot of the special read:
David Blaine is a professional magician and endurance artist. His performances require substantial hours of training with expert personnel and that David be in top physical condition. Do not attempt to recreate any of these performances as they involve a significant risk of injury or death.
Sounds like brokerage.
In the opening scene of the movie Sleepers, two men in suits and ties are discussing politics in a New York City bar. The two local tough guys call over the bartender, send them each a drink, and tell the bartender to deliver a message.
The bartender says, “You know the rules. No religion, no politics.”
My beloved New York Yankees, even though they didn’t make the playoffs again this year, had two interesting announcements last week. First, early in the week, they announced plans for improvements to Yankee Stadium and later in the week, a similar announcement for Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, their spring training home.
I was asked to guest post for RealMassive. The title is Old School or Obsolete? and I have included the link below.
Derek Jeter was on my mind a lot last week. All over social media, people were posting the replay of the famous “flip play” against the Oakland A’s in the playoffs, which happened fifteen years ago. Time flies, but I remember it like it was yesterday, just like many of his other October heroics.
Recently, I have been getting cold calls and emails from a variety of service providers for a variety of reasons. Being on the client side is nice for a change, but more than that, it’s been a great learning experience.
Last week, Cal Newport was a guest on James Altucher’s podcast, which I highly recommend. Newport was discussing his new book, So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love.
While the conversation around that book was very interesting, it was the discussion of his earlier book, Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, that peaked my interest. Even the title is interesting to me, primarily because I find myself easily distracted.
Last month, I took my kids to Disney World. When you go to Disney, there’s a certain amount of waiting that you expect to do. Some rides and attractions are longer than others, but I find all to be worth the wait.
While I was away on vacation, I asked my partner, Matt Wassel, to write a guest blog. Matt is close to completing his fourth year in brokerage and has a long, successful career in front of him. Enjoy!
This week’s advice is very simple. If you want to make money in this business, get ahead, and have a great career, I have some very simple advice:
I have never been a fan of Alex Rodriguez (A-Rod). His talent was never in question, but he always seemed to say and do the wrong thing. Early in his career, he was pals with Derek Jeter, one of my favorite players, but that friendship ended when he made some negative comments about Jeter in Esquire Magazine and never recovered, even when they were teammates. After that, there were steroids, Biogenesis, a suspension, a lawsuit against Major League Baseball, opting out of his contract (they shouldn’t have resigned him), and many tabloid covers.
I turned on my television last night. Since I haven’t reprogrammed the FIOS box, it automatically tunes to FIOS1 whenever I turn it on. Steve Adubato was interviewing Fredrik Eklund, the residential broker who stars on Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing New York.
This week, Mick Jagger turned 73 years old. Happy birthday, Mick. Contrary to the line in Almost Famous, he is still one of the world’s greatest rock stars, leading what is possibly the greatest rock band of all time.
Last week, I wrote a blog entry that discussed two brokers: one who worked hard and one who didn’t. Well, this week, I am here to tell you it’s ok to be a little lazy, with a caveat. Let me explain.
True story: I was working from home last Friday, which was July 1st. It was the day before a holiday weekend, so I assumed it would be a dead day. I was wrong and was entrenched in front of my computer most of the day.
My daughter was chosen to play for the U-8 All Star softball team in our town. Yes, I am a very proud father…thank you very much. But, because she’s a little too much like me at times, she puts a lot of pressure on herself to perform. Her mother and I think it’s our job to help alleviate that pressure and also give her the tools to succeed, all while keeping in mind that she’s eight years old.
My brother, Zachary Levy, is 27 years old and is a broker at Colliers in New York City. While he is an aspiring blogger in his own right, he called me after an up-and-down day in the office Tuesday and made a request: it’s time for me to write a blog post about the roller coaster life of a corporate real estate broker.
I’ve read no fewer than a dozen articles in the last four days about Muhammad Ali since he passed away. Believe it or not, I am too young to have seen him box during his career, but he was always a larger than life superstar. From his appearance at the Major League Baseball All Star Game in 2004 to lighting the Olympic Cauldron at the 1996 games in Atlanta, he was always the biggest star in the room.
The Greek philosopher, Heraclitus said, “The only thing that is constant is change.” I couldn’t agree more.
I also like the quote, “If you aren’t moving forward, you’re moving backwards.”
Let me start this blog post by saying that I am not good at vacation. I don’t yearn for travel and find that a three day weekend or leaving early for a concert recharges my batteries more than a week away. I dread the idea of coming back to a huge pile of work more than I look forward to going anywhere, except somewhere fun with my kids.
Because I am public about my affinity for real estate tech tools, companies call me often to get feedback on their products. I meet with them, listen to their sales-pitches, and sit through their demos. Because I am terrified about technology passing me by, I meet with everyone that asks. To that end, we have started an Innovation Team within the CBRE-New Jersey branch to meet with tech companies and vet their products before taking them to the greater brokerage population within our three offices.
Over the last few days, I have heard some chatter about Instagram changing their feed from a chronological timeline to a curated feed. Their blog entry on the subject was, “See the Moments You Care About First.” Both Facebook and Twitter have already adopted a similar approach.
Earlier this week, I celebrated my birthday. Given the current options for communication, it’s hard work having a birthday. I received birthday wishes from the following sources: