"You've Got A Friend," which Carole King wrote and James Taylor had a huge hit with, has been having some significant meaning in my life lately. As I travel around and talk with people about what I'm doing, some of you have blown me away with your interest in seeing me succeed in my consulting business. And, while, when I was younger I didn't really take anyone's advice (because I thought I knew everything...was I the only one?), as I've gotten older I am very open to advice. Like the excerpt from the book "The Go-Giver," that I shared with you last week, "All the giving in the world won't bring success, won't create the results you want, unless you also make yourself willing and able to receive in like measure. Because if you don't let yourself receive, you're refusing the gifts of others-and you shut down the flow." Well people, I have been the recipient of 'the flow' of giving and it is both tremendously helpful and heart-warming. Like any project, it's a continual work in progress, "life is an unfinishedness," as I read many years ago in a book about Type A behavior. So, please accept my public "thank you" for your help.
While I'm on the subject of The Felix Consulting Business, here is my revised "elevator pitch" based on input from "my advisors."
"So, Steve, what kinds of stuff are you doing?"
1. Moderate Senior Team Strategy Sessions
2. Presentation Coaching/Personal Coaching
3. Teaching people how to raise institutional capital
4. Investor conference event enhancement and report card
Of course, there are brief case studies that go along with each of these but in testing it out in literally dozens of meetings this week, I've found that it works. I've been able to do for myself what I've helped others do for years: simplify their message!
My vocabulary has been increased recently:
- "Central Urban Core." CBRE Econometric Advisors has taken the age-old label, CBD (Central Business District) and redefined it. You'll be hearing more about CUC, as they call it, soon and it will have a real impact on real estate investing and site location decision making because, market by market, it expands and antiquated definition and brings it into the 21st century.
- "Intellectual Leadership." I'm told that it's the next step up from "Thought Leadership."
- "Executive Functioning Skills:" A set of cognitive abilities that control and regulate other abilities and behaviors.
This week I spent time both in Boston and New York and noticed a dramatic difference about how people walk on the street. In New York, the majority of New Yorkers are walking with their heads down, constantly looking and playing with their whatever phone/handheld device. But not in Boston. although there is some but not to the same degree. It struck me just how different the scene is in these two cities. However, in thinking back to my last trip to Chicago, the people on the street, other than virtually all 'young' people, were more like Boston than New York. But no matter where it is, it strikes me as sad all they're missing as they walk around great cities with their heads down all the time. Oh well.
Song of the week: Eva Cassidy's version of "Somewhere Over The Rainbow." It will give you chills.
As I've reported to you, there are some terrific new commercial real estate tech companies surfacing. I met the founder of another one last night at an industry cocktail party on the rooftop of a downtown NY building (btw, there are also a couple of things still in the garage which I'll tell you about as soon as I get permission):
1. RetailMLS: A 'multiple listing service' strictly for retail properties.
2. Compstak: Crowd Sourced Lease Comparables
3. Resimodel: A web-based tool that generates institutional quality Excel models for multi-family and broken condo properties.
4. REOL: While one of the pioneers in the real estate technology world they continue to expand their leading edge services and products to clients (Yesterday, I got a private demo of a very cool new ap they've created).
"Wait for Me" update: Thanks to all of you who are telling me what your favorite song is. Later today I'll be getting professional feedback on one of the songs, "Robot Mannequin," from someone who represents musicians and teaches songwriting skills. From the website, she has great credentials. It costs $30 bucks so I said, "What the heck." I also strongly believe in the concept of, "You Never Know."
On the road...
July 23-25: New York for a "Presentation Coaching" session with one of my clients.
July 26-31: Asheville, NC to spend time with my grandchildren, Sean and Gavin (oh, yes, and their parents too!)
Sept. 6: Ithaca, NY-Cornell University for a "Careers in Real Estate-Connecting the Dots" discussion with students.
Sept. 10-12: Paris, France to attend the GRI Europe event.
Sept. 18-19: Chicago to attend the NAREIM H.R. Council Meeting
Oct. 3-5: Amsterdam for the launch of a very special event that I will be able to announce shortly.
Oct. 14-16: Chicago to attend the NAREIM Fall Executive Meeting.
Oct. 17: Chicago for a "Careers in Real Estate-Connecting the Dots" discussion with students at DePaul University
Oct. 18: Still in Chicago for a "Careers in Real Estate-Connecting the Dots" discussion with students at The University of Chicago
Oct. 22-24: Los Angeles to attend the PREA Conference
Oct. 25: Portland, Oregon for a "Careers in Real Estate-Connecting the Dots" discussion with students at Portland State University
Oct. 26: Portland, OR to moderate a senior team strategy session for a client.
Nov. 7: Washington, DC for a "Careers in Real Estate-Connecting the Dots" discussion with students at Johns Hopkins University.
Nov. 8-9: New York to attend the PERE Summit (Btw, both Ted Leary of Crosswater Realty Advisors and I are working closely with PERE on this event and it's exciting to see the agenda coming together).