Sunday, January 22, 2017

IMN Conference - Laguna Beach California / Felix Weiner Professional Development Workshops - in a city near you

This past week IMN attracted more than 900 commercial real estate professionals to their Opportunity and Private Real Estate Investing Forum in Laguna Beach, CA. Liz and I were fortunate to be invited to attend and also got to run our eighteenth Women’s Leadership Workshop – exclusively for women in the commercial / institutional real estate industry.
It always nice visiting with some long-time industry friends some whom I only get to see once a year – at this event.  And that’s terrific.  
Although, the great thing for me is meeting new people - and that was the case at IMN.   
The word 'networking' is thrown around a lot. I don’t know about you but I’m a little tired of hearing the word ‘networking.’  To me it minimalizes the underlying theme – people meeting people, understanding people and perhaps starting what will develop into a business relationship (and even sometimes a true friendship). 
This IMN Event is one of a series of three similar events that IMN runs annually.  The next one is June 25-27 in Newport, Rhode Island.  I’ve just been invited to conduct one of my signature panels, “A Day in the Life of an LP” in Newport. For the panel I invite four of my pension fund friends and they talk candidly about things such as how they like to be communicated with (and how not to), what they look for in a new real estate manager / partner, etc.  I haven’t been to Newport in many years – it’s a beautiful area and I’m totally looking forward to it.  I encourage you to check out that event. 
Some takeaways from the Laguna conference…
  • Surprisingly, there were only a few comments about how the new U.S. administration will impact the commercial real estate industry (even though the forum was competing with the inauguration the main session room was full. What does that say?)  Clearly, none of us knows anything for sure about what President Trump will do.
  • Still a lot of money chasing deals – Competition getting hotter and hotter in the lending world with more players seeing the opportunity of providing capital in ‘The Stack.’
  • "We're at at true inflection point in the debt market area."
  • "Investors are interested in shorter duration fund life - 1 to 3 years and out in no more than 5."

I learned about a way that companies in California can get reimbursed by the state for training that their employees engage in (apparently it’s been an under-the-radar thing).
Also spent some time with my friends Michael Dombai of Courtland Capital Market Services and Ron Kaplan of Cohn Reznick.  Ron offered me some great advice on how to market our workshops.
Had an interesting conversation with someone from a company that sells private jets who told me that if you fly more than 250 hours a year, your company should consider buying their own plane.  The rep mentioned the risk of using ‘time-share’ jets regarding the condition of the plane, maintenance, etc. 
Met some terrific rising stars eagerly looking for opportunities in the industry.  Our industry continues to be very competitive at the entry level. Offering to be an intern (paid or unpaid) still sounds like a great way to get into a company, get some experience and, who knows, if you do a good job and are a good fit they may find a job for you.  It’s not easy out there and we have an opportunity to reach out to help the next generation of commercial real estate professionals begin or further their careers.
Note on internships:  If your firm is looking to hire one, please let me know by replying to this email so I can refer folks to you.
Some of our presentation coaching clients were panelists - Liz and I were so proud of them – they all did a great job!
The weather in Laguna Beach was crazy – almost hurricane-like on Thursday.  With that comes a certain beauty, the ocean waves crashing over the rocks (one of my favorite things to see), the palm trees bending to the wind and the sound of the rain on the roof.  California’s beaches are all public access and the pathways on that section, between the Montage Resort and the ocean are beautiful, winding pathways with lush local vegetation (although I don’t think any of it is edible!).  You’re able to walk down about 40 steps to the beach itself.  I did this on yesterday, just before hitting the road.  I was the only one there – other than some seagulls.  It was very special.
On the Road…

Jan. 24:  Los Angeles to conduct our 19th Women’s Leadership Workshop. Women from 87 different commercial real estate industry firms have already attended one of our workshops.  Click here for information and registration. 4 hours / $479
Jan. 26: San Francisco to conduct our 20th Women’s Leadership Workshop. Click here for information and registration. 4 hours / $479
Jan. 27: San Francisco to conduct our Behavioral Presentation Coaching Workshop.  Attendance is limited to 6 people.  Click here for information and registration. 4 hours / $679
Jan. 27 - 31:  Napa, CA

Feb. 1 – 3: Vancouver, Canada

Feb. 5 - 10: London, UK
       Feb. 8: London, to conduct our Behavioral Presentation Coaching Workshop. Attendance is limited to 6 people.  Click here for information and registration. 

       Feb. 10: Conducting our 21st Women’s Leadership Workshop. Clickhere for information and registration.

Feb. 16 – 17: Chapel Hill, NC to serve as a judge at the University of North Carolina – Keenan Flagler Real Estate Development Case Competition.

Feb. 20 - 24: New York City

Feb. 21: NYC to conduct our Behavioral Presentation Coaching Workshop. Click here for information and registration. 4 hours / $679

Feb. 22: NYC to conduct our Moderator & Panelist Coaching Workshop (the day before the PREA conference). Click here for information and registration. 4 hours / $679

Feb. 24: NYC to conduct our 22nd Women’s Leadership Workshop. Click here for information and registration. 4 hours / $479

Mar. 1 - 2: San Diego to attend the NAREIM Executive Officers Spring Meeting
Mar. 4 - 8: New York City
Mar. 9 - 11:  Dallas
Waves, Laguna Beach, CA

Cool rock formation, Laguna Beach, CA

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