Friday, January 6, 2012

New Year, New Band, New _________

In 1975, legendary bluesman, John Mayall, released an album called, "New Year, New Band, New Company."  If you haven't heard of him, perhaps you've heard of some of the musicians that have either  recorded or toured with him:  Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, Mick Taylor, John McVie, Mick Fleetwood, Dr. John & Paul Butterfield (a seriously partial list).  Well, this week that title suits me pretty well also:  New Year (duh), New Band (I sat in last week with a group and they've sort of asked me to join them.  they're now called "Four Shotz" and are rockin' blues band) and New Company.  This last category is a curious one at this exact moment in time.   While I am involved in a couple of serious dialogues regarding new 'jobs', nothing is definite yet.  So, as I've done for many years, I'm offering to provide fee/assignment based services as a management consultant.  

In preparing to 'hit the road' I've ordered some new business cards  which have this as the headline:  "Solutions by Steve Felix" and my contact information.  I'm trying to follow all the things I've been reading, and passing on to you guys, about keeping things short and simple.  I've also sent this email to a number of my former clients and industry friends:

Dear Friend:

I am offering my consultative/solutions services to a few companies.  

One of the services I could provide is to facilitate an internal senior level strategic discussion about how to grow your business.  Using a knowledgeable, third-party facilitator like me helps open the conversation and take it to areas that might not be discussed when a meeting such as this is 'moderated' by someone in the firm.

I can also help you in the following areas:

1.    How to make your client events more memorable and effective
2.    How to improve your presentation books & marketing material
3.    How to make your face2face presentations more effective
4.    How to improve your communications with clients
5.    How to address certain client feedback about your services and client care
6.    How to expand your net of potential new clients/investors
7.    Providing internal career coaching to help you retain your best people and understand what their aspirations are.
8.    Providing recruiting services.

Anyway, if this has piqued your interest, perhaps we could set up a phone call to discuss.

So, please let me know if you or someone you know may have an interesting in talking with me.  Thanks.  P.S.  I've received some requests to set up calls starting next week and have sent out my first proposal to facilitate an internal product strategy meeting!

Vis a vis last week's career thoughts I was reminded that one very important thing (how could I have forgotten this one) is finding the right people to work with.  This involves confidence and trust.  Twice in my career I was in a position where I needed a job to support my family.  In those instances, I took jobs with people that I didn't trust and didn't like but thought, "Hey, maybe I'm wrong,"  But I wasn't and both ended in less than a year.  When it comes down to it, it's all about the people, isn't it?  Thanks for reminding me, Albert.

I've been putting some down time to good use updating and adding to my contact database.  While doing this I found a site that has Career Advice for Real Estate Professionals from some industry heavyweights.  I offer a few of them here:

-Get a Solid Education: When you enter into real estate, you may work in only one area, such as property management or brokerage, but it's important to have an educational overview of the entire business to guarantee your long-term success.

-Maintain your Education: Have a commitment to keep abreast of all the changes in the industry by attending conferences, educational programs, and by reading and writing for business and academic literature.

-Have Perseverance:  One of the most important skills that you need to be successful in business is perseverance. Quite often when you start down a path, you're naive about what it takes to get there. So you can be surprised to keep running into problems. But, you just have to stay with it until you find solutions to move forward.

-Know What Matters: You must be able to look at many complicated issues and see what really matters. People often get caught up in the preciseness of the numbers and the methodologies instead of finding what really matters. And if you can simplify things, then you can make better decisions, and you can also explain things to your clients.

-Measure the Risk: Risk is an essential element in the business. So learn to manage risk. The key to risk is to do extensive research so that you can carefully consider, creatively integrate, and rigorously test information, before making a decision.

Good stuff, right?  Pass it along.

Congratulations to my friend Dietrich Heidtmann who has joined Grosvenor as Managing Director of Client Services.

On the road....

Jan. 11-13:  Chicago
Jan. 17-20:  Laguna Beach, CA to attend IMN's Ninth Annual Winter Forum on Real Estate Opportunity and Private Fund Investing
Jan. 23-25:  London to attend the INREV UK Winter Seminar 2012 and the Thompson Reuters Global Property Outlook 2012
Jan. 30-Feb. 1:  Scottsdale, AZ to attend IREI's VIP Conference
Feb. 6-10:  (t) New York 
Feb. 23:  Chapel Hill, NC to attend the 2012 University of North Carolina (UNC) Real Estate Conference 
Feb. 24:  Chapel Hill, NC to be a judge at the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Real Estate Case Challenge
Feb. 27-29:  Scottsdale, AZ to attend the NCREIF Winter Conference
March 29-30:  Philadelphia to attend and be a judge at the Villanova University Real Estate Case Challenge
April 25-27:  Vienna, Austria to attend the INREV annual meeting
May 17-20:  North Palm Beach, FL to attend The Hoyt Fellows/Weimer School Annual Meeting

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