Let the Norm be the Exception and the Exception be the Norm – BE DIFFERENT

Let the Norm be the Exception and the Exception be the Norm—BE DIFFERENT
~Tyler Bennett

When I started Bennett Realty & Development, there were (and still are) very few boutique integrated brokerage and development companies out there.  Launching this platform is what I wanted to do and has been the best professional decision I have made to date. It also turns out, it is different, similar to just about every decision I have ever made.    You see that’s the easy part about doing and being different. Most of the time, if you just follow your passion and do what you want to do, it WILL be different. Its when you stop and think “is this normal,” “should I do this?” that you short-change yourself from seeing different.

First of all, who wants to be normal in business?  Normal means you blend in, aren’t remembered, and are just another face in the crowd.  It’s less fun, exciting, and far less rewarding. In any business, including mine, that is a formula for lack of success and certainly lack of legacy.

The broker that wins deal of the year or the developer that wins accolades from completing the “impossible” project isn’t normal, they’re different.  Or how about the plumber who runs a small company for 30 years and raises a family? Believe it or not, that’s different! You see, the people that sit on the sidelines and judge what is different are in fact the normal ones.  The whole idea that there is a word out there called “different” that describes doing something other than what is normal is unsettling to me.

No different is too small and not every different has to be loud and acknowledge by others.  Let me give you an example. Every morning I wake up and go for a run at 5:30am. At the end of my driveway, I can go left to go down-hill or right to go up-hill.  I consciously go right because it’s different, which makes it more difficult but also makes me stronger. I do this when no one is looking and there is no one to even judge the decision.  This is when the core intent of being different matters.

For some, it’s easier, ‘different’ comes naturally and is subconscious.  But that doesn’t mean you cannot create your own path consciously and be different. The outcome is the same.  For me, it is somehow engrained in me. I am genuinely unhappy doing the societal norms. A trait my wife really loves!  

Life it too short, there are too many opportunities to do good and to make a difference to not be different.  Being different is a pattern, it’s a habit and it is not always easy to push the “different way”, especially when you see a clear path going the opposite way but stay the course and don’t give in!  

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Are you prepared for ICSC RECON this year?

The week before the annual International Council of Shopping Center (ICSC) RECON conference in Las Vegas is ALWAYS hectic, assuming you believe in and practice PREPARATION.

When I say PREPARATION, I’m not talking about some senior broker or SVP telling you, “Remember to wear comfortable shoes, hydrate, eat the protein bar your Mom bought for you”. By the way I couldn’t disagree more with this being portrayed as PREPARATION and my response to that is… wear uncomfortable shoes, get scathing blisters, and suck it up if you believe those shoes will advance your potential to WIN, forget to drink water and get tired, over-work yourself, stay out late, over-pay for a productive dinner with clients. That was a little side-bar rant on advice. Now back to the basis of this blog, PREPARATION. Here are some practices I use:

6 months before the show, create a “PRE-ICSC” note pad or word document saved on your desktop. When you read about something in your industry; an emerging Tenant, new Landlord’s acquisition you want to pitch, etc. or just have an idea, or thought, write it down! If not recorded and later acted upon, these thoughts get lost. This is the biggest way to OUT-PERFORM most people out there. Who the heck thinks about a conference 6 months in advance? I do.

Map out a floor plan, highlighting the booths/companies/people that you perhaps don’t have or couldn’t get an appointment with. Mix those booths in between meetings you may have so that in between one meeting to the next you can strategically and efficiently visit those highlighted booths. Try not to ONLY see people you have meetings with…I have been there, and you can lose your edge…stay relevant and in front of new things.

Can’t get someone to take a meeting with you when you stop by their booth? Try bringing them a coffee in the later afternoon or sandwich around lunch time. Watch how quickly the person manning the booth will go interrupt your prospect’s meeting with, “Someone is here with coffee/sandwich for you.” If you wait until you’re out there to determine when/who you’re doing this with, you missed the point…head in to the show with the time, location, and name of the person you plan to do this to… PREPARATION.

Say something unforgettable at the end of every meeting. This could be business or personal…I’ll admit, this is hard but once a meeting is over everyone mentally pivots to their next meeting, don’t let them…leave them with something that can be referenced 10 years from now with a “do you remember when you said?” Use common sense here.

Don’t just leave your business card at a booth you stop by when the person is not available. Leave your card with a $1 or $5 bill wrapped around it, or even a coupon. You may be looked at like you’re crazy but when you make that follow up phone call in early June, you won’t be lost in the stack of cards.
These are not actions, they’re pre-meditated plans of action, otherwise known as PREPARATION.

Once you have decided this a business trip and not a mid-20’s bachelor party, you know that you cannot ‘over-prepare’ for the World Series, NBA Finals, Olympic Events, can you? What’s the difference?

Be an artist in your craft and make the PREPARATION your World Series, and the event becomes the celebration.

Are you prepared for ICSC RECON this year? Read More »

VIDEO: Health Clubs and the Overall Real Estate Market with Dennis Cieri

A little less than a year ago we embraced the power of social media. Today we are proud to bring you Episode 1 of our vlog, OUR WAY.

We will be brining you interesting and relevant guests, not just in Real Estate, but that epitomize entrepreneurship and hustle, and do it their way!

Hope you enjoy!

PS—we would love your comments/thoughts


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Who are you?  No really, who?  And perhaps more important, who do you want to be?

A question most don’t ask themselves but one that I ask myself often, not that I doubt myself but because I want to be self-aware and stay calibrated.  Authenticity is one of the anchors of your existence. Its why I am where I am, controlling my own destiny with an entrepreneurial spirit at my own Company.  I couldn’t be authentic in any other circumstances, but I came to learn that the hard way.

If you are reading this, stop, take 20 seconds and look deep upon yourself and ask, is this really me?  Am I being truly who I say I am, am I acting honestly?…you know the answer, you know the truth, you feel the truth.  You may get 100% to believe but you can’t fool yourself.

What leads to being unauthentic you may wonder?, I think its lack of confidence.  People fear being who they are because of what people may think or how society will judge them, or because its not consistent with what they’ve been told in college or school.  Self-admittingly, there was a time in my career I was NOT being authentic. Things were harder, deals didn’t happen as much, opportunities withered. I wasn’t keeping it real, so the world wasn’t keeping it real with me and I paid a price…and mostly I wasn’t HAPPY.

Don’t consume yourself by others potential thoughts, the only judge that matters is yourself and your family.  I write this with the hope that this affects 1 person in a positive manner. Keep it real and be AUTHENTIC!

“Authenticity is proven by actions, not thoughts or material things”~ T.B.


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Creating the Perfect Development Team

More context is needed in these blogs before I jump into a topic I’m passionate about. Bennett Realty & Development does a lot of development work as principals and although my past experiences have been the hard-core salesman, I have learned that development requires so much more. Being a great salesperson can lead to much success but what happens when your business requires that and more? Being a good salesperson will only take you so far towards being a successful developer. In fact, many developers can “over-sell” and hurt their prospect of securing a site or a tenant. As the developer, you are the person with the vision of what can be accomplished, how to go about it, and who to hire for each phase of the operation. Without a developer, the project can fall apart at any stage. It’s like having a major league sporting team with no general manager or an army platoon with no general. One of the most important aspects of success as a developer is building the right team. Development deals require a large team of specialists – experts in their respective fields. Knowing exactly which of these experts you need from the following list could make the difference between success and failure.

• Architect – turns the vision behind the project into a detailed blueprint from which the general contractor and builders can work.

• Engineer – working with the architects, they create the process by which the project can come to life.

• Environmental Consultant – assesses any environmental impact the construction, the presence of the completed building, or property usage might have.

• General Contractor – using the work of the architects and engineers, they oversee acquiring the proper builders and the day-to-day work on the project.

• Land Use Attorney – investigates laws and zoning to prevent expedition of a project that zoning or law will not allow. And perhaps more importantly is a commonly-seen face to boards if they are active within the town. These are the “relationship” people.

• Lender – Often, large commercial real estate ventures require more operating capital than the investors have. Lenders provide this additional funding and sometimes exert some level of oversight to ensure proper usage of the borrowed funds.

• Project Manager – maintains the plans, scheduling, and budget for the property. They work with most of the upper echelon of the team, making sure they have everything to complete the work on time, within budget, and at a high quality. They are also responsible for reporting the progress of the work to any stakeholders.

• Surveyor – hired to show the exact boundaries, access, and any easements that the city, county, or state may have in place. They will then stake and/or flag the corners of the property.

• Title Agent – makes sure the land is free and clear of any claims or liens against it.

• Traffic Engineer – determines whether a property is viable for the intended usage, and then plans access to the property based on the existing roads.

• Planner—while not always needed in a site plan application, planners can be the “cherry on the top” in testimony to boards to explain the practical effects of a potential new development. In some cases, towns & cities have their own third-party planners to provide insight into the overall character of the project and how it fits into the towns’ master plan or vision.

The success depends on you, the developer, choosing the right people for the jobs!

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