“We tore it apart and put together again.” Bruce Springsteen
When I left Cushman & Wakefield in early-2011, I couldn’t get Bruce’s Don’t Look Back out of my head. In fact, the morning my partner, Joe Sarno, and I resigned, I posted a live version on Facebook.
Have you ever had an impossible client? Someone who wasn’t happy with any of the results you produced? Someone who worked you tirelessly, but wanted more and wasn’t ever satisfied?
If you read my blog on a regular basis, you know I am obsessed with the idea of driverless cars. I have frequently said that I will be among the first to own one when they become available, and my hope is that my children will never need a driver’s license.
My parents were VERY excited that I made Duke Long’s Updated 2017 Top 150 Commercial Real Estate People You Must Connect With On LinkedIn. It’s fun to be included, especially when you see the other 149 people on the list and when you consider its curator.
My nine-year old daughter had a softball game earlier this week. She pitched the first inning for her team, and while her control wasn’t her best, she also wasn’t getting any help from the umpire. Coaches from both sides shook their heads as the 15-year old umpire called several pitches down the middle as balls.
Today marks the 40th anniversary of release of one of my favorite movies of all time, Star Wars. For those that are confused, I am referring to the original, also known as A New Hope, or Episode IV.
According to an article today which I found through The News Funnel, IBM has issued an edict that all employees in certain divisions must either abandon their home work spaces and relocate to a regional office. If not, they can find another job with another company. Interesting news considering IBM sells products that enable people to work from anywhere at any time.
I skim a lot of articles. Hundreds a week. Some are worthy of reading while others aren’t. Then there are a select few that I read multiple times to make sure I retain the information.
This past weekend, I read an article on Inc.com about career advice from the CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella. The headline of the article promised that it could all be summed up in one sentence. I skimmed forward and looked for the lesson, which may sound simple, but is really brilliant.
Imagine driving up to a building, holding up your phone and being able to see the stacking plan, ownership information, asking rental rates and any other information typically available. The owner could even put a sign on the building with a tenant’s logo or name before a space tour.
Earlier this week, I was lucky to be in the room for a presentation made by Andy Cohen, Co-CEO of Gensler, on driverless cars and their impact on real estate. Frequent readers of my blog know that I am passionate about this topic and friends and family have heard me say countless times that I will be the first person they know to buy an autonomous vehicle.
Last week, my partner, Matt Wassel, shared some of his views on the challenges facing young brokers and why millennials may be shying away from a career in real estate. His piece was widely read and I hope it’s a wake-up call to the industry at large.
If you didn’t read it, I highly encourage you to do so. My key takeaways were:
- We don’t recruit on college campuses the same way other industries do.
- Lack of consistent training.
- Senior brokers aren’t trained to be managers.
- Commission/draw compensation from Day 1.
Matt Wassel, an atypical millennial (he not only knows what a comma is, but knows how to use it), started working with us almost four years ago. He has become an integral part of our team and is also the unofficial editor of NeuerSpace. Last month, we were discussing the results of the recent survey by TheBrokerList titled 2016 DNA of #CRE and he wrote the guest post below in response.
This past Friday, I was on both sides of the table. In the morning, I was in a meeting with a potential new client and in the afternoon, I was in a doctor’s office as the client.
Earlier week, I listened to the “How I Built This” podcast, which is produced by NPR. Each episode features a guest who has built a company from scratch, and discusses their successes and challenges along the way.
This week’s episode features John Zimmer, one of the founders of Lyft. While I have been more of an Uber user, I decided that Monday morning was a good time to learn something. The more I listened, the more engaged I became.
When I was a teenager, I looked forward to February for one reason. One of my favorite publications of year, The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, arrived in my mailbox two weeks after the Super Bowl. While Christie Brinkley is back in this year’s edition, I don’t think I will take that stroll down memory lane and buy it.
For me, February now means the arrival of the CRE//Tech Report.
As married as I have been to my email since my first AOL account in 1994, I am finally ready to throw in the towel. It dawned on me a few weeks ago, when my unread emails in my personal account exceeded 500, and was reinforced when I was on vacation last week. It never stops.
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.