Friday, July 13, 2012

NCREIF / The Go-Giver / Fraggle Rock

I've spent the last two days with 260 folks at the NCREIF Summer Meeting in Virginia.  There is no more passionate group in the industry than this crowd.  It's a great group of people, representing a who's who of the institutional real estate investment management business. Also, NCREIF announced a few very exciting new initiatives which you will be hearing about very soon.  Stay tuned!

One of the speakers was from the European organization, INREV which I proudly have been affiliated with in one way, shape or form since the second year of their existence (almost 10 years ago).  A couple of interesting things from their most recent survey of European institutional investors.  

The #1 reason for investing in non-listed real estate funds?  Access to expert management.
The #1 & 2 reasons (tied) for not investing in non-listed real estate funds?  Availability of suitable products and market conditions.  
The most important criteria for fund selection:  Managers track record; fund style; target location; managers local presence.  

A few other tidbits:
-International investors are still very interested in the U.S.
-The Nordic countries seem to be immune from the European crisis.
-Spanish banks are not prepared to take the pain in dealing with distressed assets.
-It'll take European banks several more years to come to terms with their problems.  

"We used to say for real estate: location, location, location. But now I learn to say three other words: timing, timing, timing."  Udi Erez, CEO of The Elad Group owner of The Plaza Hotel & Condos in New York (which they're selling) and New Frontier Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, which Elad bought for a record $1.2 billion five years ago (a deal where the timing may not have been the best).

The Go-Giver.  Thanks, Rick, for sending me this wonderful little book.  You're right:  I have followed many of the principles set forth in the book but it's always good to read something that reinforces what you believe in.  Allow me to share some of The Five Laws of Stratospheric Success:
  • Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.
  • You have to develop a network.  Not necessarily your customers or clients.  A network of people who know you, like you and trust you. They might never buy a thing from you, but they've always got you in the back of their minds.  They're people who are personally invested in seeing you succeed.  That's because you're the same way about them.  They're your army of personal walking ambassadors.  What makes this kind of network work?  Stop keeping score!
  • 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.
  • Ultimately, the world treats you more or less the way you expect to be treated.  The point is not what you do.  Not what you accomplish.  It's who you are.

Fraggle Rock News!  A New Fraggle Rock spinoff is in the works.  Fraggle Rock was a very popular Muppets spin-off when my kids were growing up.  I loved it too so this is great news (especially for my grandkids!).

Something new:  CBRE just released the latest version of it's Global Occupier Office Occupier Guide.  Anyone can sign up to get access to it here.  In looking through it I was reminded of how unique the Manhattan office leasing style is than anywhere else in the U.S.  Can you say "Porters Wage Formula?"

Things beyond business:
The Gnu Foundation:  Jim Sempere is a real estate guy.  At least until recently.  Last year, Jim decided to follow his passion and is now working full-time at the foundation he started some years back.  The name and concept for Gnu Foundation was born on the Serengeti plains, while observing the annual migration of the ignoble Wildebeest (Gnu’s). The provide capital for and help develop effective microfinance programs, primarily in Kenya.  Good for you Jim!

  • Kevin Norton, Director of Investment Management, Archdiocese of New York
  • Jeroen Verheijde, Senior Vice President-Capital Raising-Clairon Partners (London).
  • Alex Jeffrey joining PruPrim.

And, the new acronym of the week (relating to certain assets that opportunistic investors are buying):  SNEW=Stuff Nobody Else Wants

College roadshow:  I'm about to announce more dates for my fall roadshow to speak with university students about Careers in Real Estate.  I've added another phrase to the title of these talks:  Connecting the Dots.  It'll include some tips on how to network, how to get the most out of attending an industry event, the best way to build relationships, how to build your industry visibility and brand and other cool stuff.  If you're involved with a real estate club or are a member of an advisory board to a real estate program and would like to talk about having me visit your school please email me.

The Felix Consulting Group update

First, thanks to everyone who told me that they like this name better (I do too).  Second, these are the services that I offer that are of most interest to potential clients right now:

1.  Presentation coaching:  Suggestions about how to improve marketing materials and the way they're presented.

2.  Annual meeting advisory.  Ideas about how to take your annual investor/client meeting to the next level, show your bench strength, etc.  As part of this I will  will attend your meeting and provide feedback on what I thought you did good and what you could do better.

3.  Strategic Meeting Facilitation:  Bring me in to facilitate a senior-level business strategy discussion about things like succession planning, organizational change, taking your company into the next decade.  

4.  Accessing Global Institutional Capital:  the preparation, process and resources needed to attract institutional capital to your firm for the first time.

Finally, today is my birthday. I don't pay attention to what birthday this is because I think that age is not a number, it's a state of mind.  But I regularly remind myself not to be complacent and take things for granted so I've been working at being more diligent of documenting stories about experiences as I was growing up, just for the record.  Perhaps my grandchildren would like to read these some day and, if I don't write them when I think of them they may slip through the shadows of my memory and not make it on to paper (more exactly Google docs!).  There are two other industry guys whose birthday is also today and to them I say, "Happy Birthday."

On the road...
July 14-17:  Boston
July 18-26:  New York
July 27-31:  Asheville, NC
August:  Thinking about taking a special 'on the road' trip
Sept. 10-12:  Paris for the GRI Europe Summit
Sept. 18-19:  Chicago for the NAREIM Human Resources Council Meeting
Oct. 3-5: Amsterdam for a special event to be announced next month...stay tuned!
Oct. 14-16:  Chicago for the NAREIM Fall Executive Meeting
Oct. 17: Still in Chicago for my Careers in Real Estate:  Connecting the Dots talk with real estate students at DePaul University.
Oct. 22-24:  Los Angeles for the PREA Fall Meeting
Nov. 7:  Washington, DC for my Careers in Real Estate:  Connecting the Dots talk with real estate students at Johns Hopkins University.
Nov. 8-9:  New York to attend and chair PERE's Forum.

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