Friday, August 31, 2012

Back to School / The House Where Nobody Lives / Job Travails

On Tuesday I was in New Jersey (the state just west of New York) visiting with some long-time real estate industry friends. We talked about a lot of stuff; what's changing; what opportunities are there for regional experts, either in an asset class or in a service.  We talked about the consolidation that is still to occur across our broad industry and what opportunities that might offer.  Quite possibly, the word, other than uncertainty, that I've been hearing uttered most is consolidation.  We're living through very interesting and exciting times.

Real estate song?  Tom Waits poignant classic, "The House Where Nobody Lives"  came into my mind this week.  

There's a house on my block 
That's abandoned and cold
Folks moved out of it a long time ago 
And they took all their things
And they never came back
Looks like it's haunted
With the windows all cracked
Everyone calls it the house, 
the house where nobody lives.

Once it held laughter
Once it held dreams
Did they throw it away
Did they know what it means
Did someone's heart break
Did someone do somebody wrong?

Well the paint was all cracked
It was peeled off of the wood
The papers were stacked 
On the porch where I stood
And the weeds had grown up
Just as high as the door
There were birds in the chimneys
And an old chest of drawers
Looks like no one will ever come back
To the house where nobody lives

So if you find someone
Someone to have, someone to hold
Don't trade it for silver
Don't trade it for gold
'Cause I have all of life's treasures
And they're find and they're good 
They remind me that houses are just made of wood
What makes a house grand ain't the roof or the doors
If there's love in a house it's a palace for sure
Without love it ain't nothing but a house 
A house where nobody lives

One of my favorite songs is (Somewhere) Over the Rainbow, music by Harold Arlen and lyrics by E.Y. (Yip) Harburg.  It was written for the 1939 movie, The Wizard of Oz, and was sung by Judy Garland in her starring role as Dorothy Gale (Who ever knew her last name anyway?)  This song has been sung and recorded by a gazilion people but the one that really gives me the chills is by Eva Cassidy. Imagine what it feels like to be able to sing like that? (There's a very special moment at 3:50).

Thanks to one of our OTR community for sharing this with me.  I hadn't heard about it before and now have the poster sitting on my desktop ("This is your Life....").  Sort of reminds me of the song off my first CD, "Live Your Life."

Very cool restaurant of the week:  Mari Vanna41 East 20th Street, Between Park Ave and Broadway, New York.  Thanks Alan.

  1. Larissa Belova who has joined Jonathan Rose Companies.
  2. Michael Carp who has joined DivcoWest
  3. Jerry Rappaport has joined Chestnut Hill as managing director on a new venture that will focus on apartment real estate investment.

Back to School:  Here we go boys and girls.  The U.S. has always viewed this Labor Day weekend as the symbol of the end of the summer 'Back to School/Work After Summer Vacation" wake-up call.  We're taking a look at our calendars and finalizing our plans to attend industry events, visit with clients and prospective clients and look at our business plans to make sure we do what we need to do to "hit our numbers" for the third quarter and the year. I look forward to seeing you somewhere 'on the road' this fall.

My friends who are looking for jobs are gearing up for the continuation of that search.  Some have been in serious conversations regarding changing jobs but it sounds like people are just really dragging their feet when it comes to pulling the trigger (Sound familiar to those who are out raising capital too, eh?)  I wonder:  do the decision-makers, those who can say, "Yes, we want you to join us" remember what it's like to be on the other side of the desk in conversations like this?  What it feels like to be kept 'hanging?'  

Let me know if you have any openings at your firm where you're not using a recruiting firm.  I'd be happy to do my best to connect you with good candidates.

On the road...
(Note:  Somebody wrote to me last week reminding me that now that I'm living in NY, when I mention being in NY it's not "On the Road!"  

Sept. 6/7:  Ithaca, NY to facilitate a conversation about "Careers in Real Estate-Connecting the Dots" with students at Cornell University.
Sept. 13:  Los Angeles, CA to host RCA's Fall 2012 Breakfast Briefing  (let me know if you'd like to attend). Special guest panelist:  Lee Menifee, Amercian Realty Advisors
Sept. 14:  San Francisco, CA to host RCA's Fall 2012 Breakfast Briefing (let me know if you'd like to attend).  Special guest panelist:  Asieh Mansour, CBRE
Sept. 21:  Boston to host RCA's Fall 2012 Breakfast Briefing (let me know if you'd like to be invited).  Special guest panelists:  Mike Acton, AEW & Josh Scoville, Hines.
Oct. 3:  Invited to attend a very special dinner event hosted by CBRE in New York.
Oct. 14-16:  Chicago to attend and moderate a panel at the NAREIM Fall Executive Meeting
Oct. 17:  Chicago for a "Careers in Real Estate-Connecting the Dots" discussion with students at DePaul University
Oct. 18:  Still in Chicago for a "Careers in Real Estate-Conneting the Dots" discussion with students at The University of Chicago/Booth School of Business
Oct. 22-24:  Los Angeles to attend the PREA Fall Conference (Note:  There is some behind the scenes chatter about a very special, after-hours music event.  Stay tuned!)
Oct. 25-26:  Amsterdam to attend and moderate a panel at the PERE Global Investor Forum
Oct. 29-31 (Note New Dates).  Amsterdam for the first Dutch/U.S. Real Estate Trade Mission produced jointly by The Felix Consulting Group, NCH (The Netherlands Council for Trade Promotion) and Zien-Branding. (Invitation only).
Nov. 7:  Washington, DC for a "Careers in Real Estate-Conneting the Dots" discussion with students at Johns Hopkins University
Nov. 8 & 9:  New York to attend and serve as event chair for the PERE Summit

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