When you’re in retail real estate, going to ICSC RECon is kind of going to the Super Bowl. It’s huge. It’s loud. It’s full of energy. And everyone is fired up.
In other words, it’s the perfect place for ID Plans CRO Seth Garber. Alongside his team, Seth spent most of last week in Las Vegas at RECon, which is billed as “the world’s largest global gathering of retail real estate professionals.” In this week’s Conversations from the Corner Office, we talked to Seth about his RECon experience.
“There was a lot more energy and an overall feeling that people were winning and that they were ready to do deals,” he said. “A lot of companies are doing new and cool things on both the property management and the ownership side, and I feel like the whole industry got a shot of adrenalin just by attending RECon.”
Here are Seth’s five big takeaways from his time at RECon:
“One thing I saw that was really encouraging was that tech companies are looking to work together rather than trying to sell features separately. It was cool for us because we were able to show off our new real-time property management software, Hubster, and other tech companies were excited about the prospect of visual property management. All the work we put in came together not just for ID Plans, but also to support the vision other companies have of increasing efficiency, effectiveness and pace.”
“I found it very encouraging that people who’ve been in this industry a long time are incredibly supportive of new ideas, and that’s not always the case in all industries. I kept seeing examples of people who have been in real estate for 20 years who were saying ‘What can I learn? What can we do faster? What can we learn from the younger generation and how they see the future?’ It was very refreshing.”
“Over the last few years, there’s been a lot of doom and gloom when talking about the future of retail. In our world, we sometimes see it sooner because of our Space Profile software that brokers use to lease vacant or soon-to-be vacant spaces faster. One thing I’ve noticed in those scenarios is that property owners are becoming incredibly innovative when it comes to the use of their space. They’re really taking the time to be proactive and think through the consumer experience. We’re seeing a lot more thought going into the resources and design features needed to support new tenants, and I think that’s going to continue.”
“As we met with our customers and the talked about their vision going into 2020 and beyond, they really demonstrated their true vision of what the retail world is going to look like. It’s going to be a much deeper experiential center where you can shop at your leisure and have interactive experiences you won’t get online. Also, on the topic of online, when we asked questions about online retailers, we got a lot of answers that mentioned the idea that brick-and-mortar tenants are there to support online retailers rather than to fight them. I think that’s a very positive outlook that shows there is room for all types of retailers if they are willing to be innovative.”
“One thing I noticed this year was that there were a lot of different departments represented at RECon that aren’t usually there – like people from finance and property management, for example. That tells me that there is a desire for more collaboration and cross-departmental utilization of technology. When I started in this business, everything was very siloed. Now it seems that companies are going in the other direction – they want to work together across departments to do their jobs better. There really is great synergy happening within the industry.”
Did you go to RECon this year, or have you been in the past? What did you learn? Leave your comments below.
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