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Listener Q & A #1

Episode #: 084
Listener Q & A #1

Topics: Retail trends, Q&A


Chris Ressa 0:01
This is retail retold the story of how that store ended up in your neighborhood. I’m your host, Chris ReSSA. And I invite you to join my conversation with some of the retail industry’s biggest influencers. This podcast is brought to you by DLC management. Welcome to retail retold everyone, and Happy New Year. Today’s an exciting episode. Over the last year, we received emails and social media posts asking questions on a whole host of topics. As we gain planned on the content of the show for 2021. We wanted episode one of the new year to culminate all those questions of 2020. And so we are having a listener questions episode. In this episode, I’m going to answer some listener questions in four categories, career development, retail, commercial, real estate, and leadership. This was a really fun episode to record, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do, and enjoy the show everyone. Alright, everyone, we’re gonna start the show. We’ll start the category of career development. I have four questions. I’m going to ask the question, then I’ll give our answer. And we’ll keep doing that throughout the throughout the show. So the first question comes from a student at IMS student trying to break into commercial real estate, but struggling to do so. What do you recommend? Great question. At DLC, we’re constantly trying to bring college graduates into our industry. So I love the question. I think the first thing that I would say that I don’t see enough of people communicate is that there are so many areas in commercial real estate you could go into. We often think of commercial real estate, in the buying of selling of things. But there’s so much more from a career development perspective. You could enter the title business, you could be a broker, buying and selling property, you could be a broker leasing property, you can work for an A landlord that operates properties, you can work for an institution that manages money that invests in commercial real estate, you could work on the lending side of commercial real estate, it could work in construction property management, you could end up going into the legal piece of commercial real estate. So I think when people say commercial real estate, and there are many more, I think the first thing that we need to think about is there are many different avenues. And let’s not get caught up in such a narrow thought process that there’s only one lane to go into. And then once you do that, then you should really think about really interests you what motivates you. And once you figure out that, then you start to network with people and companies who operate in that field. And that would be my recommendation. Because when you start to interview when you know, a significant amount about the field that you’re going into, and you’re passionate about that you’ve done homework on it, you set yourself up for the most success. But the first thing I would say is understand the variety and the unbelievable amount of places you can go in commercial real estate. All right, question two under career development. I have been in the business for five years. And I am wondering if I should get my CCIE AM. I was really surprised and I don’t know why. But I was surprised that there were so many questions about people getting their CCM my response to that and for those who don’t know the CCI M is certified commercial investment member. And my take on that is I am pro self education, pro education, and live in a world where constantly learning is a great thing. I don’t have my CCIE AM. However, if you want to continue to grow and learn and getting into programs where you can learn as much as you can about the business and network with other people who have the same passions as you. I think that’s a great thing. Moving right along here, question three. I keep hearing that and I’m using air quotes. I am too experienced. How do I get over that objection when I am interviewing for roles? Great question. To me, this is about of culture, and aligning yourself to interview for jobs where the culture connects with you and you connect with that culture. The reality is when people are hiring for senior roles, the the biggest keys are their leadership, their communication skills, their ability to connect with teams and work within a team and potentially build teams. And when you connect with the culture, you have all those soft skills that you’ve built over the years, you set yourself in a position to potentially overcome this objection out, be it, it is a very hard objection, I understand. But to me, it’s really about are you applying and connecting to roles where you are a cultural fit? If you do that, you’ll set yourself up for a higher hit rate when you’re interviewing. All right, the last question under career development, question four. This one’s a little personal to me. Hey, Chris, if you were to start over and go back in time, how would you start your career? Well, for those who don’t know, my first job out of college was with Sherwin Williams company was in a corporate real estate department. If I had to go back in time, I would do it over again. I think it was a great foundation. For me personally, there are certain other places you can start. And I think there were other places I probably could have started. But I think ultimately I ended up on the same path. Because what I realized in my first role in networking with people around is where I wanted to go. And I would do it over again. And I don’t know that I would change anything about how I started. We are cruising everyone, we are cruising off to general retail. Now. That’s where the four questions are. And the first question was directed to me. Chris, do you think the pandemic has changed how consumers shop? And will the move online continue to hurt physical retail a little bit of a leading question, whoever put that one out there, and my marketing team gave these to me and I saw some from some of the listeners, I would say the following one, I think it is proven that the store is not a want, or desire, the physical store is in need. It is a need for retailers to connect with consumers to profit it is a need to provide value to consumers. And so there will be this continued symbiotic relationship between digital sales and physical retail but physical retail will grow, it will evolve. And consumer shopping habits have certainly changed. But that hasn’t stopped them from going to the store. And it’s not going to either people will continue to shop in a store. It is it provides their provides a value for near economically to consumers. It is a way for people to connect, it is the best way to solve for the last mile today for majority of physical retailers. And I think that piece continues. So that’s how to answer that question. All right, question two. What retailers do you think have managed through the pandemic best? Well, there’s a significant amount of retailers that did a fantastic job through the pandemic. Really hard to pin down a few I’ll give some things that I think the retailers who really succeeded did. One they created a safe environment for their consumers to shop. To they digitally connected with their consumers. Three, they took care of their team in no order, but the ones who did those three things really did a great job. Question three, general retail. Do you think as many malls will close as Headline News says,

Speaker 1 9:38
Wow, I appreciate the bold question. I don’t love how people are getting to the math to decide how many malls the country needs. I think there’s a lot of subjectivity that goes into that math. What I would say is the following that the include goosed mall environment does not seem to be the most optimal way in many markets, for retailers to deliver goods to consumers at a price that consumers want to pay on the luxury end seems to be doing seems to be a little more resilient on the value end, there is no doubt that providing a value to the consumer is better in an open air format. There will be malls that close how many is as much as headline news, I don’t know, our industry is pretty resilient. Our industry is able to innovate. And I think there will be some innovation, there will be malls that close a lot. But I think a lot of the retailers in those malls are figuring out how to pivot. And I think that’s exciting. All right. Last question under general retail, what happens to small business in America post pandemic? That’s a That’s a great question. Personally, I believe in the spirit of the American entrepreneur. I was moved and inspired by how many entrepreneurs and small business owners innovated, pivoted, and did what they had to do to survive, and are figuring out at a create a new future for themselves. So this is not the end of small business, I think it’s a new age of small business, and you’re gonna see entrepreneurs and small business thrive again.

Speaker 1 11:43
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Moving on to commercial real estate. The next question is, what do we expect to happen with rents and commercial real estate? I think this is a really interesting, great question. Overall, when you think of all spectrum of commercial real estate in general, I think there is very little downward pressure on rents. And it might be surprising, but I think there’s very little downward pressure. I think it’s market dependent, asset class dependent. I also think it’s construction cost dependent. People aren’t going to spend the money unless there’s a return. And so I think as we come out of the recession, you will actually see rents and commercial real estate improve and we are already seeing this in some areas and be higher than they were the end of 2019. All right, keeping going with commercial real estate, what is the biggest risk in commercial real estate? I love this question. To me, real estate is not about the real estate. Real estate is about the people behind the real estate. And to me, the biggest risk is that as people graduate college and enter the workforce, that we are not attracting the best and the brightest into our industry. If we bring in talented young people into the industry, we will be able to solve the problems of tomorrow and take advantage of the opportunities that come. So to me this question is really about not the real estate, but the people behind the real estate These questions are challenging, but I’m loving it off to number three in commercial real estate. What do you see happening to commercial real estate in big cities? Obviously cities have had their challenge throughout 2020. I don’t think this is the downfall of cities. I do believe that there is a resurgence in suburbia. And people are starting to appreciate some things maybe that they didn’t think were as valuable to them that maybe now are more valuable. But I think that major cities in America have a lot to offer. And there will be a bounce back in commercial real estate, it will take some time to pivot, repurpose some real estate. But I think overall, there will be a robot robust commercial real estate market in major cities in America. I do believe, though, that the resurgence in suburbia is here to stay, and only getting better. Last question for the commercial real estate portion. What do you think, will be the biggest changes in commercial leases on a go forward? I think the listener was talking about rent, I don’t believe that there will be wholesale changes to how rent is calculated and commercial leases. I believe the biggest changes you will see are changes that revolve in all asset classes of commercial real estate, revolve around operating covenants, what that means to other portions of the leases, I think those clauses are not going to be the same throughout. I believe there will be bespoke negotiations. At each property, no different than in past negotiations, it will be a tug and pull. But I believe that landlords and tenants will figure out solutions at each asset as it relates to this. The final category where we received a lot of questions throughout 2020. And the end of 2019 was in leadership got a couple of personal questions on leadership. But by and large, just general leadership questions. Here’s the first one. When did you know you wanted to get into leadership, Chris, I had the good fortune to have amazing role models in life. I had great coaches, bosses. And I knew that I wanted to give back because of the good fortune I had from those experiences at an early age. I also knew that I had a passion for bringing people together to solve big challenges. I loved formulating teams, and working with a team to plow through challenges. To that end, I knew at a very young age that I wanted to be in leadership. And question two in leadership, what is the biggest advice you would give someone who’s looking to become a leader in the business world, very simple. It’s not about you. Take care of the person to the left to you to the radio. So take care of the people next to you. When you’re willing to put the team first. And you help the team grow. You are becoming a leader. And when you get good at helping the team come together and bringing people together and helping people communicate and connecting with others. You will be in a position to be a fantastic leader as you grow in whatever organization you’re growing in. So take care of the person next to you. That’s my biggest advice. Hey, Chris, you have risen up the corporate ladder. What is the biggest transition you had to make when you became the Chief Operating Officer at DLC? This transition was not simple, but I think I did a good job in overcoming some challenges I had which is really moving from tactical thinking to strategic thinking. I always say pull one lever knocked down 30 pins, being strategic helping my teams do their jobs and not necessarily doing the individual job. I was pretty good if you gave me a task and non stop until I got it done. It’s not what leadership is about. One of my favorite quotes in leadership is from John Quincy Adams And it goes like this. If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more. You are a leader. All right, final question of our listener question episode is also under leadership, says, Chris, on social media, you often talk about people focusing more time on their strengths than their weaknesses. How do you know what your strengths are? It’s a good question. I heard Leah waters, who’s a psychologist in Australia, at the University of Melbourne, say this once and this was put so simply, but made so much sense. Your Strengths are one, what you’re good at, to what gives you energy. And three, what you’re self motivated to do. And if one of your skills falls into those three, it’s a strength. One of the things that resonates with me is the energy piece. There’s a lot of things that many people are good at. But it doesn’t give them energy depletes energy they had a worn out after glad that’s over, but they were good at it. They got it done. Those are learned behaviors, not inherent strengths. Focus on your strengths. One, things that you’re good at, ask people, ask your boss ask your significant other. What do you think I’m best at? What gives you energy? And what are you self motivated by?

Speaker 1 21:42
I love how that was put by Leah waters and that resonates with me. All right, that’s the end of our listener question episode, a unique episode for me reading questions from people and then answering them. It was a unique experience. Thank you so much. Remember, if you have questions, reach out to us on our email retail retold at DLC or connect with us on social media can reach out to me and follow me and hashtag rests on real estate. Go to our website, www dot DLC To learn more about us. Thank you so much. Looking forward to launching many cool episodes throughout 2021.

Ressa 22:27
Thank you for listening to retail retold. If you want to share a story about a retail real estate deal that you were a part of on our show. Please reach out to us at retail retold at DLC This show highlights the stories behind the deals from all perspectives. So it doesn’t matter if you are a retailer, broker, entrepreneur, architect or an attorney. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to retail retold so you don’t miss out on next Thursday’s episode

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