September 2009

Is social media a fad? Or is it the biggest shift since the Industrial Revolution?

I’m moderating a panel on “Building Your Personal Brand” at the Crittenden Fall Commercial Real Estate Conference in Miami Beach on October 26-28.

Key concept: the days of staying at the same shop for 30 years and retiring with a gold watch are over. Our panel will be discussing the need for commercial real estate professionals to build their personal brand that is separate and distinct from their company. My fellow panel members are skilled in new social media marketing such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, blogging & eNewsletters. Here are the details about the conference.

Hope to see you there.


Why do people succeed? Is it because they’re smart? Or are they just lucky? Neither. Analyst Richard St. John condenses years of interviews into an unmissable 3-minute slideshow …

The lingering recession is leaving $850 a night hotel rooms empty. Large, luxury hotels are in default with their lenders.

By David Repka

I’ve written in previous posts about the recent changes to the growth management laws that have eliminated traffic concurrency from every real estate developer’s worst nightmares (we think!).

Today I received a newsletter from a local land brokerage shop with a great overview on the new law.

Look to the right hand column labeled “” and download or view the file labeled “Nye Newsletter”.

What the heck is Twitter?
– The water cooler of the 21st Century in 140 characters or less
– building relationships to shortcut degrees of separation (aka Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon)
– build a brand
– monetize your following

How to fail at twitter:
– don’t tell anyone you are using it
– always talk about yourself / always be selling
– don’t follow anyone

Complementary Tools:
LinkedIn: The power of groups
Facebook: migration from MySpace
YouTube: if a picture is worth a thousand words… what about a 30-90 second video?
Skype: free calls across the globe show how flat the world really is
Blog: Use WordPress or TypePad to share messages that need longer than 140 characters to explain… I use Twitter to direct viewers to my blog

Power Twitter User Mantra: Like me, know me, trust me, pay me (don’t get them out of order and immediately ask your followers to pay before you have built the foundation of like, know and trust)

The art of the tweet:
– ask questions – ask them what they know
– provide answers
– pithy sayings
– share news
– provide links
– give compliments
– retweet generously
– re-comment others to follow
– recommend media
– twitpic – tweetie
– conduct contest and giveaways
– market: blatant or subtle
– share video – YouTube
– customer support desk – conflict resolution – promote goodwill – 24-hour assistance – public display of quality service – social proof
– Study: Comcast & Home Depot as they are really good

SocialOomph (was TweetLater) (auto follow all those that follow you – schedule Tweets for delivery sometime in the future)
TwitPwr (has analytics)
TweetDeck (run multiple Twitter accounts & also updates Facebook)
TweetBeep (keep track of conversations that mention you, your products & your company)
TwitPic (share a picture by providing a shortened url) (real estate, mortgage, bank)
ExecTweets (Microsoft product: Find and Follow Top Business Execs on Twitter)
BubbleTweet (video on your twitter feed)
– Book: TwitterPower includes a boot camp

Compiled by David Repka. If you thought this was worthwhile… please send me a link request on [] and LinkedIn follow me on Twitter @davidrepka

Scion of legendary real estate billionaire family explains the slow-motion car crash happening in commercial real estate finance.

Harrison LeFrak’s summary:

* There’s $3.5 Trillion of Commercial real estate debt

* $1.7 Trillion on books of community, regional & sub-regional banks

* $850 Billion in the CMBS market

* CMBS issuance went from “Hero to Zero” ($250B to less than $9B YTD)

* Both the holders of the debt and the quality of the debt itself are distressed

The problem will get really bad in 2010 because:

* Underwriting standards departed from reality in 2005-07 with 5-10 Yr loans made

* It could bring down more than 500 community/regional banks in the next 12 months

* Their commercial mortgages are not marked to market but waiting for maturity defaults

* There’s an $850B problem in the CMBS market w/ extension issues, everybody hands tied

* The shadow banking asset problem migrates onto the banking balance sheets, like RMBS