Friday, July 27, 2012

RCA Mid-Year Reports / Stress / A Deluxe Apartment in the Sky

RCA this week released it's U.S. Capital Trends Mid-Year Reports.  Here's what RCA says about transaction volume:
  • Apartment:  Second highest quarter since 2007.  But year over year increases in transactions are slowing.
  • Office:  Slight gain from prior quarter but off 10% compared to a year ago.
  • Hotel:  Slowed for the third consecutive quarter.
  • Industrial: Excluding an outlier deal, activity in Q2 was up 17%.  Flex properties have registered stronger gains than the warehouse sector.  
  • Retail: Excluding entity transactions, activity increased 56% in Q2.

Standout markets across all property types include: Seattle, WA;  San Jose, CA;  and Austin, TX.  Other markets which appear to be gaining favor are:  Charlotte, Miami, Baltimore and Nashville. 

14 years ago I moved from New Jersey to California to take a new job. Shortly after getting there I started to get excruciating pains in my right side.  I went to a doctor who sent me for a bunch of tests (during one they forgot to strap me onto the table and when it raised, I fell, hitting my head and almost creating a real problem).  But all the tests were negative.  After getting the results, the doctor, a new one for me having just moved, asked, "Have you ever heard of stress?"  I felt like saying, "Everybody has." But instead I courteously said, "Yes."  He said that after telling me that within the past six months or so I had:  gotten married, moved cross-country and started a new job, the pain on my side was likely just stress-related from all the major things that I'd experienced recently.  I don't remember if the pain stopped as I left his office but it stopped shortly thereafter.  As I travel around I'm both observing behavior that suggests more and more people are feeling more and more stress and from hearing from people who clearly state that 'it ain't easy out there.'  

My generation grew up believing that things would get better each year.  Perhaps we weren't the only ones.  I believed it and in 1987-91 got myself into financial trouble regarding a house because I overextended myself believing that I would make more money each succeeding year.  But that didn't happen and I learned a valuable lesson.  Today, we're still a long way from recovering from many people overextending themselves.  In addition, we've got a situation where lots of people are out of work, some with little or no prospects and others taking jobs well below their ability and experience, just to pay the bills. Also, I believe that the stress we're experiencing (the "we" is probably the entire developed world in one way or another) manifests itself in the growing rudeness and lack of consideration people are showing to one another.  It's sad.  If we lose our civility toward one another we are creating an environment that far exceeds anything the "Me" generation ever believed.  Yes, we're stressed, but showing kindness to one another could be a positive that comes out of the negative.  We need to find something to believe in and, right now, it just may be each other.  

Comment from an OTR reader about my recent observation:  "It really is sad to see people so engrossed by technology. I’m amazed at how many young mothers walk around with their children while talking on the telephone.  I’m sure that they tell everyone that they just spent a few hours with their child.  How great that would be if true."  

Seems our timing is serendipitous as on Wednesday there was an article in the paper titled, "Silicon Valley Says Step Away From The Device." One Facebook exec offered a warning:  log off once in a while and put them down.  "In a place where technology is seen as an all-powerful answer, it is increasingly being seen as too powerful, even addicitve.  The concern, voiced in conferences and in recent interviews with many top executives of technology companies, is that the lure of constant stimulation-the pervasive demand of pings, rings and updates-is creating a profound physical craving that can hurt productivity and personal interactions."  OMG, and here I thought it would be years before I'd read something like this. You guys know my feelings but it'll take more than just this article to get people taking action and reducing their dependence on "constant techaction" (vs. human interaction) with each other.  Now with young grand children in my family it'll be interesting to see how their parents (i.e. my sons and their wives) handle this challenge.  

  • Marty Reid, Executive Vice President and CFO Chambers Street Properties 
  • Jason Chiang joined the investment team at Madison International Realty has launched it's new blog called The Retail Report.  

"A Deluxe Apartment In The Sky." I stayed in an incredible vacation rental apartment this past week.  Walking in you're immediately struck with an absolutely insane view through the floor to ceiling windows looking south and east from midtown Manhattan.  It was almost surreal.  And, the 'night light' that woke me up during the middle of one night was actually the glow from...the Empire State Building!  If you or someone you know is looking for a special place to stay in New York I strongly suggest you check this out. 

Looking Southeast

My personal nightlight

Restaurant of the weekDegustation Wine & Tasting Bar, 239 E. 5th Street, New York (212) 979.1012.  When you walk by a restaurant and don't see any customers it gives pause.  But for some reason, when I peeked into the tiny window last Sunday night I thought, "Hey, this looks cool."  More than cool, when my friend met me, he said that this was one of the hot new places in NYC and that he had wanted to try it too.  We had a great meal; small plates; each one hand-crafted right in front of your eyes.  But make a reservation.  It was only empty because it was the first Sunday night that they were open for dinner.

The Felix Consulting Group:  Case Study
Client:  Opportunity Fund
Assignment:  Presentation skills coaching
Solution:  Staged a 'role play' session at the client's office (boy, was this fun for me!).  
Their goal:  Introduce their firm and pitch a product.
The Result:  Feedback from the client was excellent.  They have asked me to personally coach some of these individuals.

The Felix Consulting Group
If your company is at an inflection point contact me for a free phone consultation to determine if we should be working together.  

On the road...

July 30-31: Asheville, NC
Aug. 2-3:  Greater Los Angeles Area
Sept. 3-11:  New York
Sept. 6-7:  Ithaca, NY for my Careers in Real Estate-Connecting the Dots discussion with students at Cornell University.
Sept. 13:  Los Angeles to host an event for one of my clients.
Sept. 14:  San Francisco to host an event for one of my clients.
Sept. 16-18:  Chicago to attend NAREIM's Legal & Compliance Meeting and Human Resources Roundtable
Sept. 21:  Boston to host an event  for one of my clients.
Oct. 3-5:  Amsterdam for the launch of a very special event which I will be announcing shortly.
Oct. 14-16:  Chicago to attend the NAREIM Fall Executive Meeting
Oct. 17:  Chicago for my Careers in Real Estate-Connecting the Dots discussion with students at DePaul University.
Oct. 18:  Chicago for my 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, OR for my Careers in Real Estate-Connecting the Dots discussion with students at Portland State University.
Oct. 26:  Portland, OR to facilitate a senior team strategy session with a company at an inflection point.
Nov. 7: Washington, DC for my Careers in Real Estate-Connecting the Dots discussion with students at Johns Hopkins University.
Nov. 8-9:  New York to attend & serve as chairman for the PERE Summit

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