Sunday, October 1, 2017

INREV Meeting Takeaways / RCA Launches New Index / Question about LinkedIn and Twitter / Mac Angels Foundation

INREV Meeting in NYC
INREV is a European real estate trade association that some folks have referred to as the PREA (Pension Real Estate Association) of Europe.  Now with 400 members, INREV (European Association for Investors in Non-Listed Real Estate Vehicles), has come a long way since it's launch in 2003.  The brainchild of two industry veterans, Pieter Hendrikse and Willem de Geus, I have been a friend and member of the organization from shortly after it's beginnings.  
Last week, I attended INREV's annual U.S. meeting in New York City.  It was great to see so many industry friends and meet some new ones. I wanted to share some of my presentation takeaways with you:
  • Hedge for next 20 years in Europe: double down in Germany
  • Real estate investment / development opportunities across Europe = tourism / tourist destinations
  • Fastest growing destinations for Chinese tourists:
    • Spain
    • UK (almost tied with Spain)
    • UAE
    • Italy
    • France
  • "In my 20 years as an economist, the North Korea situation is the most worrisome event I has ever observed.  North Korea is the hermit kingdom (we don’t know anything about them).  War is truly a possibility." 
  • Audience Survey Question:  Biggest concern/challenge real estate faces today? Answer: 61% chose Frothy Property Prices
  • "Invest in cities, not countries; locations getting more and more important."
  • "Industrial is now ‘the place’ vis a vis e-Commerce space needs"
  • "Consumer confidence is key to growth"
  • Structural drivers of economy:  Technology & Urbanization
  • Major disruptor:  e-Commerce
INREV is actively seeking more U.S. institutional investors to join and offers an introductory membership rate.  If you are considering expanding your investment horizons to Europe, I highly recommend looking into INREV where you can get an immersion into what's going on in commercial real estate across Europe (including the UK!).

Congratulations to RCA (Real Capital Analytics)
Congratulations to RCA on the launch of its Global Cities Composite of the RCA Commercial Property Price Index
An excerpt from the 'overview' by RCA Founder and President Bob White:
Global commercial real estate prices grew at the fastest pace in two years in the second quarter of 2017. The Global Cities Composite of the RCA CPPI climbed 2.6% in Q2’17 and has risen 8.3% from a year ago, propelled by strong gains in Boston, Hong Kong, Melbourne and the German A Cities.
The price growth comes despite a 10.9% year-over-year decline in transaction volumes in the Global Cities and subpar results in the two largest global markets – London and New York. The clear winners with the most investment momentum, clustered in the upper right quadrant of the graph above, are the German A Cities, Hong Kong, San Francisco, Amsterdam and Sydney.
Real Capital Analytics (RCA) bases these results on a series of groundbreaking market indices created, and form part of a comprehensive report just published.  The indices are transaction-based and utilize repeat-sales regression methodology.  The Global Cities Composite tracks 27 metro areas in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. Over the past decade, approximately 46% of all commercial property transactions have occurred in one of the cities tracked by these indices.
The RCA CPPI Global Cities report is published quarterly.  Click here learn more.
Question about LinkedIn and Twitter
I can use your help.  Liz and I have been finding LinkedIn more and more helpful in getting the messages about our open-enrollment professional development workshops (Behavioral Presentation Coaching and Women's Leadership) out to the industry.  Yet, we have been very conservative about our posts - not wanting to add to all the 'noise' out there. However, Social Media 'experts' suggest you post, post, post.  LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. to be noticed.  I'm wondering if you have any reaction to those companies and individuals that appear continually on LinkedIn and Twitter.  Should we be 'marketing' ourselves more aggressively?  
Thanks for your thoughts!
New INREV CEO Lonneke Löwik whom I met when she first was INREV Director of Research and Market Information and then Director of Professional Standards between 2009 and 2014. 
J.D. Sitton who has joined J.P. Morgan Asset Management as Head of Client Strategy - Real Estate Americas
Andy Fox who has been promoted to CFO at Ackman Ziff Real Estate 
Amber Zhang who has joined The World Bank as Compensation Benefits Analyst
Mary Beth McCormick who is now Executive Director, Center for Real Estate, Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University
Walt Clements now President and COO at Dean Realty Co.
On the Road...
Oct. 4-6: Dallas to conduct an in-house Behavioral Presentation Coaching workshop for one of our clients.
Oct. 11-12: Chicago to attend the NAREIM Executive Officer's Fall Meeting
Oct. 16-17:  Chicago to sit in with an industry band playing 'around' the PREA Fall Meeting.
Oct. 18-19: Dallas to conduct an in-house Behavioral Presentation Coaching workshop for one of our clients.
Week of Oct. 30: New York City to conduct an in-house Behavioral Presentation Coaching workshop for one of our clients
Nov. 4:  Nov. 4:  Attending the 2017 Gala of Mac Angels Foundation which enhances the quality of life for patients, family members and caregivers impacted daily by ALS, by providing the compassion, education and unique resources needed to manage the devastating effects of this disease.​ Honorees at this year's gala are Paul McEvoy (DRA Advisors) and his wife, M.C. To donate to Mac Angels please click here
Tentative Save The Date: Monday, December 4: Steve's Pretty Much By Now Annual Pizza / Drink Thing.  Joe G Restaurant, 244 W. 5th Street (Bet. B'way and 8th).  Starting at 6pm.  Come together with a bunch of your industry friends and make some new ones.  We usually get +/- 50 people.  You buy your own drinks...I supply the famous Joe G pizza (yes, with various toppings!).

Friday, September 8, 2017

Two Weeks in Tyalgum, New South Wales / NYC Professional Development Workshops

Two weeks in Tyalgum, New South Wales, Australia

I’ve found most people willing to share stories about themselves – if you ask them and truly listen. Many people in Tyalgum (Pop. 300) told me their stories.  While a lot of them had good ‘endings’ (although they’re still in the prime of their lives) there were many painful stories – of difficult family situations growing up, of disappointment, and of traveling around the world (or portions thereof) looking for the place that they want to call home – they have found that in Tyalgum.  I had a great time there, too!

As you can see from the photos below, it’s a very special geography and landscape. Every day started around 6:30am (as the sky just started showing light) when I walked, listening to the unbelievable birds, some talking to each other, some talking to me, some singing and one particular type sounding like it was laughing at me (or at the world in general).  Some of my new friends took me on day trips – one to Byron Beach and another to the regional art gallery. 

Tyalgum is about 45 minutes from the Gold Coast – this resort haven and lengthy beach (everything in Australia is big!) attracts folks on day trips to have lunch at Flutterbies Café.  There was a baby grand piano in one of the rooms at The Little Shop Next Door to the café, which they allowed me to play – playing piano has always been a great outlet for me.

While I’m not a huge morning coffee drinker (when I'm up I’m up - which is annoying for anyone around me that takes a while to rev up their engines), my morning ritual included a ‘Flat White’ at the Tyalgum General Store. While invented in NZ (Thanks John!) Flat White is a really popular beverage in Australia.  It’s something between a cappuccino and a latte and a nice way to start my day, sipping the coffee, sitting either inside or outside the store and writing in my journal.  It was terrific getting to meet and chat with some of the 7am regulars who stopped in for milk or the daily newspaper.  The stories I heard…

One fellow in particular I met on my first morning and got friendly with.  Curly, his nickname due to him being completely bald, seemed to do odd jobs around The General Store. He invited me one day to see where he lived.  We jumped in his pickup, with his giant puppy dog in the bed of the truck, and headed up a dirt road that I hadn’t discovered before.  On the way up he told me about the property and the history.  Then we got to his place and opened the gate – not the kind of electronic gate that movie stars and mafia people have protecting their homes – a simple metal gate (with no lock).  The property was terrific –with wonderful views.  The house, which Curly had built himself, was simple but rather elegant.  He took such pride, as he should, in telling me about how he built it and showed me the work in progress – a beautiful master bathroom with big windows looking out on the mountains. 

As a real estate guy, I was thinking about his property which is one of 21 ‘lots’ (each one being a good number of acres) in sort of a community (they share responsibility for the dirt road).  I asked Curly if there were any properties still available thinking that it might be great to own something there and one day build – but there was nothing available.  I learned that in the past four years, property prices have skyrocketed in Tyalgum and adjoining ‘towns.’  Some people have bought or built houses that are mostly vacation rentals (I don’t think Air BnB exists there!).

On the way down the hill back to town, he told me he wrote poetry and recited two or them to me…I’m shaking my head now with the emotion of remembering how beautiful they were – tears came to my eyes as I listened.  He shared with me that he had just turned 68 (we are both born in July) and that he only leaned to read and write when he was 51! A wonderfully special guy.

The music festival in Tyalgum, the genesis of my trip, was really terrific.  Most of the performers were solo guitar acts with a few bands interspersed.  The Heart Collectors, the band I met last year in the U.S. just by coincidence (are there ever any coincidences in life?), were the headline act.  One solo performer that I got to know pretty well is called Famous Will.  I loved the guy from the get-go.  He was on the TV Show The Voice in Australia and got pretty far along in the competition.

My whole experience in Australia was memorable and reminded me of how lucky I’ve been, to have traveled a bunch and meet people face2face in different countries and cultures.  While I used to feel that there could be world peace in my lifetime, I no longer have that belief – sadly.  However, we can continue to understand each other better – not through the Internet or social media or whatever – but by talking with those that are different from us, even if we aren’t able to physically visit their countries.  Only that way will we understand that we’re all just human beings - all with our own stories and simply trying our best.

Felix / Weiner Professional Development Workshops – New York City

On the topic of shameless self-promotion, Liz and I are excited to be kicking off our fall Professional Development Open-Enrollment Workshops in New York City.

Sept 25: Behavioral Presentation CoachingWorkshop / 1-5pm (Limit 6 participants). 

This multi-dimensional, interactive group workshop is specifically designed for professionals at all levels in the commercial / institutional real estate community who present:

… new business development pitches
... at internal meetings
... to existing clients
... on conference calls / webinars, etc.
… to investment committees
… at industry & networking events
… on teams with colleagues
... at annual investor conferences

Click here to register.

Sept 26: Women’s Leadership Workshop – exclusively for women in the commercial / institutional real estate industry / 12:30 – 4:30pm (wine and cheese networking immediately following the workshop)
Developing and enhancing the professional presence of women in the commercial / institutional real estate industry is the foundation of our 4-hour interactive program.

Women from more than 100 firms have already attended over 30 of our programs across the U.S. and in London.

Our dynamic, interactive sessions help you get noticed and stand out - for the right reasons. You will acquire presentation, communication and leadership skills to take you to the next level in your career - and beyond.
Through engaging exercises and thoughtful group discussions, new awareness will be raised of behavioral traits that may be detracting from your professional presence – you will leave the session with tips to avoid these pitfalls and with tools for continual self-development.
Click here to register.
Thanks for spreading the word about our workshops.
Liz and I sincerely appreciate your support!

Early morning

Flutterbies Cafe

Coolman Avenue

Famous Will

The Heart Collectors

Cafe Festival Stage

Incredible Pastries

The General Store 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Tyalgum, New South Wales, Australia_Tuesday Aug 29 2017

It’s early morning on Tuesday, August 29 in Tyalgum, New South Wales, Australia.  The fact that New York is 14 hours behind has taken a little getting used to – then again, I’m on vacation and have tried to remember that a true vacation is when you don’t work.  Some of you remember the days before computers, before cell phones, before we were able to stay connected and be connected almost anywhere, almost anytime.  And, even though there is Wi-Fi here people are not walking on the streets talking or texting.  The talking that goes on here is people talking with each other. 

Every morning since I arrived last week, I’ve gone to The General Store and had a ‘flat white’ coffee (that resembles a cappuccino but it’s more like a coffee with a milky surface and a beautiful design).  Tania generally makes it for me.  She and her boyfriend moved to Tyalgum from Columbia four months ago.  She loves it here.  I talk a bit with Curly who works for The General Store and, yes, his nickname is curly because he is bald.  There have been one or two regulars who stop in when the store opens, to buy the daily newspaper. 

Tyalgum is situated in what I’m calling the bed of a huge volcano that existed 20 million (no typo) years ago.  One of the issues with this landscape is that it’s susceptible to flooding. In fact, in April 2017, the area suffered from a 150-year flood.  In being shown around, I learned how high the flood waters had risen and it’s beyond belief.  The area is still recovering – they are a truly hardy bunch.

Some older folks talk about taking a ‘daily constitutional’ walk.  Mine is first thing in the morning when I leave The Celestial Dew Inn.  I’m immediately greeted by an amazing symphony of birds (this area is famous for it’s birds as well).  There’s one breed that sounds like it’s laughing at me…or maybe laughing with me as it can see the huge smile on my face as soon as I step outside.  There are other breeds and they’re pretty chatty in the early morning.  It’s terrific to be both wakened and greeted this way.  On the subject of sound, Tyalgum’s Community Hall is know for having almost perfect acoustics.  While there was no music there this week, I went inside.  It looks more like a gymnasium (which it also serves as) than a concert venue.  There’s an annual music festival coming up in a couple of weeks with some serious vocal and instrumental performers.

As many of you know, I’ve traveled quite a bit in my lifetime.  In many cities the architecture, landscape, etc. are what is memorable.  And, as memorable as the physical things in Tyalgum are that’s not what I’ll be taking home with me.  It’s the people, it’s the spirit, it’s the love that exists here and I have experienced it as well.  I have been welcomed as I’ve never felt before.  The folks here are real, sincere and beautiful people.  Truly.

Because what prompted this trip was to attend the O’Heart Festival last weekend, I became part of that contingent and getting the chance to help out in setting up stages for musicians, etc. - I’ve never liked being a bystander. This allowed me to get to know a bunch of the people and see them virtually every day and work alongside some of them.

I’ve also had the privilege of being able to play a beautiful black grand piano from time to time at Flutterbies Café – which is where I’ve also eaten most of my meals. 

In all my travels, this is the first time that I’ve visited a place where I could see myself living.  You may say, ‘what could Steve do in a town of 300 people?”  And, my answer is…live, simply live and create and collaborate and perhaps find peace, within myself.  Amongst the ‘group’ I’ve been part of are a number of people who have come from other places and found something special in Tyalgum.  It seems to be a like attracts like phenomenon – for real. 

I’m leaving on Thursday and while I’ve pretty much stayed ‘close to home’ I’m going to try to get to The Gold Coast and visit one of the beach areas either today or tomorrow.  And, as I sit here, writing about leaving in two days, tears are welling up in my eyes as I’ve become very attached to this place and these people. 

My good friends The Heart Collectors will be on tour in the U.S. again this coming spring.  I have volunteered to share the van driving responsibilities with Mobius who is the only one of the four band members old enough to be allowed to drive in the U.S.  When I told him last winter I was coming to the O’Heart Festival he said, “Yeah, right” (as in ‘that’s what they all say’), However, when I mentioned about doing some of the van driving on the tour he said, ‘We’d love to have you.’ 

While I've had some trials and tribulations during my life, I’m a pretty lucky boy.  Having had quite a bit of alone time this trip to think about things, I’ve realized that my willingness to explore, to take chances and to follow my heart have resulted in me meeting some fantastic people and having special experiences.  Much of the travels in my life have been by myself and, I’m feeling that going forward, I’d like to travel with someone…to share the experiences, to share the meals and to simply share life with. 

I have a small platter on my kitchen counter:  "Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen."  You never know....

Here are some photos I want to share with you…

Tyalgum early morning

"Flat White"

Pre-festival labor

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