Saturday, January 4, 2014

SNOW DAY! / A Day in the Life of an LP


Blizzard conditions were forecast for a good part of the nation on Friday. And this time the weather team was right.  Beginning Thursday night, New York City was blasted with 6-8 inches of snow.  In some places, like Chicago, that would be considered a dusting and everything would be sort of normal.  But in New York the impact was felt in many corners…with school closings, mass transit delays, companies either opening late or simply not opening at all for the day. I heard from friends who were so excited that their office was closed and they could simply stay home and stay warm.  Flights were cancelled at JFK due to ZERO visibility.

It was bitter cold yesterday morning…8 degrees…. and windy.  I ventured the two blocks to see Central Park in all its snow-covered splendor.  The park was full of people, as if it was a warm summer day.  As you can see in the photo below, I was attacked by someone who was able to mold a snowball even though the white stuff was very powdery - I managed to escape with only a tattoo of snow on my coat.

After a late-morning breakfast at a diner I saw a movie.  The brief description of Nebraska was enough to grab my attention.  The theatre was relatively empty, the previews of reasonable length (i.e. four vs. 12 at another theatre last week) and the freshly popped popcorn not too salty.   Nebraska is a beautiful movie based on a sensitive story.  I loved it.  

Leaving the theatre, the temperature had reached a balmy 18 degrees but the winds made if feel like below zero.  It was great to take advantage of the weather, slowing the city down, reducing crowds and traffic and experiencing an urban winter wonderland.  In some ways it made me feel like a kid again.
It was, as some call out while raising both hands high in the air, a SNOW DAY!!! 

SNOW DAY in Central Park, New York 

A Day in the Life of an LP

Last year I created then moderated a panel for IMN (Information Management Network) called “A Day in the Life of an LP.”  During this session senior investment professionals from public pension funds and endowments spoke candidly about a typical day at work.  The audience was a mixture of experienced capital raisers and executives from firms thinking about raising institutional capital for the first time.

I’ve included below some of the key points made during that panel. You might find this interesting and helpful as I know some real estate managers are preparing to hit the road early in 2014.  Keep these items in mind as you set up meetings to introduce new funds or other types of real estate investment opportunities:
  1. Don’t you know what ‘no’ means??  If you approach an investor with an opportunity on, let’s say, January 16th and they say that it doesn’t fit with their current investment strategy, don’t reach out to them again in February and ask them the same thing.
  2. Keep it short and simple.  When communicating, by email or phone, keep your message to an overview of the opportunity you’re offering.  Don’t go into detail unless asked.  
  3. Ask someone how he or she likes being communicated with.  If you ask a reasonable question you’ll get a reasonable answer.  Finding out the preferred method of communication, and what they’d like to hear from you, will make it easier for you to get one step closer to the desired result.
  4. Put yourself in the seat of the LP.  Appreciate that pension funds, endowments, foundations, family offices, rich people, very rich people, sovereign wealth funds and consultants are virtually inundated with emails and calls from people just like you who want to get some of their time.  Think about what the inbox of someone on that side of the fence looks like every day and what fills their voicemail.  Put yourself in their shoes, and it will help you begin to build a relationship.
If you are a real estate operating company, who has a compelling story and visions of raising institutional capital, please be patient - it takes time to build trust. Be mindful of what a day in the life of an LP is like.  They will remember you in a positive way.

On The Road...

Jan. 7 – 9:  Emerging Managers Conference, Austin, TX

Jan. 13:  Behavioral Presentation Coaching Workshop, Greenwich, CT

Jan. 15 – 16:  New business development meetings, Washington, DC

Jan. 22 - 24, 2014:  IMN (Information Management Network) Winter Forum on Opportunity and Private Fund Investing, Laguna Beach, CA

Mar. 11 - 14: MIPIM, Cannes, France

May 16:  Annual meeting of The Hoyt Fellows, North Palm Beach, FL

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