Friday, August 10, 2012

NEW: Dutch/U.S. Real Estate Trade Mission / RCA Global Capital Trends / True Joy / The Busy Trap / Moving to NYC

Exciting News:  I'm proud to announce the launch of the first Dutch/U.S. Real Estate Trade Mission.  The Felix Consulting Group in partnership with NCH (The Netherlands largest private trade and investment promotion council) and Zien-Branding will hold this private, invitation-only event in Amsterdam on October 3-5, 2012.  No more than 20 U.S. real estate companies will be sanctioned to attend this gathering where, among other benefits, they will enjoy private meetings with each of 10 Dutch capital sources.  This event was created because there is great interest from Dutch investors in U.S. real estate today. The organizers will provide a complete concierge service designed to maximize the time for both groups to get to know each other better and understand the opportunities to invest in U.S. real estate.  Invitations will go out early next week to the U.S. firms who have been hand-picked to participate based on a stringent set of criteria.  

The opening paragraph from RCA's Global Capital Trends:  Mid-Year Review published this past Wednesday:

Global transaction volumes for property increased slightly in Q2 over Q1 to total $157.0. Year-overyear, the global transaction market has slowed for three consecutive quarters and so far in 2012, both Q1 and Q2 registered 23 declines. However, while the Q1 decline resulted primarily from a sharp slowing in sales of China development sites, the Q2 decline represents a more widespread slowing across most property types and geographies. In Q2 compared to a year earlier, volumes in EMEA fell 28 while Asia Pac and the Americas were both off 21.

Reading further into the report, the only property type that showed positive guessed!  A few other snippets:  Core investors are having to broaden their geographic scope; Sales of development sites in the UK and U.S. have rebounded; Global capital, seeking both yield and safe haven status, has reversed direction considerably and is now coming west vs. going east.  

True Joy.  At .31 of this wonderful film clip scientists are celebrating the successful Mars landing early last Monday morning of NASA's Mars science rover, Curiosity.   It's great to see a team, who worked long and hard on this project, spontaneously erupt in happiness and caught on camera.  Doesn't seeing them make you feel good?  

I found these "Qualities" on an investment advisors website last week and thought they were brilliant in their simplicity, directness and ability to convey both their philosophy and culture and wanted to share it with you.  Less is always more!

We constantly strive for excellence, especially with regard to performance, client relations, and how we do our job. 

Calculated Risk-Taking
We take calculated risks – when prudent – as a condition of winning. 

We place the highest importance on our responsibility to our clients, to each other, and to building for the future. 

Something Better
We strive to be unique, to set the standards for others, and to demonstrate our ability to sustain and grow.

An article this week about the grand re-opening of the legendary music venue, Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York brought back one vivid memory.  Three of us went there to see the band Traffic perform.  The show was great and, in no hurry to get back to New Jersey we decided to hang around what we believed to be the door that the band exited from after the show.  There were only a few people there as the band came out.  Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi, Chris Wood...Traffic.  Just standing there a few feet away from us.  Stevie was much smaller and slighter than I had ever imagined.  I don't recall if there was any conversation, other than perhaps a nod of hello or perhaps a "Great show, man."  

The Busy Trap.  A good friend sent me a link to this article along with this excerpt: "I’ve always understood that the best investment of my limited time on earth was to spend it with people I love. I suppose it’s possible I’ll lie on my deathbed regretting that I didn’t work harder and say everything I had to say, but I think what I’ll really wish is that I could have one more beer with Chris, another long talk with Megan, one last good hard laugh with Boyd. Life is too short to be busy." Yes, this totally resonates with me and I first was exposed to this in the book Type A Behavior and Your Heart. (Type A personality:  Two main characteristics:  Free-floating hostility (Everything makes him angry) and time urgency (Someone who lives his life by a stopwatch rather than a calendar) 

Springsteen at 62.  There's a great piece in The New Yorker magazine of July 30, 2012.  A couple of quotes from Bruce:
  • "For an adult, the world is constantly trying to clamp down on itself.  Routine, responsibility, decay of institutions, corruption:  this is all the world closing in.  Music, when it's really great, pries that shit back open and lets people back in, it lets light in, and air in, and energy in, and sends people home with that and sends me back to the hotel with it.  People carry that with them sometimes for a very long period of time."
  • "We hope to send people out of the building we play in with a slightly more enhanced sense of what their options might be, emotionally, maybe communally.  You empower them a little bit, they empower you.  It's all a battle against the futility and the existential loneliness!  It may be that we are all huddled together around the fire and trying to fight off that sense of the inevitable.  That's what we do for one another."

Award-winning pizza of the week:  Maria's, 1591 Division Street, Morris, IL (26 miles west of Joliet). 

NYC Subway Artist

Paige Mueller who has joined RCLCO as Director of Institutional Real Estate Advisory Services.  
Justin Mallis who is joining The Bogdahn Group
Zack Fox who is leaving SNL for an investigative journalism fellowship at Harvard to explore the efficacy of bond-financed affordable housing projects.

This week I drove from Napa to relocate to New York. When you spend almost six days in a car by yourself you can only do a few things:  drive, think, listen to music, play the drums on your steering wheel (For men only?) and think some more.  Have you ever experienced this:  you hear a song you've listened to for years but now it takes on new meaning depending on what is going on in your life at the time?  Here's one, "When You Love Someone" by Bryan Adams that brought tears to my eyes...not a good thing when you're going 82 MPH and you forgot to bring tissues.  

On the road...

Aug. 13-Sept. 5:  New York.
Sept. 6: Ithaca, NY-Cornell University:  Careers in Real Estate:  Connecting the Dots discussion with students.
Sept. 13:  Los Angeles to moderate the Real Capital Analytics (RCA) breakfast briefing.
Sept. 14:  San Francisco to moderate the RCA breakfast briefing.
Sept. 17-19:  New York
Sept. 21:  Boston to moderate the RCA breakfast briefing.
Sept. 25-28:  New York
Oct. 3-5:  Amsterdam for the first Dutch-U.S. Commercial Real Estate Trade Mission (Invitation only).
Oct. 8-12:  New York
Oct. 14-16:  Chicago to attend the NAREIM Fall Executive Meeting.
Oct. 17:  Chicago-DePaul University: Careers in Real Estate:  Connecting the Dots discussion with students.
Oct. 18:  Chicago-University of Chicago: Careers in Real Estate:  Connecting the Dots discussion with students.
Oct. 19:  Still in Chicago for client and prospective client meetings.
Oct. 22-24:  Los Angeles to attend the PREA conference.
Oct. 31:  Seattle, WA-University of Washington: Careers in Real Estate:  Connecting the Dots discussion with students.
Nov. 5-6:  New York
Nov. 7:  Washington, DC-Johns Hopkins University: Careers in Real Estate:  Connecting the Dots discussion with students.
Nov. 8-9:  New York to attend and chair the PERE Forum.

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