For me, after a few days off, a week of some social time, some quiet, reflective time and getting into some projects. At this time of year, most of my contemporaries are mixing the rounds of social events, shopping, lunches, drinks, coffees, cleaning up files and preparing paperwork for year-end to ‘make CRA happy.’
My December calendar is filling fast, and the starting gun has sounded. I’m feeling better than I can recall in many years at this stage ~ moving into a new year where production starts at zero.
I listen to competitors, industry talking-heads and gurus, and financial institution wiz-kids saying some form of ‘the sky is falling’ scary message, an indication to me they are operating on a mentality rooted in fear and scarcity.
The alternative view I’m sticking with, perhaps one much less common these days, is to leave fears behind and to expect abundance – and I do.
Given that the economic outlook is questionable, interest rates and inflation are getting too much attention, which drives too many people into a fear and scarcity mode. I think it was Napoleon who spoke about his competitor/enemy when we said, “When you see them making a mistake, don’t interrupt them.”
I can’t remember any market when clients said they were buying something because they didn’t have a need or leasing something when they didn’t have a purpose. Solving problems, relieving a pain point or seizing an opportunity – are action triggers. Ups and downs in the economy and interest rate volatility sometimes affect timing. Mostly, I’ve seen decisions based on solving a cost problem, grasping a valuable opportunity, or relieving some pain point.
While we must all keep alert to the changing landscape, there is a tendency to want to cross the street only when it is safe, with no traffic to navigate. I’m not an economist or math whiz, but I predict a fantastic year for my practice and meeting my client’s needs by exceeding their expectations. I expect most of my contemporaries are more tempered in their view, and after reading so much press lately about large companies in our industry are cutting back staff and/or outsourcing services in anticipation of a recession in 2023, I’m not surprised. And, like Napoleon, I feel no need to argue with my competitors about their choices …
I take a different view – and my areas of specialty are office leasing in Calgary (the highest vacancy in Canada) and institutional investor/P3 work with a focus on education facilities, helping NGOs, municipalities and school organizations get what they need when, at the same time, they have no money.
For me, I see the year ahead as the best of times. I was reminded this past weekend, as I spent time in Edmonton scouting some locations and driving around many past projects – and recalling the events that collided to make them happen.
I feel strongly that there has never been a better time to create solutions to solve apparently impossible problems, than when most people think it is a terrible time …
By the way, I’ll be publishing a Case Study later this week on how we helped a client solve a problem; they had 18 months to go on their lease – and how we downsized them by a third, reduced their rent to less than half what it was, negotiated a new lease with the landlord paying all the costs, without them having to move. That wasn’t the only option because other landlords were competing hard to win them. In the end, their Landlord saw it as wiser to negotiate a deal that cost them a lot because, in the end, they realized that was better than having a long vacancy and possibly even higher costs to replace that tenant. The Case Study is partly about that transaction, but it is more about execution of a strategy. If anyone you know facing the need to reduce costs, we can likely be helpful – so send me a note ‘requesting case study’ and I’ll be happy to share it with any potential client (but not with my competitors). My friend Simon Batcup always says, “A dream without a plan is a nightmare,” and he is right, but the converse might be, “A nightmarish problem is best solved by fully defining the problem, and then executing a winning strategy.”