Massage Envy in Lake Success, NY with Jayson Siano
Guest: Jayson Siano
Topics: Massage Envy, real estate brokerage
Chris Ressa 0:02
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.
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Everyone, Chris ReSSA here, hope all’s well. I am down in Atlanta today working with the DLC team at the Atlanta Regional Office. And I am excited for today’s podcast. We have Jason siano joining the show. He is the founder and CEO of Sabre real estate is a social media guru and a great leader. And I’m excited for you all to hear his insights on what’s going on in the world today and talk about some real estate deals that he’s been a part of. But before I go there, I wanted to give everyone a little nugget today on how to best be the gatekeeper. This is for all those salespeople leasing people. This is for all those entrepreneurs out there that have to pick up the phone and call someone who they don’t know they’re gonna get on the other line and try to connect with the decision maker. And you got to quote unquote, and I’m doing air quotes right now, get past the gatekeeper. There’s a lot of different frameworks and a friend, the gatekeeper and all this stuff, I’m gonna give you one tidbit that will help facilitate a much more productive call with a gatekeeper. And that’s with asking open ended questions versus closed ended questions instead of saying, is the owner available saying who might be the best to person speak to about this opportunity? Instead of saying, Can I have his phone number? Which is again, ends in a yes or no when there’s a 5050 chance that you get the information you need? And you could risk? No, I might say what’s the best way for me to connect with the owner. This has paid dividends for me as I’ve dialed for a lot of dollars in my day, the ability to use language and open ended questions to help the gatekeeper facilitate a connection between you and the owner versus forcing the gatekeeper into a yes or no answer. I implore that when you’re trying and you’re truly it’s a true cold call, you don’t know who you’re gonna get, you don’t know how to get to the right person in your calling. The best way to get to the next step is not to use closed ended questions that can end the call quickly. But to ask open ended questions that give you a chance to get more productive information and help the gatekeeper facilitate a connection with you and the person on the other side. So it’s not is the owner available? Can I speak to the manager, the office manager, it’s more like who might be the best person to speak to when is the best time to get a hold of them? If you were me, how would you connect with the owner? These are much better questions, much better use of language to help you get to the next level. That’s what I got today. Everybody. Just a little a cold calling beat the gatekeeper nugget. I know it’s as old as time. That’s a little thing that’s helped me. I hope it helps you enjoy the podcast today everyone. Thanks.
So hey, everyone, welcome to retail retold today. I’m really excited. We have Jason siano who is one of the top real estate broker brokers in the New York metro area. He is the founder and CEO of CBRE real estate. They are a brand advisor to many national tenants that go into retail properties. And he is probably the top digital guy in the commercial real estate industry as it goes to producing content that we all see so welcome to the show. Really excited to have you Jason.
Jayson Siano 4:39
Thank you man I thank you for the kind intro means a lot to me and respect to you for for doing the same man stuff that you do on LinkedIn and now with your podcast is very inspiring to me and I appreciate the kind words awesome.
So Jason, tell us what’s what is Sabir? Do what you guys up to today?
Yeah. So So CBRE is a brokerage advisory company based out of New York. We have three offices in New York Metro and a bunch of different service lines, started the company with my partner Ken Breslin back at the end of 2010. So we’re approaching a decade. Somebody’s screwing up my live video because they’re calling my cell phone. So I and that will happen a lot, I’m sure through this through this podcast. So yeah, so you know, I started in in the business almost 20 years ago, which is absolutely insane. Went through a smaller boutique firm to CBRE and then ultimately wanted to start my own company, which is Sabir, today, we are focused on the traditional, you know, retail real estate brokerage business in New York Metro Metro. And we also have built a pretty strong national advisory firm that works the entire country. So you guys get,
you know, New York Metro is one of the top markets in the country, you guys see a lot of different things going on there. And plus you have this national platform for advisor what’s going on in the world today? What’s what’s going on high level what’s what are you seeing out there?
Yeah, man, you know, I’m fortunate to be able to spend a lot of time all over the place, right. So I have a unique perspective, especially for a broker and an advisor. Right? It’s rare that somebody focuses on the whole country. So for me, on a more local New York Metro level, you know, I’m seeing a lot of vacancy. I’m seeing a lot of retailers obviously, closing the last episode, I don’t know if you saw the last episode, a future proof that I put out, but I was standing in a shopping center, not far from where I grew up, just talking about, you know, the different life cycles of that center, which is always to be expected, obviously, right, there’s ebbs and flows and cycles. But you know, the main difference today is really the impact of the Amazon effect and the impact that the internet is having on retail. So I would say, you know, a lot of the traditional retailers are much more impacted. And saber is fortunate to focus a lot on different areas that are a little less affected, I would say by the Internet. Awesome.
And so what is saber, you mentioned, you guys are focused on some technology resistant tenants. And so what are you guys focused on today?
Yeah, we do a lot of work in the health and fitness, space, wellness. You know, beauty, medical cannabis is becoming pretty popular. So all of these different concepts that are now considered retail, you know, when I started in retail real estate, I’m throwing air quotes, but yeah, not watching this on video. You know, it was it was much different 20 years ago, and today, there’s so many, so many other categories that kind of fall under under retail, you know, I don’t feel like the medical, you know, sector was necessarily classified as retail, you know, back when I started in the business, but what’s interesting, you know, Sabir is a major reflection on myself. And, you know, we happen to focus on what, where I’ve always excelled, which is, you know, smaller square footage, restaurant hospitality, you know, all of these different categories that are not necessarily traditional retail. So as the world condition continues to change and evolve, you know, I like to say that the world is actually coming to us.
Very cool. So I saw I forget when it was, but Tom McGee, the, the top guy at ICSC, he put out it was an article an op ed something where he called it not retail, real estate, but consumer real estate, somewhere a consumer is going a person is going to consume something whether that’s a gym, a health care, or a restaurant, or actually take a product, but they’re consuming something they’re spending dollars and getting something in return. And that’s what it is shifted to an even OS, right? Our portfolio is definitely morphed. We all the types of uses you talk about are there and we have a considerable amount of what used to be called non retail in our centers. What I think that has done though, is the retailers that are good, and as the week are getting, you know, are going away, those retailers are getting stronger and stronger. That’s one of the things we’re seeing So when you got the guys like Ulta Beauty and TJ X and Burlington, they’re so they’re getting stronger and stronger, as you know, others might be getting weaker and weaker. So
yeah, listen, I also think that it was a lot more forgiving, you know, back in the day when there were fewer ways for people to shop. So I think, you know, today, it’s much more important to be current and differentiate yourselves as a retailer. Because you know, there’s people can, you know, just go anywhere and buy the same product, essentially. Right. So
yeah, I think that the total, the commodity business is tough. And I think that’s one of the reasons for the success of the digitally native brands, the direct to consumer. You know, one of the examples I like to give is Duluth Trading, if you’ve seen them, I like their products. I’m a shopper, I’m a fan. And I don’t believe there’s anywhere you can buy that stuff, except that on their website, in their store, or in their catalog, I don’t think they’ve wholesaled it to other channels yet. And they’ve protected their channel. And so it’s pretty differentiated, they have different unique work, where products and other stuff that you can’t get elsewhere, and you got to go to Duluth, if you’re need that type of stuff. And there’s a lot of digitally native untuckit, right, if you want a shirt that you you don’t tuck in, you got to go to either untuck its website or go to untuckit. Right. And so I think that that is a way to differentiate yourself when you have a new innovative product. And a lot of retailers or wholesalers are starting to protect their channel now, right? We saw Nike is no longer selling on Amazon, right? And they, they want you to go to them, whether that’s their website or whatever. And they they, they terminated a lot of deals with a lot of retailers that they had, obviously, they’ve kept key ones like footlocker and whatnot. But I think you’re totally spot on that you need a different you need a differentiator, you need something that makes people come the days of finding a place where there’s a hole in a market segment, you know, most segments are covered in most markets, and then just throwing product on the wall and selling it. Those days are gone. Right, that gone. That’s, that’s what’s you, as you said, easier to do. You can’t do that anymore. You better better have step up your game. It’s not that easy.
Yeah, I mean, I think you mentioned obviously untuckit I think other brands like untuckit are using the aspect of showrooming really well. Yeah, you know, only opening locations in markets that make a lot of sense for them that that have their consumer and, you know, companies like bonobos, where you go in and you try things on and you ship it directly to your house. And, you know, I think it’s as a consumer, you know, myself, you mentioned Nike, which is near and dear to
my heart. Same one of my favorite brands, the best, right, I
have an absolute sneaker addiction, it’s a major problem. who know me in any capacity understand how, how I basically wear Nike had to tell practically every day, they’re doing a great job. And they’re also, you know, working the scarcity model into it, like easy and supreme. And, you know, I’m heavy into the streetwear culture. And that’s something that has that I’ve always been involved in, you know, from young on. And I think, as that continues to get more mainstream, you’re also going to see a lot change in fashion. I think there are many people in fashion that I have the perspective that you know, the world has enough clothing, right? So you’re starting to see these clothing resellers, the the real real, and you know, other companies like that, that are doing a great job. So I think, you know, every category is getting disrupted right now, or has been getting disrupted and will continue to get disrupted. And so will our commercial real estate business, by the way?
Yeah, totally. And what Sabre been really focused on lately, what’s what’s new at Sabre, what’s like something you guys are always innovating, dude, or what’s the latest that Sabre, what do you guys up to? If you can’t tell it all give a little teaser to the world?
Yeah, no, I thank you for giving me the platform to do that. I mean, we’re, we’re, we’re somebody this morning, you know, asked me who my competition is, and as a company, right, and I sat across from them and said, You know, honestly, I don’t really view saber as having competition. Because, you know, we’re so focused on what we do. And we’re so authentic. And the culture that we’ve created over the last 10 years, is really unique. I think in the commercial real estate, brokerage and advisory space. I won’t say we’re the only ones you know, that do what we do, but we kind of stay in our own lane and don’t really pay attention to what the other companies that do what we do are doing per se and I think that’s what keeps us really unique. We’re at a point now where, you know, again, I’m truly blessed to be able to work with some of the most interesting founders and C level executives at companies and, you know, help them scale their businesses right and real estate’s a component of that, but you know, there’s so much more that goes into scaling a business. I’ve learned so much along the way in the last 20 years, and I’ve been fortunate enough to work with concepts like Chipotle in their early years and bring them to New York. My clients started Orangetheory fitness been involved with them since before they had one studio in South Florida, you know, those types of things have given me such a, just a wealth of knowledge and experience in the kind of national strategy that designing of an expansion program and using, you know, EZRI data. And then on top of that, you know, AI, intelligence and mobile GPS reporting and stuff like that to get super smart and really be able to help these companies thrive, duplicate their wins, limit their, you know, their losses. And I think that’s something that’s very unique that we’re doing, in addition to, again, the traditional New York Metro, retail, real estate brokerage and advisory work that we do.
How, give me a percentage, how much of your work is that traditional brokerage versus this advisory work that you do for brands?
Yeah, we are. Right now about I would say, about 65%, traditional brokerage, and, you know, the rest is national advisory work. And of the traditional brokerage were right up the middle of that 5050 tenant and landlord or development rep.
And so who were who were some of sabres, you know, largest clients that you guys work with?
Yeah, so, you know, we’ve repped Starbucks for the last man, it’s since 2003, I’ve been working with Starbucks done, you know, many, many, many Starbucks deals. You know, I learned the tenant rep business from Starbucks, which is that an amazing opportunity for me, you know, I used to say to people that working at 50%, with any other company, you know, people thought that you were an amazing, you know, person and can help them in a lot of ways. And, you know, Starbucks afforded me that opportunity. So they’re a company that we really, really love to work with. We’re working with on a national basis, we work with a lot of health and wellness brands, a lot of fitness companies, to name a few solid core, you know, we rolled out from, I want to say, shy of a dozen units three years ago, we just opened the 68th location last weekend in 19. States. We work with, why seven yoga, another really, really dope concept. You know, we work with Rise Nation, we work with true fusion. I’m just thinking, you know, companies that come to mind, we work nationally with squeezed massage, which is
some That’s a great name. It’s phenomenal. Right?
And yeah, you know, some of the folks from dry bar. So you know, we’re really excited about that, that company and where it’s going. And so
I think the thing that’s really fascinating to me is, how did you find these brands? Especially at the start, right? How do you find solid core before they have one or orange theory? Before they have one studio? How are you in with these guys at the incubation phase? Versus when everyone else tries to get on board? When they’ve got 300 locations? What are you doing that everyone else is
traveling the world constantly and looking for the newest, exciting thing? In addition, I will say, you know, again, being in the business for 20 years, and having built a track record of integrity, and you know, putting the client first, you know, it’s a pretty small world, and it only gets smaller. So a lot of these companies, I’m fortunate enough to be told they should reach out to me or, you know, put in contact with, I mean, more often than not, I mean, I It’s been a long time since I’ve really pitched an account. So I’m fortunate again, 20 years later to, you know, to be in that position where people are told that, you know, at a minimum they need to have a conversation with.
That’s brands, man, that’s brand right there.
Well, yeah, I’m also putting a lot into into the brand, as you know, and yeah, you know, it’s paid off.
So I’ll pivot from real estate for a second because the other thing you know, we mentioned your founder and CEO, so you’re doing brokerage and advisory, but you’re running a company. Right? You run a company and how many brokers do you have today?
We are plus or minus 25.
Wow. So you have not a small company have a you know, it’s pretty sizable company. And so if I’m a brand, right, and I’m a brand mascot, tough question, if I’m a brand Do I get JSON? Ciana you’re big, you’re doing all this stuff, I got this, do I get JSON? Or what? Or does it matter if I get JSON or not?
Yeah. So, you know, we have a team approach, which is pretty unique for a brokerage business. So the short answer is, you know, at this stage of my life, I work with very specific businesses and types of businesses, where A, it’s aligned with my, you know, the my lifestyle and, and companies that actually really want to get involved in and help make a difference. So the short answer is absolutely, for every brand that I just mentioned, I’m extremely involved, and on every phone call, and you know, it’s, it’s beyond a full time job, in addition to you pointed out that I run the company as well. So yes, most folks that are in those categories are dealing directly with me and my team that works directly with me. Now, our business is too big for me to be involved in everything. My partner, Ken Breslin is is very involved in again, the the New York Metro brokerage business. I have partners in the New Jersey brokerage business, Justin Coronis, Jimmy OG and other person has been in the business for 35 years or so that I lean on heavily. Russell Helbling, Stu fig and Gina Baxter, who’s my right hand and, you know, basically, just the CEO and helping, you know, helping the engine run smoothly, but yeah, man, I work. I work 24/7 And it’s rare that I’m not working, which is, I guess, the only way that you can achieve this type of stuff, right?
Totally, you know, you gotta you gotta, you got to be all in. If you’re not all in and, you know, you have to be all in and you have to be comfortable not knowing what all it really means. And it might mean 24/7 That’s it. I woke
up this morning with a throat so sore that I can’t swallow. I’ve been trying to go to city MD, who’s a client of ours, I’ve been trying to go to city MD the entire day have not had five minutes even think about. So like, honestly, it’s, it’s it’s a it’s a grind. I don’t have you know, I It’s insane. At this point. It’s absolutely insane. But it’s so exciting, because I feel like I’m so gracious that I have this scenario, man. Because, you know, back in the day, I used to early Sabre man, it was sleepless weeks, not sleepless nights, you know, like, the fact that I’m here playing on this level today is I feel so blessed to do it. So you know, there’s, I’m literally too blessed to be stressed, if I allow myself to be stressed. It’s the truth. Because, you know, again, I’m just fortunate that, you know, there were many times along the way that I could easily not be sitting here right now.
Yeah, there’s a, there’s a lot of moments in time where you could just pack up and walk the other way. And you just got to keep going all in and go and plow through otherwise, you’re in this business. This is really trying business. So for those people out there, whether they’re entrepreneurs in retail, whether they’re brokers, as they move up from being a one man band, to being to a place where you’re executing, but you’re also doing the strategy for running a large business. How do you what are the keys to be able to make that transition from, you know, just making some deals and transacting to now, as we said, running a business? Yeah.
So clearly, I started with, you know, as as a 1099, independent contractor with a desk and a phone and a computer. And you know, here I am today, again, fortunate to run my own company. And I will say that the most important thing is, I learned early on that you can’t be great at everything, right? So I would tell you, in my before, in my earlier years in business, I was trying to round myself out. And the things that I wasn’t good at, I was trying to get better at those things. And then later on in life, I realized the smartest thing to do is go all in on the things that you’re amazing at your superpowers as I like to call them and surround yourself with a team of people who are great at the stuff that you’re not good at. you’ll accomplish that much more. I’m a control freak. And you know, I’m I’m super involved in everything that I do. I’ve also had to learn I had to learn along the way to give up some of that control to people that are highly capable, understand how I want things because that’s the only way that you could actually grow without cloning yourself and if I could clone myself Oh, I would absolutely do it. But those are a few tips, I think for people coming up. And, and you know, there’s so many other things. But I would say you have to, you have to learn how to play well with others in the sandbox, and you have to take the stairs, you can’t take the elevator, there’s no shortcut to success in this business. And it takes a long time to establish a reputation, and it could take a very short amount of time to ruin it. So integrity is very important.
I hear that a lot from entrepreneurs that control peace as they’re growing, and they got to give up control. I think it’s part control, I think it’s also that they’ve had success, and they know what it takes to get it done. They would love for someone else to be able to just replicate it. But it’s it’s becoming trust and trusting and others, right, it’s being able to trust them, right? I think if you could go to bed 100% certain that everyone was going to do it in how you know what would get done with the integrity that it took to get it done, it would be easy to let go of control. It’s the fact that when you’re starting out, you just hired this person, you’re not really sure. And you knew how much you took to get to where you are, and one little mess up could turn it all around. And you know, especially when you’re young and growing in the business, those mess ups take years sometimes to come back from and so I hear that a lot from people all the time. So I appreciate that, you know, going all in on your strengths. And you know, bringing in people really the self awareness to bring in people to do what you’re really not good at, I think that is a that’s a strength, if you have the capacity to actually realize, you know what, this isn’t my cup of tea, I need to hire someone to do that. And until you do that you you can’t scale up. So kudos to you. And you could end the podcast right here. Because I think that’s the most sage advice we’ll probably give But moving on, you know, you have worked on, you know, I think like 100, Starbucks and a million deals, and you probably have a story of how a store ended up somewhere. But I think one of the things unique about what you guys do is you don’t bring just a store to one location, you bring brands to an entire market. And so I think that’s really interesting. And you know, do you have a story about how you brought a brand to a specific market?
Man I too many to honestly, to hone in on one of them. But I guess in order to give some context into you know, what it is that we really do, I’ll tell a story, I think people can gain gain from it. So, early days, repping Massage Envy looking to enter the suburbs of New York with the first location. You know, when we when we set out to design a strategy for this instance, I’ll use Long Island as a territory. So we’ll ultimately decide how many locations that saturation you know, based on qualified households, Long Island is two counties, Nassau counties, 1.5 million people, Sufix 1.3 million people. So we could basically take all that data and overlay a strategy on top of that and decide where the tier one and tier two markets are, which is typically the first phase of a strategy when we’re working with corporate or an area developer. Franchising, obviously a little different than corporate. And we were doing that with Massage Envy. And I went the first franchisee for them on Long Island wanted to be in Lake success. Lake success doesn’t have very much retail. And there’s a shopping center, which is one of the best shopping centers on Long Island called the lake success shopping center. Now it’s owned by a family and they I approached them with the massage MD concept. And the owner of the lake success shopping center responded to me that his wife was I think he’d been like a massage therapist at one point in our life. And, you know, there, he heard a lot of bad things about massage parlors and all this stuff. And, you know, so I’m trying to educate him on what massage MD is, and that it’s a legitimate brand with hundreds or 1000s of locations at that time. And, you know, I spent honestly, I want to say, I think I opened maybe 10 Massage envies, you know, over the next several years on Long Island, and we had kind of given up on that market and on that center. And one day I got a phone call from the owner who’s calls me almost as if we never spoke before. And he’s like, you know, Jay, you represent Massage Envy, right? I’m like, Yeah, do you know and we haven’t spoken in like a year or whatnot. He’s like, you know, I really would like to have them in my center, again, that we never had this conversation. I feel like that’s such an interesting I had a conference, I touched on that this morning with a franchisee for a brand that we’re representing, because they called me and said, we really want to be in this town. It wasn’t a big success, but they use a specific town. And they said, Well, we looked at every shopping center in this town, there’s no availability, or we’re strict restricted by other tenants, etc, etc. I told them that story. And I said, Listen, especially in a market like Long Island, you have to be willing timing is everything, right? Because if you want to be in specific projects, you’re not necessarily going to be able to get into them in a short amount of time. So you have to kind of go off to the next territory or trade area that you’re interested in potentially opening in and keep watching how things change in those other markets. And ultimately, you’ll get there. But it’s a very patient game. And there’s a strategy to it, you know, I think, which is why I think there’s a lot a challenge for a lot of young people on the leasing side of our business, because I refer to them as the microwave generation, you know, how many deals that I will get paid on this year for deals that I that that are deals that will leases that will get signed this year for deals I started 568 years ago, you know, I mean, it’s just a very patient game. And, you know, I think that’s just a unique kind of perspective. People don’t necessarily understand how this is really a marathon, you know, the stuff that we do, it’s not a sprint, especially on again, the brokerage side.
Yeah, I think I think a lot of takeaways, one, just I’m sure you’ve seen you know, that owner in Lake success was not alone eons ago, that was the concern of a lot of people and Massage Envy and hand and stone and have like set the bar and now in leases, you know, in a prohibited use section for some anchor something that will say, No massage parlor, except first class massage parlors, such as Massage Envy, and so they’ve like made the Massage Envy has set the standard in commercial leases. And you know, that that’s the take away, one might have thought was in that first class A long time ago. So
listen, there’s there’s zoning restrictions throughout New York City, because of, you know, the Yeah, that it was, you know, trying to keep out massage parlors and things of that nature. But it’s also interesting, because over the past few years, as boutique fitness continues to be so popular, you know, there’s grocery stores, you used to be afraid of health clubs and fitness and, you know, really restrict them from a parking standpoint. And, you know, that’s all going away now, too. So it’s just the evolution of what we do. I’ll tell you another quick story, actually, across from my garden city office is a shopping center called the country Glen shopping center, which is owned by a guy by the name of Marie Miller. He’s in his late 80s, great guy. When I was bringing Chipotle to New York, I knew this would be one of their best first locations for Long Island. And I got Mr. Miller in the car. This is like 2004 I get him in the car, we go into the city to visit an open Chipotle that just recently opened in the city. And I take them to lunch. And mind you this is like a whole to do figuring out how to get him into the city. The car clothes, go in have lunch at Chipotle hopped back in the car, come back to Garden City. We sit down and talk about it. I said, Mr. Miller, what do you think they were so busy, they’re cranking it out, they’re gonna be the next best thing. So on and so forth. He goes, they’re too busy for my shopping center. Jay, oh, my god. Keep going. This is like, this is normal. You know,
the did they end up getting there?
They did. Yeah, we ultimately did a deal. But it took like, it took another probably year and a half of convincing him why they would be great for his property. We should call him together and ask him if it was a good idea.
Totally one of the things you mentioned on this patient waiting game that a little bit, you know, different than the beginning, you know, seemingly Long Island still a pretty tight market, meaning there’s not a lot of vacancy, and it’s hard to get into really good projects. Do you is that fair statement.
You know, the good real estate is is good and tough to get into for the most part, but you’re starting to see opportunities free up now more than ever because of all of the companies that are filing for bankruptcy and, you know, so there’s a lot of space that wouldn’t have been available, you know, in prior years. Because the economy is very strong and companies are still contained. You’re going to go out of business. So there’s a lot of available space a lot more than I’ve ever seen.
Are you? Are you competing for spaces? You guys, you know, when you’re rapid representing a tenant, are you competing in these good centers with other brands? For the space?
Yes, you know, the, again, the A, the A shopping centers are you’re definitely compete competing for space. But you know, the smaller space, I would say you’re competing, yeah, your space, there’s fewer tenants to fill that, you know, those anchor spaces, do you still have
have to sell landlords on why a tenant might be good for their center?
Always, always, you know, Long Island. Again, it depends where you’re where you’re talking about. But, you know, Long Island is a very interesting market, because you have families that own major shopping centers. Yeah, you’re not always dealing with REITs. And you know, what’s funny is now, if you have somebody like Marie Miller, as an example, who’s in his 80s, and you bring a new hip concept to him, you know, he’s gonna have his own perspective on what it is. And it’ll take him a while to actually decide whether or not it’s for him, the most effective thing I’ve ever seen nowadays is the children and grandchildren are like, oh, you know, Grandpa, you have to put in why seven yoga, they’re the coolest concept on the planet, and all he needs to hear is that from his grandkid, and boom, the deals done. So, it is and that, you know, tying back into social media, and, you know, the, what we do with with social media, you know, meaning you and I, and how we’re, we’re using it to, to, you know, to enhance our, our presence, and put our properties, you know, in a different light, and our retailers and everything that we do. Now, it’s interesting, because the young people are really paying attention to that. And I think that, you know, the people in the industry for a long time, who still don’t understand why I put out a video every week, or still don’t understand how important it is to use LinkedIn or Instagram or Facebook. You know, it’s, I call it networking at scale. You know, and if you don’t know how important networking is in business, then you mean, you know, I can’t spend my time trying to educate people who are not able to understand the importance of these things. You know, it’s like wasting your breath. It’s totally
wasting your breath. Going back to league success for a minute, so you, you end up, you know, the guy, you know, the guy doesn’t want to put in a massage parlor right away. And so were you engaged by the franchisee, or from Massage Envy corporate, or how did you get the engagement?
That’s an amazing story for another time, but I was working with the area developer who on five states.
Got it. So he goes and he says, I want to be in Lake success. This is the project you come back and you say, I can’t make it happen right now. What’s his take on
that? Well, that was the franchisee who had bought the territory. Got it. So ultimately, you know, we he was only willing to go into I think it was two properties at the time that he identified that he was interested in. We we knew that there was nothing coming up in the near future that could accommodate them. So I believe they switched their territory and we did a deal in another territory. And when that space came available and and the owners of Lake success shopping center wanted massage nd we revisited the conversation and I can’t actually recall whether or not it was that franchisee who ended up there. But yeah, it’s it’s pretty commonplace.
And so where did that was like success? That was like number 10. Where was the first Massage Envy on one island?
That’s a great story that was Oceanside New York with the ultimately the guys who went on to start Orangetheory fitness.
Wow, they were Massage Envy franchisees first
they were Yeah, area developers for Massage Envy. From there, they actually found a concept called European wax Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida that had two locations. They asked me to fly down and check out the concept I did they ended up partnering with the COVID brothers and rolling that concept out to several 100 units before starting Orangetheory Oh wow. So
those those guys were in the wellness space for a while before orange theory popped off.
They were in the wellness space but even more so they were in the franchising world.
Yeah, exactly. Which is is complicated to get in if you don’t have any experience in there. It’s it’s not easy getting franchisees on board We’re doing all that stuff. So
yeah, it’s, that’s definitely a big part of their success with orange there.
Yeah, we have a, we have a tenant in a shopping center in Westchester who a competitor of Chipotle, salsa fresca, they have 10 locations. They’re in Westchester. And they’re, they’re starting the franchise route. And he was on the podcast, and he was talking about all he went through, and the dollars that he’s pouring in to be franchise company is, is extraordinary. So to get that, you know, platform be able to do that. So having that experience is critical.
We’ve assembled a team of folks in the franchising space, and if anybody needs assistance with that we can help as well.
So you’ll help you’ll help you actually help groups start to franchise and get that hole up and running. Correct? Awesome. Well, pretty cool story on Lake success, and the other ones as well. And a great little tidbit there on the founders of orange theory, when you’re doing the strategy for you know, Suffolk and Nassau, and you’re doing the strategy for retailers, how much is to end with the brands you’re working with? I find that interesting, because how much? Or are you delivering a strategy to them, versus them giving you a strategy to execute on?
Yeah, it depends a lot from client to client, you know, I’m typically involved with, with companies where I’m actually there, they’re more or less their in house real estate team, you know, so we’re very much working together on the strategy, which is, which is what I enjoy the most, you know, so I get to feel like I’m a tenant, quite often. And I look at everything through the eyes of a tenant, as if I’m the CEO of that company, and then, you know, build the strategy and present the strategy to the client. And then we ultimately work through it together. And, you know, finalize the strategy that we ended up implementing, that’s with, you know, again, a lot of the companies that I’m personally working with, but with other large companies, you know, where if they give us a roadmap, and, you know, it’s, it’s more or less, something that they’ve worked on internally, and they present it to us, we’ll analyze it, and always give our feedback, we’re never going to look at something and if there’s questions or comments that we have, based on our knowledge in the marketplace, we’re going to we’re going to bring them to their attention and ultimately, it’s their decision on whether they want to implement those comments or not. So we’re here to advise
so last thing on going back to one of the points you hit on Lake success is that the right deal might not be available available and so you pivot and you you might move on to another market when do you say like this markets, whether it’s like success or garden city, this markets too good, you know, the money making opportunities too good, I’d love to be in that project. But you know, what, they don’t want me or it’s not available, I’m gonna go down the street or across the street, when do you come to that realization,
again, varies with everybody, you know, we when we look at an issue for some of our clients is it’s as simple as the intersection right you know, there’s four corners at an intersection. And you know, two of those corners are the 1,000% location for us. And when when we vet out those four corners essentially and we start to realize you know, hey, one’s a gas station that just resigned to lease the other ones TD Bank that you know, paid x for the site and all that fun stuff, you know, we ended up going away from that 1,000% location going you know, one off wrapping the corner and then you start to actually see how that impacts your sales projection. Right? So if this is a science you know, all of this stuff is a science the difference is when you’re dealing with a corporate with a company that has a very sophisticated in house real estate team and and we’ll help make that decision versus a franchisee who just wants to be close to their house and drive five minutes to their you know, their massage MD or whatever it is. The decision logic is very different.
And I’m assuming in league success, there was no opportunity to do that. You mentioned there wasn’t a lot of retail so every
franchisee is different you know, there were opportunities but this franchisee at the time was not interested in taking inferior real estate. Got it? Well,
I guess he was proven right because a year and a half later or whatever it was, he ended up getting that location so cool. So it was longer
than a year and a half. It was years later. Yeah, years later. Got it.
All right. Well, listen, last part of our show. Appreciate all those stories last part of our shows called retail wisdom. Love it. So for question, one best piece of commercial real estate advice for everybody out there?
Don’t get in the business.
What about if you’re already in the business?
I’m kidding. I would say the best piece of advice that I can give to people is, you know, what’s going on right now, in retail real estate specifically is not just a cycle, the impact of the internet is real. And you need to realize what’s going on and figure out how to swim with the stream. And as opposed to denying that it’s happening. And saying, Well, this is just what happened when blockbuster went out of business and you know, all the all the same stories that we hear from people who have been in the business and in downturns, many times, I think most of them believe this is just a cycle. It’s not pay attention and stay relevant. Or be E relevant.
stay relevant or be E relevant like it. Alright, second piece of second question. Sorry, not advice. Second question. Extinct retailer, you wish would come back from the dead? Oh, extinct retailer, I wish we’d come back from the dead. It’s a tough one man. That’s really tough. Well, you can’t imagine the amount of people who who give answers about retail who give answers and but they’re not extinct? I
my knee jerk response was Toys R Us got it? Yeah. And, you know, obviously, they’re coming back. And you know, I, I’m gonna stick with that for these rather than waste more of your time thinking. Because, you know, listen, Toys R Us. Going through what it’s gone through is just a sad thing for the industry. And a sad thing for everybody who grew up being a Toys R Us kid because, you know, they were not necessarily they, they didn’t stay relevant and became irrelevant, right. So I think if they were a little bit more thoughtful, and understanding the impact that the internet was having on their business, and how other companies around them were doing such a great job and in the toy category that they could have, adapted, shrunk in their footprint, you know, done a better job, obviously, online and been thriving today. So, you know, I kind of I’m saying Toys R Us because it’s such a nostalgic business that not only had a place in my heart as a kid, but also as a place in the heart of my kids, which is,
you know, iconic brands, no. But
hopefully they’ll learn from their mistakes and come back in a different, you know, in a different form and, and be around again, I know they’re working on it. So I’m rooting for
rootin for him as well. I think it’s also a lesson on, you know, everything you said is all true. I think they’re definitely a lesson on leverage, right? They were even if they wanted to, they couldn’t pivot because, you know, they’re they had so much debt, and they put themselves in a position where they couldn’t maneuver when they filed they did 1111 and a half billion in toy sales. You know, you can just think about that. Right? Can I if I told you I’m gonna give you an $11 billion business, can you figure out how to make a profit on the $11 billion in revenue? And that’s how indebted they were so tough tough stuff. By answer my
answer though, now that that I had a moment to think while you were talking my answers tower record, because I just enjoyed going into that store and hanging out and listening to music and doing my thing. So that clearly that will not happen. But record Records was a good pastime,
and maybe Spotify or Pandora will have some cool experiential concept that opens what what music does Jason listen to this isn’t one of my three questions but what’s what’s what’s what’s on the what’s on the playlist on the right home? Yeah, so
I used to be a DJ and I actually, you know, perform a little bit you know, just to have fun so I’m very into music and I like all different John ZOC that genres of music, but right now I’m heavy into hip hop. Always had been really you know, electronic music hip hop, but I love pop music and rock and classic stuff and a lot of like the you know, a Like dirty heads and you know, serve kind of like surf rock music like slightly stupid dirty heads, Jack Johnson and I love. But right now like, I’ll hop in the car and believe it or not, I’ll put on like Justin Bieber. Yummy. All right. All right, you have to realize now a lot of my time in the car is with my kids. And we’re hanging out together having a great time and that How old are your kids? I have two boys, eight and five. And All right, yeah, yeah. Honestly, that’s the only reason you need to follow me on instagram if you’re not already is to see my kids performing to the hip hop music pretty comical. Awesome.
Last question. So I am on Best Buy’s website and, and one of the top toys anywhere in 2019. Around Christmas was the Flagler the funny ugly monster, three inch vinyl figures. And the styles may vary. Hmm. The three inch was a hot one because it was a stocking stuffer. What is the three inch vinyl Fogler pack cost?
How many are in this pack?
There is? It’s a great question. So there’s one in a pack. I’m sorry, it’s a three inch paper.
Got it. So it’s a three inch figure the folklore of boggler. And I’m gonna say that that thing would sell for about 1299 The nine inches 14
a nine to three inches of steel stocking stuffer for 99. But go to Best Buy for the money ugly monster
Butler. I’m just having my kids didn’t ask for the fog under the sun, not the flood. Awesome.
Well, listen, Jack. I’ve taken up an hour of your time a little bit more. I know you got a bunch of deals to slay and I really appreciate it.
Hey, listen, I appreciate you keep up the great work and thank you so much for having me on.
If you’re a brand out there looking for national advisory work some brokerage work in New York Metro. Reach out to Jason Ciana at Sabre real estate Jason What’s your website?
Yeah, sure. So we’re www Sabir SAP R e dot life. Li F E and you can reach out to me. through Instagram. It’s my full name Jason J A y s o n Ciana si a no. And email is siano, Sian Oh, at Sabre dot life. Awesome. Excellent.
Before Vegas, let’s grab dinner,
but still event. All right, absolutely long before Vegas. Vegas. Thank you so much. You too,
man. Thank you for listening to retail retold. If you want to share a story about a retail real estate deal you were a part of on our show. Please reach out to us. This podcast highlights the stories behind deals from all perspectives. So it doesn’t matter if you’re a retailer, broker attorney or an architect. Contact Diane Lee at D L E at DLC mgmt.com Also, don’t forget to subscribe to retail retold so you don’t miss out on next Thursday’s episode