Friday, November 15, 2013
Sunday, November 10, 2013
Two ways to circle the world
When coaching people on how to ‘work a room’ I offer two methods: circulate the room or let the room circulate around you. Spinning this concept a bit - this week, rather than being ‘on the road’ I was in New York, but had numerous meetings with people from other parts of the world.
One young professional, born and raised in the US and employed by a global real estate development company, had just returned from one of many periodic trips to China when we saw each other. He is raising money from individual investors - the Chinese love investing in the US and especially New York City!
Another meeting was over lunch with a good friend in from San Francisco. His capital raising efforts are strictly domestic, although he works for a global real estate investment management firm. We talked about the not un-common challenge of getting people to reply to an email or return a phone call and the ‘elation’ when they simply do!
Brainstorming on ideas to improve results were relegated to our next encounter which we agreed would be over cocktails and dinner and which would certainly produce the answer!
Visiting from Hong Kong was a former colleague who started her own real estate investment advisory firm about two years ago. Her niche is partnering European and Asian capital with US real estate developers. Business is good. She and I both favor the exciting and fulfilling ‘uncertainty’ of entrepreneurship over being an employee in a large corporation.
Imagining Manhattan as the ‘room you’re working’ is a daunting thought. But given the magnetic character of the real estate capital of the world, if you make yourself available to your global colleagues, in time the ‘room’ will circle around you!
Holidays in the Big Apple
It’s special in New York as we head into Thanksgiving and the gift-giving season. The brisk early winter air is invigorating. The ice on the Rockefeller Center rink has been in place since October 12 and more and more holiday lights are being plugged in every day alerting the consumer that it’s time to get busy!
The city is a wonderful place to bring children of all ages, to simply walk around, shop or perhaps take a spin on the ice at Rock Center or Bryant Park. Hey, if you are going to be in New York over the holidays and have some extra time, please reach out to me. I’d love to meet you and toast to a healthy, happy and prosperous 2014!
Hot Food & Beverage Trends
Some years ago my former boss hired a restaurant consultant named Michael Whiteman. We were planning to build our second enclosed regional mall in the Baton Rouge, LA market and wanted to differentiate it from the first.
Whiteman’s idea was to create a unique food court of local and regional restaurants. He suggested a Louisiana road trip to experience the indigenous cuisine. I was lucky enough to be asked to accompany Michael on this adventure. That trip is indelibly etched in my mind and on my palate!
Over the course of four days we worked (and ate) our way through Bayou country, stopping to sample truly incredible Creole and other cooking. It was a delightful experience as Michael really knew his way around, bringing us to some tiny gems of restaurants that only a local might know.
Baum+Whiteman, a consulting business formed by Michael and the late restaurant industry legend Joe Baum, are considered to be on the leading edge of the food and beverage world. The firm just released their annual “12 Hottest Food & Beverage Trends for Restaurant and Hotel Dining for 2014 + 30 Buzzwords.” Take a look at it here: (http://baumwhiteman.com/2014TrendForecast.pdf).
After devouring it, you will be the one making the cool gastronomic suggestions to friends and colleagues. Bon appetite!
On The Road...
Nov. 20 - 21: Johns Hopkins University to conduct a workshop for students in the Edward St. John Real Estate Program, Washington, DC
Jan. 22 - 24, 2014: IMN (Information Management Network) Winter Forum on Opportunity and Private Fund Investing, Laguna Beach, CA
Mar. 11 - 14: MIPIM, Cannes, France (planned)
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