Sunset Lake, Wildwood Crest, NJ

Sunset Lake, Wildwood Crest, NJ

I’ve been on vacation with friends and family for past week, relatively removed from the never-ending flow of emails and meetings that consume a majority of my day. Although vacation is great, the reality of real estate is that it’s a relationship intensive business. You often times can’t completely disengage. However, I’m always amazed at how the time outside the office spurs the creative juices and allows valuable time to step back, look at the big picture, and focus on the work that matters.

While I’ve been relaxing, I’ve also had a lot on my mind lately. All of these are probably worth more in depth blog posts, but I wanted to share some high-level thoughts on the things currently on my mind:

Where and how you work matters

I’m writing this from my family’s beach house on the Jersey Shore, looking out onto Sunset Lake. It’s 11am and I’m sitting down at my computer for the first time today, after doing an hour work out class this morning and a little jet skiing. The change of scenery seems to ignite my thinking versus being in my office where I’m conditioned to be in work mode. In a few hours of uninterrupted work I can complete what I typically complete in a full day at the office. I’m intrigued by the office of the future that has various work spaces that spur collaboration and companies like Breather.com which allow businesses to offer their employees an alternative work-space to use throughout the day. Sitting in the same spot for 10-12 hours a day is neither healthy nor the most productive way to work.

Real estate crowdfunding is going to be big

I’ve shared my thoughts on real estate crowdfunding before, but my opinion continues to evolve as the space advances. Most people I talk to look at real estate crowdfunding as a new source of capital for sponsors, but what equity crowdfunding really does is open up private real estate investments to the retail investor. I wonder what services will be built on top of the real estate crowdfunding space?

What makes a good real estate entrepreneur

I’ve interviewed a bunch of real estate entrepreneurs who have recently launched their companies and experienced some early success. What skills do these entrepreneurs have in common? From what I’ve seen they’re very likable, they’ve carved out a specialized niche where they have competitive advantages, they’re visionaries, they’ve established local brands, and they have a tight focus on an investment strategy, work tirelessly, and don’t veer from it. These aren’t easy to replicate, being a successful real estate operator/developer is tough.

How to be an irreplaceable employee

Most real estate professionals are commodities. They underwrite new loans, build financials models, or asset manage deals. All these employees are replaceable because the skills required can be learned by anyone. However, the employees who think differently, source new opportunities, and have deep and diverse networks are irreplaceable. Think about how you can become irreplaceable within your company.

In the coming weeks I’ll probably dig a bit deeper into each of these, but I wanted to get some initial thoughts out there in the hope that it gets you thinking.

One things for sure, we all need vacations and we shouldn’t let the need to work ruin them for ourselves and our friends and families.

What’s on your mind?