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Make Wednesday at ICSC RECon Great Again

 30th April 2017    David_Perlmutter

image-1-4I’m a man on a mission, and that mission is to make Wednesday at ICSC RECon great again.* Companies spend big bucks at RECon to exhibit and send their personnel to attend. The marginal cost of making Wednesday a worthwhile day to attend is really negligible compared to the sunk costs of exhibiting. I am not here to bash ICSC. I really think that it is a terrific organization, with a great staff and dedicated member volunteers. My goal is to exhort the leadership and its members to rethink the last day of its biggest event of the year.

My companies, Perlmutter Properties and QuantumListing share a booth, S246 S Street in the South Hall, with Benbrooke Realty Investment Company and Gladstone Development Corp. I’ve always been able to get something out of Wednesday at RECon, but compared to the first two days, it just isn’t the same. As a result, with the help of Brian Donovan of Donovan Real Estate Services, we are trying to organize a speaker series at our booth. Here are a couple of the emails I’ve been sending out to prospective speakers.

“I left you a message on Friday. Not sure if you will still be at RECon on Wednesday, but I’m organizing a speaker series in my booth and would love it if you had a half hour to participate on Wednesday morning. So far, we have Pam Flora, Director of Retail Research at CushWake and Chuck Dietz, the architect, and Mike McClure of Ad Art Signs. Hoping to get one or more of the Seritage redevelopers, and will hopefully hear on Monday from them, a supermarket guy, someone on sustainability, financing, etc.
Lets Get Smart

#LetsGetSmart at ICSC RECon

 28th April 2017    David_Perlmutter
Lets Get Smart

I always wanted a shoe phone!

The following is an email I sent to Linda Day Harrison from The Broker List, Mike Westgate from RealMassive, Ewa Baska from Buildout, Michael Lagazo from SVN, Lindsey Imperatore from The News Funnel and Julie Augustyn of Foundry Commercial, who as a collective are organizing the #LetsGetSocial Meet Up at the Aria Sports Bar on May 21 at 5:00 pm.

Hi everyone,

I am working on another idea for ICSC, but this one is for Wednesday. For any of you that have stuck around, you know Wednesday is a stark contrast to the first two days of RECon. I wrote a blog post which discusses this: What’s Wrong with ICSC RECon?
Last year, a broker friend of mine, Brian Donovan, decided to try to do something a little different. I’ve talked about this with Linda and Ewa a little bit. ICSC does not have any programming scheduled for Wednesday. Brian and I decided to take matters into our own hands, and try to have some speakers and discussions in my booth (S246 S Street in the South Hall). We’ve already lined up Pam Flora, Director of Retail Research from CushWake who has tentatively agreed to participate, architect Chuck Dietz and sign guy Mike McClure signed up to discuss trends in retail architecture and signage, and I’m waiting to get confirmation from Brad Umansky of Progressive Real Estate Partners to talk, probably about investment sales. If you read the blog post, I extended an open invitation to the ICSC President and Chairman. I followed that up with emails to both but have not heard back. Will be calling them today! (***UPDATE*** Heard back from both Liz and Tom. Liz will be one of our speakers.)
If any of you have Leasing Mall credentials and want to give a presentation or lead a discussion on a topic of your choosing, I would love to have you participate.
Because the Marketplace badges don’t work for the Leasing Mall, it makes things a bit more complicated, but upon further reflection, we can maybe make some lemonade out of those lemons. What if we SXSW’ified this concept? We can have events happening in more than one location on Wednesday! Events could be Facebook Lived or Periscoped or something else from one site to the other (wifi permitting).
Since we had #LetsGetSocial and the Letsgetsocial.info website, I thought we might ride those coattails by calling Wednesday’s events #Letsgetsmart (plus that was one of my favorite tv shows as a kid!). Just got the Letsgetsmart.info domain and will set that up.
This group has done such an incredible job with #Letsgetsocial so I would love it if you wanted to participate on this. I have no idea what kind of turnout to expect given the nature of Wednesday, but it doesn’t need to be big to be good, and the impact that this has on ICSC could over time become significant. I am really excited about this.
BTW, since we don’t have audiovisual equipment at my booth, I am suggesting that any of the speakers that want to have a slide deck send it to me in advance. We can upload it to the website and have participants follow along on their smartphones or tablets.
I would love to hear your thoughts. We don’t have much time, but if we rightsize expectations for this year and let it grow organically over time, I think we can do something great.
David
***End of Email***
#LetsGetSmart now has its own website: www.letsgetsmart.info – be sure to visit for the latest updates on speakers and schedule!
If you would like to participate as either a speaker or participant at #LetsGetSmart, please fill out this form:

Related :
What's wrong with ICSC RECon?

UPDATED: What’s Wrong with ICSC RECon?

 26th April 2017    David_Perlmutter

wutWhat’s wrong with ICSC RECon? In a word, it’s Wednesday.  ***PLEASE READ THE UPDATE BELOW***

I’ve been attending RECon since the late 1980s, way before it was called RECon. Back then, you were still able to have a full schedule on the final day of the ICSC National Deal Making. Over the years as the industry and its economics changed, attendees were more intent on leaving on the final day then booking a full schedule of meetings. However, if you have a booth, you are required to have it manned until the show is over. One recent year, on the final morning of the show, I stopped by the company booth of the then ICSC Chairman  to suggest that the ICSC form a task force to study how to make this last day more productive. When I asked to see him, I learned that he had already left Las Vegas. This guy was the Chairman of the organization, and even he skipped out on Wednesday!

If you look at the official schedule for RECon for Monday and Tuesday, there are several programs scheduled for each day. Even Sunday has a full schedule. Wednesday’s schedule is barren. The only thing on it is the Leasing Mall/Marketplace Mall/SPREE RECon. They’re not even playing reruns of the earlier events. It’s really easy to do things the same way year after year because that’s the way you’ve always done things. But why not change? We’re a dynamic industry with an unlimited number of bright, energetic and creative people. Is our organization doing the best that can be done for its biggest event of the year?

I have some ideas on how the ICSC could change things up for the benefit of the exhibitors. For starters, why not let the people from the Marketplace Mall into the Leasing Mall on Wednesday? Why not let anyone who wants to come in to the Leasing Mall in on Wednesday for a substantially reduced price, or even for free? Is the worry that people will just go to parties on Monday and Tuesday so that they can slide in on Wednesday on the cheap? I dare the ICSC to try it. With all of the talent at ICSC headquarters and within the ranks of its membership, I have no doubt that a better way to do Wednesday can be found to benefit all of the exhibitors and attendees that collectively pour millions of dollars into RECon and the ICSC’s coffers.

Personally, I enjoy Wednesday at RECon. On Monday and Tuesday, we’re all rushing from meeting to meeting. With meetings scheduled every thirty minutes, it can be pretty hectic. On Wednesday, assuming you can find the people you want to talk to, you have an opportunity to have a more substantial conversation and build relationships. I visit the booths that I haven’t had the chance to in the first couple of days and catch up with friends and colleagues. At our booth at S246 S Street in the South Hall, I invite people to the booth to hang out and pass the time, and some great discussions have ensued.

Given the absence of leadership by the ICSC on successfully addressing the Wednesday problem at RECon, I’ve decided to do my own small part to make Wednesday a meaningful part of the convention. Last year, Mike McClure of Ad Art Signs and Chuck Dietz of Dietz Associates both ended up at my booth at the same time late Wednesday morning and we ended up having a great discussion about trends in sign design and retail architecture. Brian Donovan of Donovan Real Estate Services also participated. This inspired Brian and me to start a speaker series at the booth. It looks like Cushman & Wakefield’s Director of Retail Research, Pam Flora will be a headliner. The aforementioned Chuck and Mike will be among the featured speakers. We’ll have more details about the schedule soon. If you would like to attend or be one of our speakers, please fill out this form. Space is limited. And consider this an open invitation to ICSC President Tom McGee or Chairman Elizabeth Holland, or whoever is elected in May as the next Chairman to speak on Wednesday at S246 S Street in the South Hall!

***UPDATE***

Liz Holland, Chairman of ICSC 2016-2017 accepted our invitation and will be one of our featured speakers at our Lets Get Smart Speaker Series on Wednesday, May 24, 2017 from 9:00am to 1:00pm at Booth S246 S Street. Additionally, ICSC President Tom McGee replied within 24 hours of getting my email, saying he was unable to speak at Lets Get Smart, but would be happy to speak with me after we get back from RECon. Kudos to Liz and Tom for being responsive and open. It is greatly appreciated.

In fact, since I wrote the initial version of this blog post, I was really blown away by the generosity of several of our industry leaders to give up a chunk of their time on Wednesday to speak. It took less than a week to fill up the four hours for this event. I think that almost everyone that attends RECon agrees that it is a worthwhile use of our time, that’s why we keep showing up year after year (I think  this is my 30th consecutive year). Adding value to Wednesday at RECon is our attempt, in Shakespeare’s words, “to gild refined gold, to paint the lily, to throw a perfume on the violet, to smooth the ice, or add another hue unto the rainbow, or with taper-light to seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish.”  

I hope to see you Wednesday. Lets gild some gold!

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The Broker List

Expand Your Network with The Broker List

 21st April 2017    David_Perlmutter

tbl logoWhen you start a new business, you need to expand your network. Early on, someone pointed me in the direction of The Broker List. According to the website, it is “The CRE Community’s First FREE Online Platform for Finding Brokers, Deals, Services and Vendors.” The Broker List and its founder, Linda Day Harrison, are among the great unsung resources in commercial real estate. There are approximately 5500 registered users on the site. It is an incredible tool to expand your network if you are looking for commercial real estate resources anywhere in the country.

Don’t let the name fool you, though. The Broker List is much more than just a list of brokers. It has a panoply of resources available to its users. If you are in commercial real estate and are not a member of The Broker List, join. You don’t always know  where your next deal is coming from, and it as likely coming from someone you haven’t met yet as it is coming from someone you know. There is no downside to expanding your network.

And, if that’s not enough of a reason to join The Broker List, consider some of the other features the site offers for free. You can post your listings and your requirements, and TBL will broadcast them to your market for free. If you are a real estate blogger, they’ll syndicate your content for you. Every member of TBL gets their own RSS feed. You also get periodic digests of Haves and Wants in your market.

At the center of it all, though, is Linda. If you want to know who you should know in a particular market for a particular asset class, Linda will help, and incredibly, asks nothing in return. In her orbit, there are no competitors, only colleagues. Linda is the rare person that not only knows that the high tide lifts all boats, but also provides the full moon to make the high tide even higher. She personally vets all of the marketplace advertisers on her site, and if your company does not pass her smell test, you’re not getting on. Linda and The Broker List also oversee a monthly real estate tech founders call. Each month serves up a new topic of interest and lively discussion.

One of the other neat things The Broker List has put together is The DNA of CRE Survey, which is done in conjunction with Buildout. The survey has now been done twice, and is rapidly becoming a touchstone for the industry to take a good look at itself. Infographics and raw data are generously provided for all of us to examine what makes us tick as an industry.

One of the important findings of the survey is the importance of relationships in dealmaking. As a result, last year The Broker List  andQuantumListing cooked up the first #LetsGetSocial Meet Up to coincide with ICSC RECon in Las Vegas. It was held at the Aria Sports Bar on the Sunday before RECon gets into full swing. On pretty short notice, we had about 60 attendees. In true Linda fashion, she engaged her network and expanded the hosts from just the two companies to include Buildout, RealMassive, and Julie Augustyn who was then with Office Depot and now Foundry Commercial (sorry if I’ve forgotten anyone!). This year, the host roster includes all of the previous participants plus The News Funnel and Michael Lagazo of SVN. We’ll be convening at 5:00 pm on May 21st at the Sports Bar at Aria. It’s a cash bar, but play your cards right and someone might buy you a drink! RSVP if you want a name tag by filling out THIS FORM.

And thank you to The Broker List and Linda, for all that you have done for me, QuantumListing, Perlmutter Properties and the entire commercial real estate community.

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QuantumListing Serves Your Listings to Your Website

 20th April 2017    David_Perlmutter

Did you know that mobile-friendly QuantumListing serves your listings to your website, and its at no extra cost? Once you’re a Premium Member ($79.99/year for Individual Users, $899.99/yr for Enterprise Users) and have added your listings to QuantumListing, there are a couple of easy ways to do add your listings to your site.

The simplest way is to link your Account page to the menu bar at the top of your website. This is a “set it and forget it” solution. The Account page is your home base on QuantumListing. It is where you go to add, edit and delete your listings. There are several other features on your account page, but we’ll focus on the listings for now.  Listings appear on your Account page in the order that you added them, with the newest at the top.

dresRochester, NY’s Donovan Real Estate Services has a link at the top of their menu bar that sends users to their account page on QuantumListing.  When they add, edit or delete a listing, they don’t have to worry about making changes on their listing service and on their website because the pages are one and the same.  When you click on their Listings link, it takes you to their Account page on QuantumListing. I liked this solution so much that I did the same thing on the Perlmutter Properties website!

Recckio Real Estate in Buffalo, NY took a different approach. You don’t click directly from their menu bar to QuantumListing. Instead, they have a Search Properties link. When you click on that, you see a few featured properties, and then there is a button to go to see all of their listings on their account page at QuantumListing.

The QuantumListing sharing widget is another option for serving your listings to your website available for those of you willing to do a little bit more work. The sharing widget generates a snippet of code that you can embed on your website to serve your listings. You can customize the colors to emulate the look of your website. It also allows you to choose which listings are shared and in what order. You can generate more than one snippet, giving you lots of flexibility and options on how you deploy your listings on your website. For instance, you could have a page on your website for each asset class, or a page each of for sale and for lease listings. You can also select listings to illustrate a blog post, too. Here’s an example of how I did that on the Perlmutter Properties Blog.

Personally, I love it when I look at Google Analytics and see that users are being referred to QuantumListing.com from other sites. It’s free marketing. The toughest part of a start up is user acquisition. If other users can help generate the traffic to our site at no additional cost to them or us, it is a win/win solution. We’re all creatures of habit, and admittedly for most commercial real estate searchers, QuantumListing is not the habitual site they are first going to today for their commercial real estate search. As more users adopt QuantumListing for its mobile-friendliness, it’s ever expanding and improving array of features, and as a high quality, low cost alternative, we’ll gradually change the habits of the commercial real estate industry. Delivering your listings to your site at no extra cost to you is a great way we can work together to change those habits. Give it a try.

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QuantumListing is the new crowd-sourced real estate listing platform for commercial real estate agents, owner and tenants