Randy Blankstein is a Senior Commercial Real Estate Executive with over 30 years of experience. He led The Boulder Group to be on the Top 10 Company National Ranking for single tenant retail transactions by both CoStar and Real Capital Analytics from 2010-2020. He founded and managed Net leased companies on both the advisory and principal sides that have been involved in over $6 billion in single-tenant transactions. In 2014, 2019, and 2020, he received the Honorable Mention for Net Lease Executive of the Year by Commercial Property Executive magazine. In 2018, he was inducted into RE Journals Real Estate Magazine’s Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame.

He focuses on advisory services in the single-tenant net lease sector. Currently, he is the Chair of the Net Lease Summit Conference.

 

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Becoming a Top-Five CoStar CRE Advisor with 1,400 Closings with Randy Blankstein

 

Brett: 

I’m excited about our next guest. He’s what I like to call a Hall of Famer when it comes to all things commercial real estate. He’s the President of the boulder group out of Chicago and in 2014 19 and 20. He received the Honorable Mention for net lease Executive of the Year by commercial property executive magazine. In 2008, he was inducted into the real estate Journal’s Real Estate magazines commercial real estate Hall of Fame. And for decades from 2009 to 2020. was ranked by costar as one of the top five commercial real estate advisors in the nation. With just over 1400 completed transactions. Please welcome to show with me, Randy Blankstein. Randy, how are you doing, sir? 

Randy:

Good! How are you, Brett? Thanks for having me.

Brett: 

For our listeners getting to know you for the first time, Randy, would you give us a little bit more about your background and your current focus?

Randy:

Sure, I mean, I’ve been in the age myself a little bit, been in the commercial real estate business for 30 years now, primarily and almost exclusively as an owner of a boutique. net lease investment brokerage company called the border group. You know, we focus on retail office and industrial for single-tenant properties, names like Home Depot, Walgreens, Dollar General, etc, you know, we coordinate with and with the name of your show passive income, mostly through, you know, triple net ownership of, you know, people mostly at the end of their career looking to get out of multifamily or other active management property into more passive investing, you know, like triple net lease single-tenant, which requires you to collect a check for the most part and is our primary focus.

Brett: 

Excellent love that we’re going to dive into some of those strategies and some of the thoughts on building your, your brokerage, and how you help your clients. But I want to start this first question to help myself and our listeners get to know you for the first time. You know, I believe we’ve all been given certain gifts in this life, Randy, and some people call them superpowers, some people call them strengths, I believe they’ve been their God-given gifts. And these gifts have been given to us to be a blessing and have helped others. So I want you to go back maybe to your college days or your high school days, and maybe you can identify, you know, maybe one or two gifts that you believe you were given? And how do those gifts help how you help people today?

Randy:

In a counterintuitive sense. You know, I think one of my main success points in this business has been because I’m an introvert, and this is primarily an extroverted business. And I think being an introvert is allowed me to, you know, stand out because you end up spending more time listening than talking. And, you know, kind of just differentiate yourself in this business where a lot of people like to talk and say a lot of things, you know, I tend to gather information, more fact-based, more research base, and then, you know, I’m able to relate in that, in that way. A lot of my extroverted friends and competitors, you know, tend to say a lot more things, you know, off the cuff or work more on the relationship. And I spend more time focusing on, you know, the client needs, the property, property level specifics, and things of that nature. And I think, you know, being kind of quiet or an introvert in the space, but people will tell you, it’s probably not the primary people that you’ll run into that have helped me out over time.

Brett: 

That’s powerful. And I think I think you could write a whole book on just that. Of itself, by the way, to learn more about Randy Blankstein at bouldergroup.com and Blankstein, I’m sorry, Blankstein, it’s on a fight that right if that Ein right.

Randy:

Everyone’s trying to fight it. Yes. Yeah.

Brett: 

Stein, yes. stein@bouldergroup.com. But I think there’s so much wisdom there, Randy, of what you’re saying there. And it’s, you know, there is a reason it says, you know, listen twice as much as you talk. And I definitely can relate to it because I’m the extrovert, right, and I can get talking, and I can get excited. And you know, and sometimes that’s not serving the client, we’re not focusing on the property, and the underwriting and the value add opportunity or the nuance to a deal, especially if you’re representing on the buy-side. And by listening. When I first started at Marcus and Millichap, they always talked about asking open-ended questions. And we sat in a circle, and we would in training, and we would have to just keep asking open-ended questions. And you cannot, you could not ask a closed-ended question or you’re outright or you got like a ding on the training. And so it’s just learning to ask open-ended questions learning to listen. I also read a book recently with a gentleman who never split the difference and he talks about the power mirroring, right where you can mirror what the other person is saying and and and they the psychology and the chemistry behind the brain in that if someone doesn’t know what if they’ve been heard, it’s very difficult to be in communication. And so the idea of mirroring is by saying the last few words or last few sentences or thoughts that they had in the last few sentences. And once they go, yes, he’s heard me, now they can be in a state of hearing. So let’s, let’s dive into that a little bit more there. Besides, you know, being an introvert, which is, which has helped you to listen more? What other ways have you honed your listening skills?

Randy:

Well, as I said, I may be a beneficiary in some ways and never have formal training, because you kind of has to figure out things yourself a little bit. And I think that helps over time. You know, again, I think you can pick up some nuances of what people say that maybe a backhanded comment or you people originally did focus on in the conversation, and you can end up drilling down and, you know, discovering for certain things that, you know, will benefit you later. I think a lot of people, when you talk to them, especially about their acquisition criteria, you know, go on and tell you, you know, they’re looking for, you know, a major Metro credit tenant, a long term lease, and all the kinds of things which, you know, make a very high-quality asset. And then they tell you, on the other hand, well, you know, I’m only looking to pay a quarter, six and a half cap, and those things are kind of disconnected. So you need to figure out kind of, are they more focused on the six and a half cap? Are they more focused on the high-quality tenant, and usually can tell by the passion or excitement in their voice as to what side of the conversation that they’re on? So I think, again, open-ended questions are great, but you have to focus on, you know, what they’re talking about what they say, first, what they keep coming back to, and just little nuances that you pick up during the conversation, which, you know, can guide you in the right direction. And again, now, you can’t take people at their word. You know, we’ll say things in good faith, but they may mean different things. Whereas some are focused on the value of cap rate, others are focused on quality. People say they’re focused on posts, but you have to determine, you know, what’s the correct focus here?

Brett: 

Yeah, very well said, I think sometimes too, but for the clients that we’re helping to advise. They don’t know until they’re talking with you. And they’re thinking out loud, you know, and they’re discussing through and they’re going through it and, and, and when you and it’s some kind of psychology, in a sense, right, you pick up on something that they not, may not be as aware of, and then you connect that need or that solution, or you know, how that property is, is going to help them you know, especially this triple net credit tenant, you know, something that’s more secure something that’s more dependable, or all of those things play a role, you know, the emotional the EQ, right, versus just the IQ is so important. That being said, What’s the most rewarding part, Randy, of what you do? 

Randy:

Um, you know, the most rewarding part is people come to me more at the end of their career, and they come to me on defense, not on offense, you know, they’ve made their money in land speculation and multifamily speculation, in other kinds of development. And now, they’re trying to mostly be 1031 exchanges, to protect that income, and build themselves a fixed income, passive income for retirement, and a steady income stream. So you know, my goal is for certain people not to hear from them again, which means that the property is performing, that the income is coming in, and the properties are selected that they’re very happy with, and they don’t feel the need to sell. You know, that kind is a success that, you know, I’ve helped someone, you know, achieve their retirement dreams that they thought they were going to do and that the defensive strategy, the conservative thing, which is what mathletes is about, you know, has performed and they’re very happy with it. So again, you know, the fewer complaints and the fewer problems, the better off we saw their solution over time.

Brett: 

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. I love that defense versus offense, right. So your triple net, passive, you know, typically, depending on if it’s an absolute triple net, there’s just, it’s just mailbox money, right? versus the value add heavy multifamily, or, or multi-tenant retail, or industrial hotel, I can be very, very hands-on this can be passive. So now let’s talk about the importance of diversification and the importance of finding that deal. That’s going to be indeed something you can count on. You know, I think of my in the early days of the crash, you know, there was I did a Hollywood deal there, we sold it like right, kind of before everything kind of blew up, and you go, you know, there’s certain tenants to talk about the, you know, deciphering and figuring out how to make sure you’re getting in with the top-rated tenants, and that people can help them feel secure and that investment?

Randy:

Yeah, um, so the analogy I always use is, you know, we are the bond market versus the stock market. You know, the stock market is where you do more speculation, you’re looking for higher returns in the bond market, which is a defensive part if you’re looking for fixed income, a steady income stream, and not a lot of surprises. So, you know, being the bond market of it. You know, we always think that especially people at the end of their career, you know, they’re protecting their money, they’re not going to maybe get a second chance to time because they’re getting up there in age. That, you know, this is the retirement and then you need to make it less than need to build up, you know, steady cash flow stream so that we steer people towards primarily, you know, investment grade products, which is standard and poor’s, which is a rating agency, you know, rates all these tenants based on their financial strength, you know, and the better ones with long term leases and sometimes in major metros, you know, are the most expensive on a cap rate basis. But, again, since you’re playing in the bond market, and the conservative side of things, we think selling for a lower yield, which is longer, longer exploration leases, better tenants, better metros, you know, is the correct play for that, there’s certainly a part of the thing for higher risk if you want to go, you know, buy, you know, tenants, which are struggling or short term leases, there’s a side where you can do some value add or opportunistic, invested, and that leaves, but down the road middle, the middle of the fairway investor, he’s looking for conservative, he’s looking for safety. So that’s the part which we focus on primarily.

Brett: 

Excellent. So let’s talk a little bit about Delaware statutory trust versus, you know, triple net, just 1031s. So either buying and giving up, you know, control, let’s just put it that way on a Delaware, right, versus owning your deal. What’s your take on it? How do you walk a client through who might be considering Hey, I’ll just give this up to a Delaware Statutory trust versus just doing a traditional 1031 and buying their deal?

Randy:

Well, look, generically, our 10 clients tend to be on the very high net worth side of things. So you know, there used to be ownership, they don’t necessarily play that great in the sandbox with others. And, you know, they want to control the decisions, they want to be able to, you know, things like death, divorce, and other things come into play, they want to be the final control over it. So, you know, we primarily steer smaller clients and smaller being caught one to 400,000 of equity, you know, they’re much better DST, you can buy higher-quality properties, you know, the diversification makes more sense if you have a smaller portfolio with a variety of DSTs. You know, that can be a diversification play. But again, I think if you have enough money for your property, and meaning a million of equity or more, you know, you should buy your property, because there’s a level of control that you can get with a DST. So again, I think there’s nothing wrong with DSTs. Other than, you know, it’s a control issue and a kind of a secondary market issue. So I think it’s better for smaller investors and, you know, sole ownership, it’s our focus is better for larger investors. I think that’s the end of the day play.

Brett:

Yeah, I agree, I couldn’t agree with you more and also to the importance of liquidity, right, in today’s today’s marketplace, diversification and the ability to, to to be able to buy when you want to, right, so a lot of these Delaware’s and I’ve done some deals with some clients. And of course, then 1031 exchanges in the deferred sales trust as well. And then like seven to 10 years, I mean, you’re locked up, right, and you’re out, it’s out of your control, and they’re managing it. And it’s a lot of high fees to some big fees. And you go, is it worth it for that versus just buying, buying my deal, right, and being unable to sell or refinance or do something when, when if I want the money or need the money. So I think you got to take a peek at, you know, all of the pros and cons behind the Delaware statutory trust. And I even think, to the horror days of the TIC’s, when the TIC’s didn’t work out, right. And people got in with some groups that weren’t as to say, good at making quality decisions with investments in lost everything. So you got to be careful there. Okay, so Delaware statutory trust, triple nets. So now let’s focus on the brokers themselves. Like what separates? What do you think separates the top, you know, you’ve sold over 1400 deals? Right? And you’re the commercial real estate Hall of Fame, I think probably about everyone’s book and a top co-star broker? What separates the top from the average?

 

Becoming a Top-Five CoStar CRE Advisor with 1,400 Closings with Randy Blankstein

Becoming a Top-Five CoStar CRE Advisor with 1,400 Closings: “Typically, the research tells us, that a high-quality real estate agent that really knows what they are doing will add more to the equation than they cost. Because people make mistakes when selling their own home – the mistakes are costly” – Dave Ramsey

 

Randy:

Um, you know, I think, look, the top people tend to be more direct or honest than others, I think, you know, they’re, they’re later stage in their career, most of them, and they don’t have to kind of over-promise, you know, I never understood people who, you know, want to start a relationship by over-promising on, you know, unachievable cap rates, because it’s a long term game, and then you have to take a long term perspective. So, you know, we focus on, you know, under-promising and over-delivering, that’s how to build long-term relationships. I think you do the right thing over time, you know, you’ve built a book of files, and you get repeat clients. And I think if you’re not always looking to repeat clients over and over again, I mean if you’re always looking for new clients, you haven’t spent enough time servicing your existing one. So, you know, I think it’s a bunch of small little things over time that puts you in the right direction, meaning we’ve had one focus, we stayed in business for 30 years. Our reputation is good, you know, we under promise, I mean, it’s a lot of little things collectively that add up. You know, a lot of people either go from thing to thing or switch you know, goes on at least when it’s hot and they switch to multifamily, then they switch to land, you know, we’re kind of boring and go to keep to the same thing over and over time. You can know in the space, you get a niche, you know, people I understand they trust you, they want to do business with you, for their kids want to do business with you. So, you know, it’s real reputation over time. And you earn a reputation kind of one day at a time and, you know, one decision at a time again, you know, honesty and some people might find me rude at times or, you know, not telling them what they want to hear. But it’s certainly well, and again, a lot of times we don’t get brokerage assignments because people don’t like our guidance or, or what we have to say about the property. But we ended up what we said was truthful at the end. So maybe we get it you know, repriced six months from now, as a second broker in, you know, that’s a big share of our business. So again, we’re okay losing assignments. We don’t tell people that everything they have is the best, the greatest, and show them comps, which are not realistic. I mean, if your property’s in Illinois, where I live, it’s probably not as good in demand today, like Florida and Texas and tax-free states and things with positive population growth. And you need to make people aware of it. So some people show conflict, everything’s all the same. You know, Walgreens is within 15 years of Walgreens 13 years. But that’s not the case. There are other factors in decision with certain markers, which are deeper than smaller. So again, you know, Tom, people things they don’t want to hear, why doesn’t sound like a great strategy has done well for us over time.

Brett:

Very well said. So, so good. By the way, you can learn more about Randy Blankstein at Bouldergroup.com. So let’s talk about those tax-free states. And let’s talk about capital gains tax as one of the biggest challenges, Biden is proposing potentially to raise and double the federal from about 20 to about 40, he’s thinking about perhaps taking away or limiting the 1031 exchange. So when you’re looking at taxation, you’re looking at potentially some of those challenges? How are you preparing your clients to handle those things?

Randy:

Well, look, I tell them, you have to operate for the moment as if things are not going to change. Because why they might, you know, since I’ve been the business, which is almost 30 years, you know, 1031 exchange has been a hot button issue, it’s been on the table, and it’s always easy to for talking points, doesn’t sound good, you’re giving tax benefits, just maybe some of the more wealthy individuals in the country. But the reality is that there is, of course, a lot of different real estate values. It has other people who are beneficiaries of it downstream from title companies, to lenders, and lenders, you know, and insurance companies, and banks, and these are all things that stocks in companies people work for. So the real estate market is supported by 1031s to some extent, and evaluations based upon the existing. And if they don’t exist, you know, everything from local towns, transfer taxes are going to be impacted. So, and tax values of the property. So, you know, there’s a lot of negative effects of 1031 going away, and why understand popular people need revenue, especially today. And by the ones to target it. You know, ultimately, I think that one tends to not change, unless it gets swept up into a much larger tax bill, which since we kind of all have different degrees of loopholes, that has a chance to go through and that has the chance of getting rid of everyone. By itself. I think the real estate lobby, and the real estate individuals, people that understand this issue, will talk them out of passing it through common sense. But again, it’s always going to be for a talking point, because, you know, generically, it looks like a tax benefit for higher-income individuals. But I think if you get to the nuances and the details, I think the story is much better. I think most Americans, you know, at least own a home. So they’re in the market, even in the commercial real estate market. You know, so they understand the implications of what they are saying, look, you may get this tax now, but the value of your property is going to go down. Nobody wants to hear that message. It’s just the real estate industry messaging that effectively.

Brett:

Yeah, I couldn’t agree with you more. And let’s hope 1031 stays in place because it truly incentivizes people to trade. And, when they trade, they typically buy a bigger property which gets a higher property tax, which in turn, you know, creates a commission which is a taxable event for like a broker and escrow and, and then the new property that’s purchased and perhaps even their building, they’re built there. They’re going to build and expand that property or renovate that property which creates better housing for more people. So the key is to keep the money flowing like water, and as it flows, you can create more versus being stagnated. And so hopefully they keep 1031 there. That being said, let’s get into like some of the nuances of like depreciation, right, you know, and so on commercials about 39 years for commercial property, you know, multifamily that 27 and a half years are you using some cost segregation to help your you know, connecting your clients there and how has that been a value add over the years to help them create and preserve more wealth.

Randy:

You know, the depreciation for bread and butter property. Most people don’t spend a ton of time focusing on I think if you want a specialty property like a C store convenience store, where certain things can be depreciated at different levels, that has a pure benefit or you know, larger industrial properties or larger office properties, you know, cost-saving A Million Dollar Dollar General doesn’t pay off for you. You know, but as you get to $5 million properties, and you get to things which have, you know, different depreciation schedules sometimes, you know, you can buy a property, and it’s not 39 years and certain items that are, you know, different schedules, you know, makes a lot of sense. So, I think it’s something that everyone should look at with their properties. Sometimes it makes more sense than others, you know, but certainly, you have to look at appreciation as part of your overall return. And those are the overall returns. If you look at depreciation on top of it, you know, it’s very difficult to beat commercial real estate over the long term on a strict investment basis. And depreciation is certainly one of the benefits of it. tested, one change is another benefit, you know, there’s just certain things you need to commercial real estate that, you know, juice your returns, and you know, it’s real after-tax money that comes to you. So I think everyone should look at depreciation, but you may or may not apply, and every last property.

Brett:

Excellent. And I know you’ve done, I don’t know, hundreds or 1000s of 1031 exchanges over the years, I’m just curious, what’s your biggest frustration or your clients’ frustrations, when it comes to the 1031 exchange?

Randy:

Well, I think the 45-day window, which is what you have to identify your properties after you close, I think a lot of people were stuck with 60 or 90 days, because, you know, they feel like they have a gun to their head. And you know, that there’s like more breathing room, and everybody always wants more time to make a big decision. So, you know, I think they would like that extended a little bit, I don’t think there’s a negative impact by extending 15 more days to 60 is one of the issues and then B, I think people would like to, you know, just see it kind of an easier process and see, you know, things like reverse exchanges, where you buy the property first made a little bit easier, a little bit less expensive. So there are always people that want to complain and tinker with the rules. And you know, some of them should be changed over time. But at the moment, the industry is kind of just focused on not having tax changes go through. So I think the minor modification issues are going to be for a different year, I think, you know because Biden focused on this. Last year, I think a lot of people were just focused on, you know, let’s stop any tax modifications for this year. And we’ll get to the nuances and the changes, you know, one of the years, you know, this is tissues fighting to keep 1031 alive and, and pretty much the same as it is for the most part.

Brett:

Yeah, no very well said. I’m calling it the shotgun wedding, right? You get engaged in 45 days, and you get married at 180. And, and sometimes it’s fine, right? Because you can find deals that make sense, and especially if it’s a buyers market, I can I tend to think it’s a seller’s market, and prices are like through the roof right now. And rates are so low, it’s driving prices even higher. So I’m I, we specialize in the deferred sales trust, which is an alternative 1031 exchange that gives people unlimited timing to buy whatever they want. And I think about the Oh 506 market when things were really rising in price, and then oh, eight hits, you know, and it was kind of a big shocker. So playing the Monday morning quarterback, and I don’t know, if you own real estate, Randy, but I want to take you back to those times, knowing what you know, now, would you have sold everything and just paid the tax?

Randy:

That also assumes you would have sold, put it into the right thing. And then, you know, got out of it at the right time. And then we started it again. So you have to make a lot of assumptions on just selling. You know, again, the beauty of net leased properties, you get a 15-year lease in 2007. You know you didn’t notice anything happened, your income came every month. And you know, your lease is just expiring now because it was a 15 or 20-year lease. So, you know, the beauty of net lease is it keeps you downturns like the beginning of Corona last year, you know, nothing changed you meaning you got your income, you, you know, your story of performance may not even open. But if again, if you’re an investment grade tenant, you got your tract and everything was on. So you know valuations change, the only thing I think that’s fundamentally changed is that you have a large population that is, you know, an older demographic that’s under-saved for retirement and looking for yield. That was also where interest rates go or other exchange rules that are not going to change anytime soon. There’s a group between 65 and 80, which is bigger than ever, which retirement savings aren’t as big as they thought they would be. So there will be this move towards yield. And you know, treasuries aren’t gonna get you to where the income that most people envisioned five to 10 to 15 years ago. And so, you know, net lease at five caps even, you know, is a versus 10-year Treasury bond investing is triple your income from the treasury bond. Yes, it’s a different risk, risk profile, all the things but it’s still a tripling of your income. And so if you’re but if you’re buying in rates or other ways to get into the market, not necessarily directly or through DSTs or, or any product, you know, its yield pick up and so long as there’s individual searching for yield, which again, you know, the retirement crisis isn’t abating anytime soon. You know this is going to be a good asset class. It is a fixed income. Your replacement. And I think that is the biggest driver for the next 10 years, you know, that subset exists again, not that the market can go down. But that’s my hope, as far as there’s a cushion below that will always seek yield as the market goes down, people will try to be locked in that yield. So that’s optimistic.

Brett:

That makes sense. Yeah. Like they get the 15-year lease, you’ve got no 715. Yeah, then you’re just now coming to the end of that lease. And I mean, assuming the tenant stayed in place, right. And I don’t know what the stats are on that right of it’s a little over 85%. Yeah. Okay. So 85% of them stayed in business. So you had a 15% chance again, and hopefully, that they just went out completely, and then you lose, you lose out there. But, okay. The next thing I want to focus on is the estate tax, right? Because sometimes people don’t even look at this. And you’re right, the 65 to 80-year-olds, it’s part of the baby boomers, this is according to the American Bankers Association is about 17 to 20 trillion, it’s going to pass and the next 18 to 20 years. And this is the largest wealth transfer in the history of the planet that we know of. There’s about 10,000, every day turning 65. And there’s about 70. In the US alone, there are about 77 million. And not only looking at this, you know, capital gains tax if they sell and don’t have 1031, don’t have a deferred sales trust, or don’t have a Delaware statutory trust. But once they pass their estate, if it’s inside of the taxable state, they’re going to get hit with 40% above the exclusion. So for example, we just did a deal. Randy, I’m curious what you think about it, it’s, it was in Colorado, and it was a couple they have about a $25 million net worth mostly in commercial real estate. And they sold an asset for about 5 million in multifamily property. And they use the deferred sales trust, they moved it outside of the taxable estate, and part of why they liked the deferred sales trust is because instead of 1031 was because it could save the state tax, right, which is 40%. So right now, it’s set to expire in 2025 going from 22 million married, probably back down to about 12 million married, okay. And so if you’re single, it’s already half of that 12 million single and it’ll be going down to 6 million single likely we could change, right, but, but any thoughts on just helping your clients with a state tax to be able to create and preserve more wealth once they pass it to their kids.

Randy:

We don’t spend as much time as you focus on, you know, deferred sales trust or estate planning. Probably we should, most of the time people get to us as they, you know, our high net worth, and that’s probably their team of kind of accountants, attorneys, estate planners, etc, that they go through it. So we’re kind of an after-the-fact on that. So while we might have clients who may focus on that, we don’t directly, you know, help them with their estate plan. Usually, they have it set up, they have a state attorney, they have a plan. And you know, we’re already a part of the plan that’s in place. So you see more of the front end, we see what the back end got.

Brett:

Yep. stay in your lane. Stay focused on where you’re at with Yeah, that sounds good. That’s what we do all that being said, Are you ready for the lightning round?

Randy:

I’m ready for the lightning round. Yes.

Brett:

All right. Here we go. So knowing what you know now, Randy, if you could go back to your 25-year-old self, what’s the one Golden Nugget you would tell yourself to do or to check out?

Randy:

I spent a few years myself by myself doing everything. I would have hired a team on day one if I had known better, regardless if I could afford it or not.

Brett:

Got it hired team day one and scale. How big is your team right now, by the way?

Randy:

There are only six of us, which still has a lot of volumes. But again, it took too long for him to go from one to six. It should have been a six-day one.

Becoming a Top-Five CoStar CRE Advisor with 1,400 Closings with Randy Blankstein

Brett:

Got it. Excellent. And that could be a whole other show. We can touch on that. Number one book you’ve recommended the most in the past year?

Randy:

Poor Charlie’s Almanack, my favorite book of all time. It’s about Charlie Munger, who’s Warren Buffett’s partner. Why it’s an investing book. It’s really about ways of thinking and kind of how to live your life. It talks about you know, a way to invert think it’s just a way to model success. And you know how he’s done. Well fascinating book.

 

Brett:

Poor Charlie’s Almanac. I’m gonna check that out. Okay, awesome. Excellent. The next question would be the biggest challenge or obstacle facing commercial real estate brokers today.

Randy:

I still think longer-term fees are going to come under pressure somewhat. So someone like me may mindless because we’re used to higher volume. But I think there’s a lot of people that do a few transactions a year, and you know, that will very negatively impact them. So I think again, I think two more streamlined commodities and transparent. You know, there’ll be some fee pressure moving forward. Again, it just means you sound like we may have to do a few more deals a year. But for some people, that’s very difficult. So something that we’ll watch out for.

Brett:

Yeah, no, I think you’re right. The automation technology is challenging the valuation proposition of every single business professional and you see Redfin and Zillow on the residential side. And we’re seeing it on the commercial side too, with the auction sites and the different things. And so the value representation is under fire. So, yeah. Yeah, I couldn’t agree with you more. So, the next question is this, what’s your favorite leadership quote, or theme that you strive to live by?

Randy:

Um, Vince Lombardi said, “winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.” You know, kind of an absolutist approach. But you know, the goal is to win. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t win fairly or ethically. But you know, the goal is ultimately to win. So I think a lot of people sell themselves short or are happy with either the status quo or kind of winning. To me, it’s absolute to see that you know, you’ve won or you haven’t, and if you can do anything to win, you should be doing it. Push yourself a little bit harder.

Brett:

Love it. could agree with you more love Vince Lombardi. Next question. Second, the last question is this. What are you curious about right now?

Randy:

I don’t know. This is because my son is into it but I’m very curious about cryptocurrencies. Haven’t traded them reading a book on them now. Just trying to understand kind of our perspective on it. Because my first perspective was, you know, this, I don’t see what the value is, I don’t see how these things are valued. I don’t understand this business at all. But it’s real business to some extent. And, you know, I’m just trying to figure out, not just to invest, but just in general, you know, how this thing came from nowhere, how Bitcoin became the star of it, why people are infatuated with it, why the prices available? It’s just something I don’t understand is that I like to know a lot better.

Brett:

It’s fascinating. Yeah, I’ve dabbled just a little bit just to just kind of play there. But it’s, uh, yeah, it’s a whole nother universe. And we’ve had some clients that we’re working on some different, some capital gains tax and some cryptocurrency deals. And it’s just so fascinating to go. You know, I talked to him like, what’s, what’s your coin? I’m like, Why? Why is that the coin? And they explained it to me, and I’m like, Ah, yeah, I’m a real estate guy. I’m like, uh, you know, built houses, my dad and rentals on my life like this are just, and I’m a millennial, right, and still kind of going over my head. But, but, ya know, I mean, there’s, we’ll see, we’ll see what happens, you know, that the drones, right, the drones and the cryptocurrencies are gonna be, you know, taking over everything. Last question here, after all, your success after being named as one of the top five commercial real estate costar brokers in the nation over 1400 deals and having your team be successful, helping your clients over all the years, 30 years? Randy, how do you say centered in your values? And how do you stay encouraged to charge forward and reach for new goals?

Randy:

Staying centered is easy because I have a family that doesn’t necessarily care about my outside success that much. So, my wife, and my kids keep me pretty humble. So you know, that’s kind of an easy one. And I also think, like, you’re only as good as your last deal, no one wants to hear what you did, you know, three and five years ago. So you have to keep reinventing yourself and stay relevant and, you know, change with the times that, you know, I didn’t even really know or care much about the podcast industry a few years ago. And now that’s all I listened to. And I’ve done, you know, six this month, because I determined that, you know, over this downtime when there are no conferences and fewer meetings, you know, I should get into the podcast space as far as the guests. So I’m thrilled to be here today. And I’m trying to get actively involved in getting a hold of new people and see what I have to say on a podcast, I think it’s great.

Brett:

I think it’s fantastic. And even in a wonderful guest, you’ve provided tons of wisdom. And I’ve enjoyed it. I’m sure our listeners have enjoyed it. And for those who want to get in touch with you, Randy, what is uh, Can you remind them one last time, what’s the best place for them to find you,

Randy:

You can go to bouldergroup.com there’s a Contact Us page, or just look me up on LinkedIn. You know, I respond to both in there every day. 

Brett:

And it’s Randy Blankstein, and that’s bouldergroup.com. And I’ve hopefully you if you’re listening to this, first of all, you’re looking for a triple net broker who’s done 1000s, you know, over 1000 deals, you should reach out to Randy, he’s not just in Chicago, he’s doing it across the nation. And he’s probably worked with just about every triple net, high, highly profitable business that you can think of. So reach out to Randy, find him at his website, and on the radio, and encourage you to keep using the gifts and talents you’ve been given of embracing your introversion. Right, listening to people I think he said, right, and making sure that you are gathering information and helping people to have those aha moments, right. And with the preservation of their wealth and the more of the defense mode. I think that’s important as brokers to understand how you serve your role, what gifts you’ve been given and Randy knows what gift he’s been given and he’s using that gift to make a huge difference. In the commercial real estate world. That being said, For our listeners who want to listen and learn more about expert care secrets, you go to expert cru secrets.com where we have and you can also look us up on YouTube and you can see more episodes like this. Thank you for listening to another episode and remember not having a clear plan is the enemy and using a proven brokered strategy such as the XP commercial model, and purchasing investment, real estate, and finding your niche is the best way for you to create and preserve more wealth and real estate brokers. We appreciate you listening. Take care, everybody. Bye now.

 

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About Randy Blankstein

Becoming a Top-Five CoStar CRE Advisor with 1,400 Closings with Randy Blankstein

Randy Blankstein is a Senior Commercial Real Estate Executive with over 30 years of experience. He focuses on advisory services in the single-tenant net lease sector. He led The Boulder Group to Top 10 Company National Ranking for single tenant retail transactions by both CoStar and Real Capital Analytics from 2010-2020. He founded and managed Net leased companies on both the advisory and principal sides that have been involved in over $6 billion in single-tenant transactions. Currently, he is the Chair of the Net Lease Summit Conference. In 2014, 2019, and 2020, he received the Honorable Mention for Net Lease Executive of the Year by Commercial Property Executive magazine. In 2018, he was inducted into RE Journals Real Estate Magazine’s Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame.

 

 

 

 

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