Friday, October 5, 2012

PREA Conference / Special NY Event/ Mentorship Interview Series

"Business has always suffered from the problem of the urgent driving out the important."
The Korn Ferry Institute Briefings 

We're coming up to the 20th Annual PREA Investor  Real Estate Conference in Los Angeles on Oct. 22-24.  I've been attending PREA events since 1995 and over the years have gotten to know a number of the "regulars."  But what has been terrific is the number of new people that I've met over the years that have become industry friends and clients. In my coaching sessions about "How to Raise Institutional Capital," one of the things I suggest is which industry events to attend.  PREA fall and spring events are really 'must-attend.'  Sure, it's not going to be like going to "Cheers," where everybody knows your name, but you gotta start somewhere.  Also, you'll leave there knowing a lot more about how the pension funds and other institutional investors are thinking about real estate today.  And, for that reason alone it's worth going.  Hope to see you there.

We are way beyond the time where you can ask an audience to not use their "devices" during a presentation.  They just will not stop.  But what you can do is elevate the relevance and impact of any panel, keynote, etc. so that the audience wants to pay attention because if they don't they'll miss a good-to-great takeaway.  The Felix Consulting Group offers Event Enhancement services to help improve the attendee experience of any type event, especially annual investor conferences.  Pre-event strategy, content and people coaching and post-event "Report Card" (what went well and what could be done better next time) may be something you and I should talk about.

Some things I heard this week:  
  • "Be nimble.'  Getting deals done is more complicated than ever."
  • "Acceptance that things aren't going to change or get better is one of the things driving commercial real estate transactions". 
  • "Development is back."
  • "There is a good opportunity to buy assets at deep discount to replacement cost."
  • "Some institutional investors are willing to give up return to cap leverage."
  • Co-investment:  "It's funny.  We have investors that negotiate co-investment rights in their fund documents and then when we bring them a deal they say 'We're not set up for that.'  
  • Club deals:  "We have to worry about creating 'Kumbaya' amongst the members of the club.
  • "Social unrest is a huge risk in the world today.  It's not about keeping it down it's about understanding why they are angry."

Mentorship:  I've started lining up the first interviewees for my Commercial Real Estate Mentorship Interview and will begin publishing those interviews before the end of the year.  Yesterday, I had lunch with the guy that was my first mentor in the real estate industry, Dick Steinberg.  I worked for Dick at Mall Properties which is the diversified real estate developer/owner/operator owned by Mort Olshan.  Dick taught me a lot; about dealing fairly with tenants, about negotiating deals and about how to evaluate a deal that seemed 'too good to be true."    He has also been a friend and confident for many years.  My mentorship program is designed to help people connect and perhaps begin a mentor/mentee relationship like the one Dick and I have enjoyed for a long, long time.  Also, in the coming months I'll be announcing the launch of a series of special events built around this passion of mine.  Stay tuned!

Special Event:  New York Drink Thing/Nov. 8 (the night in-between the two days of the PERE Forum in NY).  A bunch of industry friends will gather together for a drink (buy your own but I supply the famous Joe G pizza!).  Hope to see you there.  Bring an friend!

When:  November 8, 2012
Time:    Starting from 6:30pm
Where:  Joe G Restaurant 
              244 W. 56th (bet. B'way and 8th/ downstairs at the DaVinci Hotel).

Passion and enthusiasm is what differentiates people who make presentations, give speeches, etc.  The other night, I had a chance to hear Professor Bill Wheaton, MIT Department of Economics and Urban Studies and Planning and, who along with Ray Torto, founded what is now called CBRE Econometrics.  Bill is so darn passionate about what he talks about, it's contagious.   


  • Met Life is looking for a senior person to assist with Research responsibilities as well as oversee Valuations.  Here's the link.
  • British Columbia Investment Management Corporation is looking for a Director of Real Estate Strategy and Research to build in-house capabilities.  Here's the link.

Thanks to all of you who have wished-me-well and those who have welcomed me to New York.  Having grown up here, it feels like home.  I'm comfortable with the city and the people.  Having friends who care about me is a special thing. I printed out this 'poster' called The Holstee Manifesto" and read it every morning before I leave the apartment.  It's such a great thing that, even though I may have already shared it with you,  please indulge me:

This is your LIFE.  Do what you love and do it often.  If you don't like something, change it.  If you don't like your job, quit.  If you don't have enough time, stop watching TV.  If you are looking for the love of your life, stop; they will be waiting for you when you start doing things you love.  Stop over-analyzing.  Life is simple. All emotions are beautiful.  When you eat, appreciate every last bite.  Open your mind, arms and heart to new things and people, we are united in our differences.  Ask the next person you see what their passion is, and share your inspiring dream with them.  Travel often; getting lost will help you find yourself.  Some opportunities only come once, seize them.  Life is about the people you meet and the things you create with them.  So go out and start creating.  Life is short.  Live your dream and wear your passion.  

On the road....

Oct. 9:  The Bitter End, New York to see Shannon Corey (I met here a number of years back when I bought a Yamaha digital piano from her off Craig's list.  She's a really talented singer/songwriter)
Oct. 14-16:  Chicago to attend and moderate a panel at the NAREIM Fall Executive Meetings.
Oct. 17:  DePaul University, Chicago for a keynote I call: Careers in Real Estate-Connecting the Dots
Oct. 18:  The University of Chicago for my "Careers...." keynote
Oct. 21-24:  Los Angeles for the PREA Conference
Oct. 25-26:  Amsterdam to attend and moderate a panel at the PERE Global Investor Forum
Nov. 7:  Washington, DC for my "Careers...." keynote at Johns Hopkins University
Nov. 8-9:  New York for the PERE Summit where I'll both moderate a panel and serve as the Chair for Day 2.
Nov. 8:  The Felix Consulting Group "Drink Thing."  Please join me and a bunch of your industry friends for a 'buy-your-own drink' get-together (I will supply the famous Joe G pizza).  Joe G Restaurant, 244 W. 56th Street (Bet. B'way and 8th)...downstairs in the DaVinci Hotel.

Steve Felix
Managing Partner
The Felix Consulting Group
A Global Collective of Experts in Real Estate

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