Friday, November 7, 2014

An open letter to CRE Tech Intersect founder Pierce Neinken.

Hello Pierce.
I am still feeling energized today…the morning after your terrific CRE Tech Intersect event in New York last night.  I truly appreciate you inviting me to attend. 

Walking off the elevator brought me back to the first CRE Technology Event in 1996.  Peter Pike, one of the earliest industry champions of technology and ‘bloggers’, organized it.  At that event, there were only 6 exhibitors (I was one of them) – vs. the 52 present last night. 

The electricity in the room was evident, from the start until the end.  I had such a great time, learning about so many brand new - just out of the garage - as it were, CRE tech firms.  And seeing some companies that have been around much longer. 

While most of your attendees were under 40 (dare I guess under 30??) there was a nice sprinkling of industry veterans.  Unexpectedly running into Larry Sousa, who is an advisor to Monetarex; chatting with Doug Curry of Xceliegnt; hanging out with Bob White of RCA and Demetrios Louziotis of Pavonis Group (who were exhibiting two of their companies, PIX and RealNex) added to my experience.

Just like CREOL (Commercial Real Estate Online), the start-up shopping center data company I worked for, a number of the exhibitors have launched in the New York City market, with plans to go nationwide and even global. For an industry that, in the opinion of many, has been the slowest to adopt technology, commercial real estate professionals now have access to dozens technology services to choose from (with a few more, who have been confidentially speaking with me, coming out of the garage within the next six months). 

Pierce, your vision - along with the support of your corporate sponsors - is providing a much-needed opportunity for entrepreneurs and firms that have put their hearts and souls (and of course - cold hard cash) into a dream – it’s a beautiful thing! 

Here’s a quote which means a lot to me, directed personally to you and all those technology pioneers at CRE Tech Intersect:

“The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena – whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood…who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotion – and spends himself in a worth cause; who at best if he wins know the thrills of high achievement – and if he fails at least fails while daring greatly – so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat.” 

Being the founder of a two-year old Behavioral Presentation Coaching business (‘It’s not just WHAT you say, but HOW you say it that makes the difference'), and having launched other entrepreneurial ventures during my life, this quote means a lot to me – it’s been on my fridge door for years!  If Teddy Roosevelt had written this today, I think he  may have said ‘The credit belongs to the man and woman who is actually in the arena!’

One of the special things about your event was hearing various firms give me their ‘elevator pitch’ – some more concise and clear that others but all with passion – and getting to chat with a number of the engineers and product development people behind many of these businesses.  It’s typically the marketing and sales people that attend the tech and other industry events so it was a pleasure to hear the enthusiasm of the technical people who actually designed the product.

I look forward to catching up with you in the near future to hear your plans for CRE Tech Intersect going forward.  I admire your truly ‘grass roots’ approach, as you put it in your opening remarks, and altruistic spirit – that this event is not about making money, but about raising awareness of new technology and other tools to help those in the commercial real estate industry do their jobs more efficiently and effectively.  It’s about learning, making connections and growing.  As someone who was around during the 1960’s, this theme resonates with me.

Pierce, I hope you won’t mind me sharing the list of the companies that exhibited, for the benefit of those who missed the event last night (I also love many of the names):

Fast Office
Asset Dynamics
DMG: Information
Durst Organization
Hightower, Inc.
Property Capsule
Real Capital Analytics
Real Data Management
Standard Access
Technical Innovation

Congratulations and thanks again.


Jeff Havsy soon to join CBRE as Chief Economist – Americas

Pizza / Drink Thing

My almost annual holiday season ' Pizza / Drink Thing' (as it's come to be known) will take place on Tuesday evening, November 11.  These events have typically attracted a collegial and diverse group of commercial real estate professionals - some who know each other; others meeting for the first time.

Where:  Joe-G Restaurant
244 W. 56th Street, NYC (Columbus Circle neighborhood)
(between Broadway and 8th Avenue and downstairs in the DaVinci Hotel). 

When:  Tuesday, November 11 / 6pm - 9ish

What:  I supply the famous Joe-G pizza;
You buy your own drinks.

I look forward to seeing you there!  Bring a friend.

On the Road...

Nov. 11:  Steve's Almost Annual Pizza / Drink Thing, New York, NY (please see above for details)

Nov. 14:  James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate / Wisconsin School of Business Global Real Estate Markets Conference, New York, NY

Dec. 3:  Women's Leadership Workshop, Felix / Weiner Consulting Group, Chicago, IL

Dec. 3 - 4:  NAREIM Capital Raising and Investor Relations Meeting, Chicago, IL

Jan. 15 -16, 2015:  NAREIM Asset Management and Acquisitions Meeting, San Francisco, CA

Jan. 21 - 23:  IMN's Winter Forum on Real Estate Opportunity and Private Fund Investing, Laguna Beach, CA

Feb. 17 – 18:  NAREIM Research & Investment Management Meeting, Chicago, IL

Feb. 19 - 20:  University of North Carolina, Kenan-Flagler Real Estate Challenge, Chapel Hill, NC

Mar. 10 - 11:  National Association of Real Estate Research Professionals (ARERP) meeting, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA

Mar. 17 - 18, 2015:  NAREIM Executive Officers Spring Meeting, Miami, FL


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