I spent the last week celebrating the New Year with friends and family in sunny South Florida, almost entirely dis-engaged from email and the internet. The time away allowed me to step back, reflect on the past year, and plan for the year ahead. In this post I want to share 5 things I learned from the blog in 2014 and 5 goals for 2015. These are some of my favorite posts to write. It’s a great way to look back on the year and see what worked, what I could have done better, and set goals for the year ahead.
5 Things I Learned in 2014
1. It’s Okay to Not Know it All: This blog has taught be the value of being vulnerable. The thought-process and act of writing for an audience has shifted my mindset. Although I write publicly, I’m not a real estate expert. I’m a young real estate professional who’s extremely curious and passionate about the real estate business and everything it encompasses. This blog is intended to be a place where I can share my insights, encourage you to think differently, and expose you to what I’ve learned.
2. Readers like Stories they can Relate to: While it’d be great to interview household real estate names like Sam Zell and Mort Zuckerman, it’s hard to extract value from guys at that level. If you’re on the verge of starting your own real estate company, it’s most valuable to hear the story of someone who just launched his/her own real estate investment firm.
3. A lot of Smart People are Getting into Real Estate: Over the past year I’ve talked to a least a dozen traditional finance professionals that want to transition into real estate, attracted to a tangible asset class that offer opportunities to creative thinkers. At Atlas we opened up an internship to Columbia Business School students and got 15-20 applications for 1 spot. Real estate is being viewed as an institutional class and attracting top talent.
4. Real Estate Technology Took Center Stage: Real estate tech start-ups attracted a lot of VC money in 2014, but I don’t think it’s a bubble (at least not like 2000). The world is different and real estate professionals are comfortable using technology platforms for everything such as market research, capital raising (debt and equity), and buying/selling deals. I see this trend accelerating in 2015.
5. Real Estate Professionals have Short-Term Memories: The real estate market was red hot in 2014. While most professionals think the market is going to run for another 24-36 months, most of the people I speak with tend to underestimate the risks in a deal. I’m not saying we’re in a bubble, but a bubble forms when investors get greedy and don’t have enough fear.
5 Goals for 2015
1. Remember Why I’m Doing This: I’m honored by the privilege of having your attention and I write this blog because it’s fun, it challenges me to think differently, and I hope to add value to other passionate real estate professionals. The blog shouldn’t be another task on my weekly to-do list or a strain on my schedule. I love doing it.
2. Create more Epic Content: Most of the blogs I write are devised to make you think, look at things differently, and dispel misconceptions. In 2015, I’m going to write more posts that show you, step-by-step, how I execute certain tasks. For example, over the past 12-months I’ve lead the efforts of the Atlas website re-design, detailing every step along the way. I’m going to post the entire process in detail at some point in the next few months.
3. Add more Affiliate Partners: I’ve had a lot of success with my affiliate partnership with REFM and I enjoy exposing you to great tools that I use. There are lots of great tools out there that I’ve had success with and over the next few months I’ll be launching new partnerships to promote them. I promise that it’ll always be clear if it’s an affiliate link and I’ll only promote products that I’ve used and love.
4. Read More Books: 2014 for me was the year of the podcast. I’d listen to a rotation of 4-5 different ones on my walks to and from work and while at the gym. 2015 for me will be the year of the audiobook. Books provide more complete and detailed thoughts that you typically can’t get from a 30-60 minute podcast. Most of my reading is focused on investing, productivity, and business with a few of my recent favorite reads being The Most Important Thing by Howard Marks, The One Thing by Gary Keller, and Your Turn by Seth Godin.
5. Try to Win Every Day: It’s easy to show up and do a few hours of quality work each day, spend long hours in the office, and go through the motions, but it’s really hard to do work that matters and ‘win’ each day. I’ve downloaded an app called WinStreak where I’ll document my achievements for the day and set goals for the next day. While there will be bad days, I hope to win more days in 2015.
2014 was a great year, but I expect 2015 to be even better.
What would you like to see from the blog in 2015?