Friday, September 14, 2012

Sept 11 / R.E. Job Scene / The Dave Matthews Band

On September 11, 2001 I was driving to my office in California when the phone rang.  It was my wife.  "Your father called.  He wanted to know where you were."  I asked why and she said he had heard there had been some type of plane crash in New York.  I turned on the radio and heard a reporter say that a plane had flown into the, "World Trade Center tower."  I believe most New Yorkers would assume what I did:  that the plane had hit the radio tower that extended high above the roof of the buildings.  But when I got to the office, I learned quickly that I was very wrong.

Very early Wednesday morning.  It's my first airplane trip since moving to New York and I got up especially early as I was driving to the airport and parking in a lot that I had never used before.   On the way, the drawbridge was up and sitting there, with my sunroof open, I looked up at the pitch-black sky with a relatively new moon and it's North Star companion (how many miles separate them?) proudly announcing their presence.  Out my window, looking at the far off City of New York I saw a single beacon of light emminating from what I believe must have been the site of the former World Trade Center, reaching up to the sky, seemingly to touch the hands of those who were taken away so abruptly 11 years ago and letting them know they had not been forgotten. 

Yesterday I hosted the first of three Breakfast Briefings for Real Capital Analytics (RCA) in Los Angeles (in a few hours the event in San Francisco will begin). It was very-well attended by a cross-section of LA area real estate executives and research professionals.  Special guest Lee Menifee, Head of Research at American Realty Advisors, provided some terrific insight into how they use various data tools in determining investment strategy and underwriting individual and/or portfolio deals.  A lively collaboration amongst Lee and members of the audience offered a window into current thinking and philosophy of real estate investing.  There is nothing better than people getting together, in a nurturing environment, and talking openly with each other about, well, things.  

It's intriguing.  So many people changing jobs or starting their own firms?  One very good thing I heard from a leading industry executive recruiter is activity in the hiring to fill junior positions.  But we also agreed that there doesn't seem to be any real pattern in what's going on.  Some of the moves may represent 'the time' decisions when someone says to themselves, "This is the time for me to do something entrepreneurial or different in my life" or "This is the time for me to make a big change."  Perhaps the latter is a change from a company the person has been with for many years and wants to see 'what's out there.'  We've all seen people leave companies, only to return a short time later.  And, while there's a theory that sometimes you have to leave a company and then return to be able to significantly elevate your position, any job/career move contains some degree of uncertainty.  If we only had some of the same analytical tools in making real estate investment decisions available to us when we're making life decisions.  Or maybe that really is what the "Magic 8 Ball" is for!

The Felix Consulting Group (FCG)update:  
After spending most of August being rather than doing I have come up with a very clear, simple and focused menu of service offerings.  FCG's "Collective of Experts in Real Estate" is growing giving us the ability to match up our serious experience with your needs.  I have been getting wonderful feedback from my clients and terrific encouragement from everyone.  Please check out the website

Great store of the week:  The Ink Pad, 37 Seventh Avenue @ 13th Street, New York.  A truly unique store especially if you're looking for a thoughtful, fun and different gift for someone.

I've been listening to Jackson Browne's "Late for the Sky" for a long time but just recently his lyrics have struck a personal nerve.

The words had all been spoken
And somehow the feeling still wasn't right
And still we continued on through the night
Tracing our steps from the beginning
Until they vanished into the air
Trying to understand how our lives had led us there

Looking hard into your eyes

The was nobody I'd ever known
Such an empty surprise 
To feel so alone

Now for me some words come easy
But I know that they don't mean that much
Compared with the things that are said when lovers touch
You never knew what I loved in you
I don't know what you loved in me
Maybe the picture of somebody you were hoping I might be

Awake again, I can't pretend, and I know I'm alone a
nd close to the end of the feeling we've known
How long have I been sleeping
How long have I been drifting alone through the night
How long have I been dreaming I could make it right
If I closed my eyes and tried with all my might
To be the one you need

Awake again, I can't pretend, and I know I'm alone and close to the end of the feeling we've known 

How long have I been sleeping
How long have I been drifting alone through the night
How long have I been running for that morning flight
Through the whispered promises and the changing light
Of the bed where we both lie
Late for the sky

Marvelous exhibition:   Who Shot Rock & Roll:  A Photographic History, 1955 to the Present.  Annenberg Space for Photography, 2000 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles, CA (Make sure to catch the film while you're there).  Open through October 21, 2012.

Concert of the week:  Well, it's not like I get to one every week or anything like that but via a confluence of serendipitousness on Wednesday night I got to see The Dave Matthews Band at the legendary (The Beatles performed there) Hollywood Bowl.  They are a really good band.  The "Bowl" is a unique venue and, thanks to my good friend, real estate dude and Renaissance man, Jerry Katell, I  was sitting in some very splendid seats.  Dave Matthews and his band, which is really what it is, are a tight unit.  Dave is a great singer and songwriter but what I saw that impressed me most was his leadership and encouragement of his bandmates.  Most importantly, they were all having fun; so important in all our lives, perhaps more than ever.  Thanks Jerry.  

On the road...
Sept. 21:  Boston to host the RCA (Real Capital Analytics) Breakfast briefing:  Special guest panelists:  Mike Acton, Director of Research for AEW and Josh Scoville, Senior Vice President-Research at Hines.
Oct. 14-16:  Chicago to attend and moderate a panel at NAREIM's Fall Executive Meetings.
Oct. 17:  DePaul University, Chicago to deliver my "Real Estate Careers:  Connecting the Dots" keynote to students in their real estate program.
Oct. 18:  University of Chicago-Booth School of business for the "Real Estate Careers...Connecting the Dots" discussion.
Oct. 22-24:  Los Angeles for PREA's 22nd Annual Investor Real Estate Conference
Oct. 25-26:  Amsterdam to attend and moderate a panel at PERE's Global Investor Forum
Nov. 7:  Washington, DC-Johns Hopkins University for my "Careers....Connecting the Dots" talk.
Nov. 8-9:  New York to attend and chair one of the days at the PERE Summit.

The Dave Matthews Band, LA, Sept 12, 2012

Blog Archive