Join the Massimo Group on June 25th at 1pm EST for another Massimo Group webinar focused on you making the most of our improving commercial real estate market.

The Massimo Group is North America’s leading commercial real estate consulting and coaching organization, maximizing the income of those servicing the commercial real estate industry.

This month Rod Santomassimo, founder and president of the Massimo Group, will be interviewing Massey Knakal chairman, Bob Knakal, who will be discussing the land and development market in New York City. Specifically, Mr. Knakal will be addressing the market in the Manhattan submarket, which is arguably the hottest market currently in the U.S.

Within the past 3 years land values have doubled and even tripled in some neighborhoods and first time buyers from around the country and around the globe are pouring into the market in search of a piece of the action. Mr. Knakal will discuss who is buying, who is selling, why the market has exploded and how long it is expected to last.

Mr. Knakal and his team have sold 16.1 million buildable square feet of development sites in New York City having an aggregate value of approximately $4 billion and we look forward to him sharing his perspectives with us.

Date: June 25, 2014
Time: 1:00-2:00 p.m EST
Event: Webinar: New York Land and Development Opportunities - The Hottest Market in the U.S.?
Sponsor: Massimo Group
Public: Public
Registration: Click here to register.

The 30 Tools I Use For Productivity, Blogging, Social Media, & Travel (18 are free!)

I don’t know how many times I’ve said – “I wish I had more hours in the day!”

I’m sure you’ve had that sentiment as well.  Alas, 24 hours a day is all we get.  That isn’t going to change.  What can change is how much you can squeeze out of each hour.

30tools 3d cover

Before I go on, I want to make this point.  I’m not advocating becoming a workaholic – or even feeding that addiction.  I’m talking about getting more work done faster.  I’m talking about being able to have more time for what really matter.  Time for your family.  Time to take care of your health.  Time for self-development.  Time for care for your spiritual health.

Some of the most valuable posts I’ve ever read have been on the subject of productivity.  I consume that kind of information.  Everything I’ve learned about productivity apps has come from others or just tinkering with them.  All I’ve learned about traveling efficiently comes from experience and what others have shared with me.

So here is my resource list of the 30 tools I use on a regular basis to squeeze more out of every day.  I’m going to give you the highlights here, and you will be able to download it at the end of the post.

Productivity

When I did my reader survey last month, the subject of productivity was the number one topic of choice.  In this section, I give you my favorite free and paid tools for increasing your productivity.  And here’s a little hint – 1password and Tripit are completely awesome.  Awesome!

Blogging

Blogging has revolutionized my online presence.  It is not easy to do.  But it is so worth it.  The key to blogging well over time is to systematize it.  I have a few templates that I use for most posts.  It saves me a ton of time.  These are the tools I use to build my email list, optimize for SEO, etc.  These tools will save you a ton of time and allow you to maximize your ROI.

Social Media

I’m almost sick of social media.  I believe most people have accepted that social media provides value – sometimes a ton of it.  Though I’m sick of talking about, I use it everyday.  And if you’ve never heard or used BufferApp, you need to check this section out.

Travel

I traveled a ton for work last year.  I think I was on 65 airplanes.  If there is one thing I’m good at, it is navigating airports.  Traveling is a drain on your energy no matter who you are.  Being able to minimize the frustrations of travel while remaining productive saved me a tremendous amount of stress.  These are the tools I used to do it.

Bonus Section:  Recommended Books

As a bonus, I’ve included some of my favorite books in the following categories:

  • Platform building
  • Productivity
  • Business
  • Leadership
  • Stewardship
  • Parenting
  • Marriage
  • Commercial Real Estate
  • And others…

These are books that I’ve read and personally recommend.  I’m no expert in any of these subjects.  However, these are books that have helped me grow in these areas.

To download your copy of this free resource list, simply click the button below!

Download Your Free Resource List

What I’m Doing Different This Valentine’s Day

Based on the reader’s survey I did last month, I now know that about 80% of my readers are male.  For those of you with daughters, I expect you will relate to this post.

Me and my baby girl

Me and my baby girl

My wife and I were married in 2000 – by far one of my best decisions.  I have the kind of marriage that has continuously exceeded my expectations.  She challenges me to be a better man.  She loves me.  She completely rocks.  I am blessed.

For whatever reason, we’ve never really engaged in Valentine’s Day.  I commented earlier tonight that every day is Valentine’s Day being married to her.  She promptly rolled her eyes and faked throwing up in her mouth.

But now I have a little girl.  I am going to take her on a date for Valentine’s Day because I want her to know four truths.

  1. Her daddy loves her.  I tell her all the time, but I want to create memories with her.  I want her to be able to look back and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I love her.
  2. Her daddy thinks she is beautiful.  I’ve heard debate about this.  I’ve heard that it isn’t good to let your kids think they are beautiful.  I think that is straight from the pit and smells like smoke (as my buddy says).  I think a little girl longs to know that her daddy is captivated by her.  My little girl is beautiful.  I tell her all the time.  My favorite time of day is how she screams “daddy” and runs to give me a hug every time I come home – love it!  She will never wonder if her daddy thinks she’s beautiful.
  3. Her daddy wants to spend time with her.  I naturally do more things with my boys.  Tonight I took them to a local college basketball game.  I left her at home with her mother.  I can’t bear the thought that she could look back and wish we spent more time together.  I’m going to tell her with my words that I love her.  I’m going to tell her with my time as well.
  4. Her daddy will guard her heart.  I want to be a safe place for my little girl to confide in me.  I want her to know that I am going to protect and look out for her.  I want her to know she can trust me with her heart.  One day, some young man is going to come and ask me for the responsibility of holding her heart.  Until then, I want her to know that job is mine.  I take it seriously.  [And Clint from her preschool class – let this be a warning to you, little man!]

7D795C2D-559D-495B-BE7E-EAC96B06F311So this Valentine’s Day, we are going to go on a date.  I’m going to let her see how she puts a sparkle in my eyes.  We are going to laugh.  We are going eat sushi (at least I will).  We will probably go see a movie.  I am going to try to make her feel like the queen of the world.

Question: So what are your plans this Valentine’s Day? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

11 Benefits theBrokerList Provides the CRE Industry

TheBrokerList is a powerful and free tool for CRE professionals. I asked its founder, Linda Day Harrison to share with my audience its benefits. She has been gracious enough to do so. You can connect with her on LinkedIn or follow her on Twitter.

First of all, theBrokerList site is FREE to its Broker and CRE Professional members and is designed to provide a place for  Brokers and CRE Professionals to hang their “digital shingle”. Our site enables our  members to transact business with verified colleagues, supported financially by the tBL Marketplace Partners.  That is the win-win theBrokerList seeks to achieve.

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The database within theBrokerList covers all CRE segments, affiliations, organizations, practice focus types, corporate networks and geographic areas, plus theBrokerList permits the inclusion of any size national organization’s local chapters, no matter how small or large.  An organization simply provides us with their member list and those members are pre-approved! In addition to supporting the search for potential colleagues and deals in different markets, this enables tBL members of these organizations and networks to utilize the powerful broadcast email feature to share HAVES and WANTS of theBrokerList platform, with laser-pointed precision to only those colleagues who wish to receive those emails. This provides extensive benefits to local or even national organizations.

tBL-Icon-512x512To help provide B2B resources for leasing, brokerage, property management and consulting, you can find a wide variety of commercial real estate experts on theBrokerList within all of the industry disciplines.  The difference we make and the added value we bring is that we verify that our members are real people (not fake profiles), and verify those members are active in commercial real estate.

Our verification process protects the quality of our site and creates the only free resource of its kind that is completely focused on only commercial real estate.

11 Benefits Provided by theBrokerList

  1. Post your professional PROFILES (backgrounds, business focus, etc.)
  2. Post, Export or Upload HAVES ( your listings for sale or lease)
  3. Post WANTS (your targets, or your client’s targets, for acquisition or lease)
  4. Post TRANSACTIONS (your completed deals you wish to note for the record)
  5. Unlimited team members, admins and property posts can be added
  6. HTML friendly text fields, and YouTube embeds on posts
  7. Unlimited URL fields and types (hyperlinks to your company or personal website, blogs, Loopnet, Showcase, and all Social Media: like Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook, , etc.)
  8. Broadcast email lists automatically created for your Affiliations and Organizations
  9. HTML code for ease in posting to Craigslist, or any other online system
  10. tBL email message tool to enable selected contacts to be emailed
  11. Saved Broker and Search features

The benefits and advantages of these tools to help grow and expand the businesses of tBL members are numerous, and many of these functions have important meaning and correlate well with your social media plan and strategies.

For the more advanced social media and blogging members, direct access to the well-read tBL blog is advisable as our members can easily post their blogs on the site and be part of our exciting and constant flow of editorial content directed to a large audience of commercial real estate professionals.

A daily HAVES and WANTS email blast is also distributed, which  currently includes ALL of our member posts.  Our members’ listings are emailed to all subscribers of those lists as well.

tBL is very customer service focused.  We always answer our phones and do our best to help our members and Marketplace Partners.  We frequently discuss marketing strategies, and offer ideas on how our members can improve their image, their brand or any topic they wish to discuss pertaining to commercial real estate today. Let theBrokerList be your “BFF” and join us or ask your local organization or chapter to partner with us.  Once you do, make sure to use all of the features tBL provides to help you grow your business.

We look forward to meeting you and we kindly ask that you suggest our site to other commercial real estate professionals.  theBrokerList relies on word of mouth, and we verify all prospective members as we do not want non-CRE folks trying to join.  The more Broker and CRE Professional members we have, the more useful the site will be for everyone.  Our team is dedicated to doing the best job we can to keep our database accurate and our features useful to a wide group in CRE.

Photo credit:”Pack Of Money” by Gualberto107 FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Results of the 2014 Reader Survey

Two weeks ago, I launched my first ever reader’s survey.  My goal was to better understand my readers so that I can provide better value in my content.  You have responded, and I am grateful.  Approximately 150 of you took the time to take the survey.

Young businessman

I am going to share with you the results by profiling my average reader.  If you don’t fit this profile, don’t worry.  You are welcome.  Frankly, I don’t fit this profile.  So let’s take a look at my average reader, and then I will draw some conclusions.

My reader is male (77%) between the ages of 45-64 (58%).  He has a bachelor’s degree or higher (78%).  He is most likely a CRE broker or business owner (69%), and he lives in the United States (95%).

He makes over $100,000 a year (63%) or even $200,000+ a year (27%).  He is predominantly Christian (80%) attending church at least once a week (59%).  His faith is very important to him (69%).  He does not have a blog (77%) and reads 1-2 books a month.  As an aside, my wife says that you need to pick it up a bit.  She read 144 books in 2013 – incredible!

It is no surprise that I just described the Commercial Real Estate industry.  It is dominated by 50+ year old white men who tend to be behind the curve when it comes to technology.  CRE needs more women.  CRE needs more diversity.   CRE needs more tech.

Observations

  • Main topics of interests in order:  Productivity (62%), Prospecting (56%), Personal Development (53%), Life Lessons (52%), and Creating Presence (50%).  I am very glad to hear that these are the top ones.  Most of the content I have planned for this year fall into these categories.
  • More content – The number one comment I received regarding improving my blog was to give more content.  For the first part of 2013, I was posting 3 times a week.  It burnt me out and I ended up taking the summer off.  That was a big mistake.  My goal for 2014 is one post a week.  However, based on the feedback I received, I will throw in the 2nd weekly post on occasion.
  • Videos- I had a surprising amount of requests for videos.  I’m not sure what to do with this.  Video isn’t easy for me to do.  I don’t really own the equipment.  I have a brother that can do it all, but he’s a cruise ship performer (tough gig!).  I would love to create video content, however.  If you have any suggestions on how I might look into this, please let me know in the comments.
  • Readability – Readability was the comment I received the most when I asked what you liked best about the blog.  I’m very pleased with this response as I try very hard to create content that is very readable.  
    My absolute favorite response to the question of what do you like best about my blog was:  “your my son whats not to like.” My mom is a grammar queen so thanks Dad! I love you.
  • Can’t please everyone – I don’t often get accused of trying to please everyone.  Frankly, I think it is futile, counter-productive, and impossible.  This is true with this blog as well.  Some people are asking for more pictures and links.  Some are asking me to take the clutter out.  Some want me to eliminate the talk about my faith.  Some want me to use more scripture.  Some love the variety of topics while others want me to focus on just one thing.  I can’t please everyone so some things I will just be going with my gut.

I’m so very grateful to those who participated in the survey.  It was so very helpful to me.  It has given me the data I was craving so I can create better content for you.

Question: Do you have any other suggestions? If so, I’m all ears! You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Why Your New Years Resolutions Fail – These 3 Reasons

For years, I’ve set New Year’s resolutions.  For years, I’ve been frustrated by them.  Regardless of when in the year you are reading this post, I challenge you to change the way you think about these resolutions.

photo courtesy of iStock.com

photo courtesy of iStock.com

My parents taught me to set goals when I was a kid.  I’ve written out my goals in various categories most years since.  I set goals in these categories:  spiritual, personal development, relational/family, health, career, and social.  Every year at about this time, those resolutions have gone by the wayside.

Last week, I launched my first ever reader survey. The purpose is to understand my readers better so I can provide better content for you. If you haven’t already, please take 5 minutes to fill out the survey. It is super easy.

I read a book last month that I highly recommend.  It is called The One Thing by Gary Keller.  Awesome.  He blew up some of the wrong thinking I had about setting goals.  I want to distill that information for you.

Myths of Setting Resolutions

Multi-tasking – My wife claims to be great at this.  I agree by the way.  Most women that I know, in fact, are much better at multi-tasking than I am.  However, multi-tasking doesn’t actually exist.  Scientific studies now prove that you can’t multi-task.  You just interrupt yourself – bouncing back and forth between tasks.

Some of us bounce back and forth quicker – some more efficiently.  Studies now prove that should you focus your entire energy on one task at a time, you will do them all better and faster.  I realize that my wife is now thinking that is a luxury she doesn’t have.

If you can, focus on one task or goal at a time.  I have been failing at my New Year’s resolutions due to multi-tasking.  I try to change too much about my lifestyle at the same time.

Habit Forming – I’ve heard for years that it takes 21 times to form a habit.  You’ve probably heard the same thing.  That is a lie.  Studies now show that it takes about 66 days.  This means most of us only focus on forming a new habit – or building a new goal into our lives – for 1/3 of the time it takes.

No wonder this has been a frustration for me.

Priorities?? – What are your priorities?  Do you know what the definition of priority means?  It means the main thing – the first thing.  Do you realize you can’t have more than one first thing?  You can’t have two first place finishers.  It is impossible.

It is only in the last couple decades that the word “priority” has had the pluraliztion “priorities.”  We have watered down the meaning of the word from the first thing to an important thing.  But no longer for me.  A priority is just one thing.

So here is my method for this year and beyond:

  • I have chosen the 6 habits (resolutions) that I want to build into my life this year.
  • One at a time, for two months (66 days), I am focusing all my energy on just one thing.
  • After the first habit is built into my life, I move on to the next most important one.

Imagine the impact this could have over the span of years.  Think of the productivity and greatness you could achieve.

So how do you know which one to start with?  Ask this question.  Which of these habits will make it easier or unnecessary to accomplish the others?

Question: If you get 6 habits to build into your life in a year, I’d like to know what you would choose. You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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Please Take My 2014 Reader Survey

One of my goals for the year is to take this blog to the next level.  I want it to be more valuable and beneficial to my readers.  To accomplish this, I would love to know more about YOU.  To that end, I have created my 2014 Reader Survey.

reader survey pic

Would you please take a few moments to fill out this survey?  By doing so, you will ultimately be helping yourself.  Why, you ask?  Because you will be helping me make my content even more relevant to you.

I covet your input – it is important to me.  The survey is very easy to take.  It should take you 5 minutes or less.  The survey results are completely anonymous.  There is no way for me to know which of you said what.

Take the Survey Now!

Thanks so much!

Why I’ve Left Sperry Van Ness

With a new year comes new opportunities.  As 2014 starts, I have left Sperry Van Ness to pursue a new opportunity.  I want to share with you what I’m going to be up to and how it will affect my blog.

photo from iStock

photo from iStock

Before I do that, I want to share why I’ve left Sperry Van Ness.  Anytime you leave an organization of any kind, it raises questions.

  1. Was he fired?  No – I wasn’t.
  2. Did he see behind the curtain and hate what he saw?  Negative.
  3. Did he not like the people he was working with?  That is absolutely not the case.
  4. Did an opportunity fall into his lap that he couldn’t ignore?  Bingo.

I started my commercial real estate career the day after I got out of the Marine Corps in 2004.  I was literally fumbling around my dad’s office the following day.  In 2008, we franchised our business with Sperry Van Ness.  After nearly 5 years of proudly flying the SVN flag, I took the corporate position I just left as VP of Organizational Development.

That means that over half my grown-up career years have been with SVN.  I’ve generally strayed away from writing about SVN.  It seemed disingenuous since they wrote my paycheck.  As that is no longer the case, I want to share a few things about SVN.

The People

I remember when we franchised.  I was told that companies franchise for the tools and stay for the people.  I thought that if they were half right about the quality of the franchisees and advisors, I’d be satisfied.  They were right.

I could name dozens of business owners and top performers within SVN that were happy to help me, expand my thinking, teach me how they did business, and even mentor a kid from Western KY.  I will forever be grateful that I was associated with these fine people and can call them friends.

The Platform

I’m a techie – but just in the sense that I love to use technology.  I have no idea how any of it works.  I am much like the guy that can tell time but is in no way a watch-maker.

SVN has the finest technology platform that exists in commercial real estate today.  Admittedly, my experience is myopic so let me share with you why I know this is true.  A portion of my job has been to seek out and recruit preferred vendor relationships with the many outstanding CRE technology companies.  The comment I heard most often was that CRE is in the stone-ages technologically speaking and we wish the other nationals were more like SVN.

Our Their technology platform is cutting edge, cloud based, and brand agnostic.  It is designed with the purpose of making our the SVN advisors more productive and efficient – but ultimately more profitable.

The Model

SVN is a franchise model.  As such, all of our the independently owned and operated offices are led by entrepreneurs.  We generally compete with big nationals that are corporate stores full of employees.  There is a huge difference.  It is entrepreneurial spirit versus resources.

If you’ve seen The Patriot starring Mel Gibson, you will remember him leading a small group of militia.  Their job was to inflict as much pain on the British redcoats as possible.  The redcoats had overwhelming numbers and resources. They would line up in their perfect lines and fire away.  They also made great targets.

Gibson’s troop would use guerrilla tactics to outwit and outmaneuver his opponent.  This reminds me of the entrepreneurial spirit of SVN.

So What’s Next

I have bought into a start-up technology company in the food safety industry called Hollison Technologies.  I’m providing a link to the website, but please don’t go there.  It is dated and vague and one of my first orders of business.

Hollison has a patented process of collecting the air around particulate food (think pieces of food like dog food or breakfast cereal) to test for contaminants.  That may not sound very exciting or earth shattering, but consider what it will replace.

The method of testing now is random grab sampling.  It is literally taking a sample at random and testing it.  If the sample is contaminated, that batch doesn’t ship.  If the sample is clean, the batch ships.

The problem is you make a leap of faith that a clean sample means a clean batch.  You only have visibility into the actual sample, and you are hoping the rest of the batch is also clean.  In food safety, hope is a terrible strategy.

Our process continually samples and gives the food manufacturer visibility into 100% of the product.  We think we can literally improve the quality of food world-wide.  How exciting?!

This Blog

You won’t see much change.  My role with Hollison is not that different from my corporate role with SVN, though I will have more of a role in sales.

What I’m most excited about is all the growth and learning that will come with this new opportunity – and I’ll be sharing it all with you here!

Question: What will be different for you in 2014? New career? New focus? New commitment to excellence? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

2014 is here!  Do you want to make this your best year ever?  Setting goals is one thing, but building habits into your life is what will actually get you to the place you want to go.  Michael Hyatt has produced 3 free videos that are incredibly helpful in helping you make 2014 your best year ever.  I challenge you to watch these videos and maximize 2014!

The first video is below.  You can find all 3 at bestyearever.me.

Happy New Year my friends!