There are very few 'life-changing' moments that I can remember experiencing but this past week I had one. It came in the unexpected form of a meeting I had with someone I had never met before. And, as our conversation evolved, it was pretty clear that we had connected at some level, finding that some of our beliefs, about people, about business and other things had similarities. But 3/4 of the way through our meeting, he told me something he had observed about me, in a very constructive way. I sat silent and motionless for a few seconds, digested what he had said, and then simply said, "You're absolutely right. That's a very helpful observation. I can't thank you enough." What he told me isn't really important (except to me :-) What is important is that once in a blue moon, you meet someone who shows interest in you, as a person. Whether this fellow and I ever end up doing business together doesn't matter. What matters is that he and I connected as people. I had the tables turned on me for the first time in I can't even remember how many years as he wanted to help me! It was huge and I woke up the next morning feeling different about myself....in a positive way. There's a line in one of my favorite movies, "Let it Ride", when Richard Dreyfuss is having, in his words, "a good day" (which was not usual for him), and he walks up to a waitress he knows at a food stand in the race track; they banter a little as he orders a hot dog; and then with a very piercing but kind stare she turns around, points a 'magical' finger at him, and says, "You may be walking around lucky and not even know it." In his case it was about betting on horses. In my case, it's about changing my life.
Too many of the conversations I had this week end up with the same theme: "What the heck is going on in the world?" And, because most of the conversations I have, at least during working hours, are about real estate that translates to "Where are we heading?" Well, as I think we all know, but may be reluctant to admit, we're either stalled or slipping backwards. In a preview of their August "Month in Review", which will be published next week, RCA has moderately lowered their 2011 transaction volume projections. An email I got from RCA Editorial Director, Peter Slatin states, "The slowing likely reflects greater unease about the broader economy as well as the recent pullback in CMBS originations and tighter credit availability from other lenders as well."
I totally agree. But I believe, in general, that it's simply a feeling of total uncertainty about so many things that have put people into a funk. The answer simply is: We just don't know. We no more know what's going happen tomorrow than we know what will happen in a month, six months, a year, five years. All we are pretty sure about is what we know that happened yesterday. And what we can do, while the world is, hopefully, sorting itself out is to focus on those things that we can change and make a positive impact on. While these are the kinds of times that try mens' souls, these are also the times when we learn more about who we really are. And, to me anyway, there is nothing more important than being true to yourself.
Update: The Nick Tyrell Memorial Seminar. October 12, 2011.
You can register here (it's free to attend) and I'll send you a link next week about how to donate to the fund set up in Nick's name. The program for the day looks great with presentations by a number of the leading industry thinkers. My colleague, John Gellatly, and Paul McNamara will deliver the eulogy. If you can, please attend.
Congratulations to my friend, Jeff Fisher, who was appointed by both ARGUS and RCA to the position of Senior Global Consultant strengthening and further aligning the partnership of the two companies.
Memorable Experience of the Week: Kitchak Cellers, Napa, CA. Many months ago, I met a couple while having dinner by myself at the bar in a Napa bistro. They offered me a taste of the wine they had brought with them. It was delicious. I learned that it was wine that they make themselves. But in another amazingly small world encounter, Peter Kitchak is a career commercial real estate consultant. So, with that as the backdrop, last weekend, after months of back and forth about trying to schedule a day for us to stop by their place, we finally made. Not having gone on their website beforehand, I truly had no idea what to expect. But if you go on their website, you will have an idea and what you see there truly exists and is even more special in person. Kitchak is a private winery with tastings by appointment only. They have a wine club with a significant membership and Patricia and Peter Kitchak are very nice, interesting and passionate people. If you are serious about wine I encourage you to contact them next time you are in the Napa area. But, if that may be a while out, I can, without reservation (no pun intended) highly recommend their wine which you can get via their wine club.
On the Road:
September 21-22: Amsterdam to attend and moderate a panel at the PERE Global Forum.
September 26-28: Colorado Springs to attend the NAREIM Executive Officers Meeting.
September 30-October 3: Asheville, NC to visit see my newest grandson for the first time.
October 4-6: Las Vegas to attend and be a panelist at CBRE's Americas Summit.
October 17-19: Chicago to attend the PREA conference.
November 1-4: Washington, DC to attend the CRE Annual Convention
November 9-10: New York to attend and moderate a panel at the PERE Forum
November 17-18: Frankfurt to attend and moderate a panel at the PERE Forum-Europe
These are my views and not that of my employer.