Hue Chen leads Social Networking round table discussion at the 2014 ICSC South Florida Idea Exchange
Saglo had a total of 7 team members attend the 2014 ICSC South Florida Idea Exchange held at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, FL.
Jack Glottmann, Hue Chen, Carlos Guzman, Anahi Quino, Lysdel Tellez, Alyona Tsutskova, and Kristina Remington were all in attendance.
Speaker Panel Review
The morning session included a panel discussing South Florida development and retail acquisitions moderated by Ross Kirchman. Panelists include Stephen Bittel, Doron Valero and Bob Shapiro. This was a tremendous group of developers that have created billions of dollars in value over the last several years.
The take-away is that the real estate industry is cyclical. 10 years ago families were moving out to the suburbs and spending a lot of money. The highest unit of consumption is the young family. Weston is a prime example of this when it’s population dramatically increased after hurricane Andrew.
Now in 2014, the tenant sales are not as high as its peak and therefore it is hard to maintain or increase already high rents. As young children grow to be adults and move to the Urban Core, the household size decreases or the “empty nesters” move to the Urban Core as well to enjoy conveniences within walking distance. The young families that replace the ones that have moved out may not be as affluent, since what used to be a new house is now an older house.
While we were in a perfect storm for failure in 2008, we are the perfect storm for success in 2014 with oil at under $80, US Treasury under 2.5% and a lack of development over the past 5 years. Doron pointed out that we get more effected by “illiquidty” than interest rates rising when asked about interest rate risk for 2015/2016. While developers used to do ground deals that penciled out a 12% return on costs, today’s developers are penciling out an 8% return on cost with the hope to sell the deal at 6%.
Additionally, today’s developers are taking on a lot more risk due to closing on land prior to obtaining building permits. When considering development, consider that construction costs may increase tremendously depending on macro-demand for construction and additionally the cost of 4 – 5 years of your life working on all of the approvals and moving pieces needs to be factored in.
Everybody agrees that the balance of power between Landlord and Tenant is about even. There is a scarcity of available space in Miami-Dade, but there is a scarcity of strong operators (tenants) as well.
Later in the afternoon I lead a round table discussion about social networking and commercial real estate. Below is the handout and outline of what we discussed.
South Florida Idea Exchange 2014
Round Table Discussions – Social Networking by Hue Chen of Saglo Development
Goal: Increase business by working more efficiently.
Method: Leverage technology, specifically social networking platforms.
Philosophy: Agents and Brokers are match makers. Every single available space or property has a match and will eventually get leased or sold. How fast and how well you are able to make the match is a measure of how good of a broker you are. You are 4-degrees of separation from everybody that you need to know to make the match. If properly used, Social Networking platforms will increase the speed and quality of your match making by 25%+. That being said, the art of actually closing the deal is another skill set entirely.
The 3 Big Social Networking Websites:
LinkedIn: Business oriented platform which excels at finding a specific person you want to reach and seeing if there are mutual connections to make the introduction better. The use of Groups focuses on a narrow subject (ie: South Florida Retail Leasing and Sales). Broadcast to your connections useful information to earn their attention. Do not accept connections unless there is some dialogue beforehand. In the future, LinkedIn may be your primary contact management system. LinkedIn users are the oldest with the highest incomes.
Facebook: Oriented to the mass-market. Has the most number of users, and on average, they are younger and earn less than LinkedIn users. Your connections are personal friends and family. There are special interest pages which focus on a narrow interest. Typically not used heavily for business and many of your connections may not understand your business.
Twitter: Users are on average the youngest and with the least income. Your connections can be the 230 million active users since users are looking for individuals as well as content which contain #hashtags of interest. When properly used, this can be a great source of the latest news as well as give accurate insight on the public’s general opinion on subjects.
Other Social Networking Sites and Uses
YouTube – Video tours of Shopping Centers and vacancies
Pinterest – Pictures of Shopping Centers, vacancies and tenants
Google+ – Needed for better Search Engine Optimization
Yelp! – See how the restaurants in your property are doing or find great restaurants.
Craigslist – Post your properties
5 Things To Do Immediately
1. Open personal and/or company accounts for all of the above platforms.
2. All profiles must be as complete as possible. State your purpose in the profile.
3. Have a professional looking headshot as your profile picture.
4. Join groups on LinkedIn which match your interests.
5. Broadcast useful information and avoid too much self-promotion.
Scenarios which illustrates positive use of Social Networking
- Andy Carlson broadcasts in the South Florida Retail Leasing and Sales group on LinkedIn that he is looking for 5,000 – 10,000 SF of retail space in Southeast Florida. Saglo Realty sends Andy sites that may work.
- Saglo needed to hire a part-time receptionist and broadcasted this via Network After Work Miami group on LinkedIn and received over 10 resumes of which we hired one of the candidates.
- Drew Saito of CNL Bank requested a connection with Hue Chen of Saglo via LinkedIn. Saglo happened to be under contract to purchase a shopping center and asked Drew for a term sheet. Saglo used CNL Bank as the lender for the acquisition.
- Darren Buckner announces that he has opened up his 2nd martial arts school in Miami. Hue Chen asks when he ready for his 3rd location and receives a response.
- Hue Chen broadcasts on several groups that Saglo has recently purchased shopping centers in Florida and is continuing to expand its portfolio. Dozens of properties are sent for review (off market and marketed deals)
- Hue Chen post his property on Craigslist with keywords of Daycare, Restaurant and Beauty Salon highlighted. Hue Chen signs leases with a Daycare and a Beauty Salon
- Hue Chen sets up lead-sharing email with 20 brokers in Miami/Broward. Everybody sends leads which they are not able to use for their own properties to the group, if you don’t send leads then you will be removed from the group. Hundreds of leads are sent and dozens of deals are completed.
- Saglo posts 2 investment opportunities to re-capitalize 90% of our capital for our 2 most recent acquisitions on EarlyShares crowd-funding website. Saglo has raise $500,000 – $750,000 through individuals that Saglo had never met before and have a list of almost 60 accredited investors to reach out to in the future.
- Hue Chen continually promotes Saglo’s 3rd party leasing and management, and tenant representation services as well as Saglo’s acquisition and investment opportunities via Social Networking on a regular basis and has increased awareness and exposure of Saglo Development significantly within the last 2 years.
- Hue’s Invitation Response when unfamiliar individuals request to connect on LinkedIn: “Thank you for the connection request.”
My strategy is to keep my connections to people I have met or spoken before in the past. This is so that if one of my connections wants to be introduced to another one of my connections there will be a strong chance of success and thereby strengthening my LinkedIn profile as a go-to source of reference.
That being said, I am involved in purchasing, owning and operating shopping centers in Florida as well as providing expert 3rd party leasing and management for commercial real estate in the South Florida market. If you can help facilitate the growth, please let me know.
A few questions: How do we know each other or how did you find my profile? What is your involvement in the shopping center industry (if any)? Which projects are you working on currently?