Jen Tindle | Chief Comic Relief Officer | AllAboutCRE.com | All about CRE and CRE technology

Transcript

DA: Welcome to TEN, the Tenant Experience Network. I’m your host, David Abrams. Today we are connecting with with Jen Tindle, Chief Comic Relief Officer at AllAboutCRE.com.

In this episode, we learn about Jen’s journey to commercial real estate and how she got started in the business. Today, Jen is focused on helping to solve the knowledge gap that exists between CRE firms and CRE technology providers. Jen started her career in public accounting, a path we share in common, and found tremendous value in better understanding how businesses work.

She then leveraged that knowledge to land a position in private equity real estate, which at the time she knew nothing about. Then, Jen got exposure to many different parts of the business and discovered her passion for process and data. She co-founded a Proptech startup in the data integration business.

Jen’s latest project, AllAboutCRE.com, is an educational platform that builds on her love of learning. She shares some great insights into what the CRE industry needs to be thinking about over the next three to five years to continue to be successful, as well as her thoughts on how building tech stacks are evolving. Our discussion saw the role of host and guest often switching back and forth, which made for a very dynamic conversation, providing us both with the opportunity to share our perspectives.

We’re excited to share this podcast with you, so be sure to subscribe to TEN so you never miss an episode of the Tenant Experience Network. Now, I’d like to welcome Jen to the show. I’m really glad you could be with us today.

JT: Thank you so much for having me.

DA: I’m glad you could be with us, and I’m looking forward to our conversation. To kick things off, my favorite question. Tell me about your journey, your current position role, how you got started, and where you are today.


JT: Happy to share. I’ll start with where I am today, and then I’ll work backwards. I’m currently focused on solving the knowledge gap between commercial real estate firms and commercial real estate technology firms, and you knowing very well that there’s normally a gap there between those two.

How did I get to this position? It’s been a long and winding road. I started my career in public accounting.

I like to joke that I’m a recovering accountant. It was not the career path for me, but working at PwC gave me an incredible baseline for understanding how businesses work. I used that.

I leveraged that knowledge to land a private equity real estate job, which I was very fortunate to land. I knew nothing about real estate going into it. I just applied online and happened to get a job at Pennybacker Capital, which at the time was a much smaller eight-person firm.

There, I originally joined to help with their accounting and finance, and very quickly, because the firm was growing very rapidly, I expanded my role and got to do a little bit of everything from asset management to acquisitions to fundraising, capital formation, investor relations, you name it. What I loved the most, though, was just helping make our processes more efficient with data. I acted as almost like an internal consultant, which maybe you’ve seen at other real estate firms or even in your own firm.

We really needed someone who was just trying to automate some processes that were really slow and inefficient. Frankly, we’re holding us back from out-competing. I did that, and through that process, a lot of our investors started seeing, oh, you’re using this data to actually make better investment decisions.

Jen, would you go speak on these panels for us? Go represent what you’re doing to other GPs in the space so that they can better understand how they can use their own data. I did that, and as a result of speaking with other real estate firms, realized, hey, there’s a market demand for actually having better proprietary data and creating those data integrations when, as you know, the commercial real estate space is so difficult to integrate with.

I left Penny Backer and co-founded a commercial real estate tech startup, which was focused entirely on solving this data integration problem. Did that for two and a half years, served a variety of different real estate firms from managers to owners and private equity firms, family offices, affordable housing groups, you name it. I did that.

Towards the second half of last year and spent the rest of that year just taking a break, an intermission from being a founder, and realized that I couldn’t just sit there twiddling my thumbs. I started documenting all of the things that I learned in the commercial real estate space and in the tech space. As a founder, you know it better than most, drinking through a fire hose.

You’re learning so much all the time. I just wanted to get that out of my system and onto paper. When I hit 30,000 words, I was just like, okay, this is too much.

I have to document this in a way that’s satiable for the internet. I decided to create a platform, an educational platform called All About CRE. It’s allaboutcre.com, the purpose of which is exactly what I said before solving that knowledge gap in commercial real estate and commercial real estate tech, which I’m curious to hear. I’m sure you’ve experienced it. Have you, without naming names, obviously, but met other tech founders or other real estate firms where you felt like, oh, they’re certainly missing something on either side?

DA: For sure. That is not new news. I think as much as the industry has embraced technology and you see now so many roles in and around innovation and technology at the C-suite within these companies, I think they’re still getting up to speed and they’re still understanding the ways in which commercial real estate can embrace technology wholeheartedly to advance their business.

I just want to go back and mention that we seem to both have a common foundation. I too started in public accounting. I don’t remember if we explored that when we first met, but that’s where I was trained, how I was trained, and used that opportunity to leverage the opportunity to delve into other people’s businesses as a way to ultimately find where I would end up best serving.

That led me first to my marketing and communications agency, and then ultimately to Hilo. Interesting that we have that in common. I think the conversation that we’re going to have is going to be super interesting too, because you’ve been on the real estate side and now coming at it with this new platform that you’re building and trying to understand the space, that gap as you identified, and how best you can help alleviate some of that stress and alleviate maybe some of that information gap is going to be really super exciting. I think it will bring some interesting learning to our listeners. I’m excited to get your perspective on some of the questions that I normally ask of people solely in the business and get yours from a different level, get your thoughts.

First of all, in terms of the platform that you’ve now built, why do you think this opportunity has come your way? Why do you land it here? Why do you think you were suited to it at this juncture in your career?

JT: That’s a great question. I think it’s primarily just going back to how I was raised. Going way back to the beginning, I was really taught to love learning.

I was a bookworm as a kid. My mom always liked to joke that she was terrified about how I would go up and down stairs while reading a book. She was like, oh, no, she’s going to fall down the stairs.

But I do think that one of my strongest skills is being very adaptable. Have you ever taken one of those, I forget what they’re called, they’re like personality assessments of a sort for like corporate.

DA: Yeah, I have not. I’ve seen them. I’ve heard of them.

I have not personally.

JT: Okay. Well, probably some of your listeners have, I imagine. And the results you get back can be useful or maybe not as useful depending on the survey.

Mine, the most recent one that I took right before I left my real estate job, they identified me as a chameleon. And I really felt like, oh, that’s me. I’ve just been really trained since I was young to learn how to learn and adapt very quickly to new situations.

And I think that that has given me the skills to be able to succeed at explaining, oh, here’s how I went from ground zero, knowing nothing about real estate to teaching myself what I needed to know in order to succeed in that space. And then similarly, I don’t have a tech background, same as you working, starting your career in accounting. But I truly believe that not just in real estate, although I know we’re focused on real estate today, but any career path that one were to pursue, you have to be adaptable.

The market’s just changing constantly. Those are, I think, the two most important skills that have helped me get to where I am.

DA: Yeah, totally makes sense. And if nothing else, in going through these last number of years through the pandemic, if we haven’t been adapting all along the way, we probably didn’t make it to the other end. So totally get that.

Since launching this podcast, we’ve always strived to provide sort of a real-time view to what’s going on in the industry. I personally was really frustrated in the early days with some of the bias and very polarizing commentary that was coming out, particularly in the media, you know, where people on the far left or right of the conversation around office and buildings and return to work, it was really polarizing. And I don’t really think helped our cause.

But we’re obviously very passionate about the role that buildings play. And, you know, we now think the conversation should really just be about doing great work, not where we do the work, right? Let’s just focus on doing great work and wherever the work takes us is the right place to be.

So I’m interested in discussing sort of commercial real estate is that how it’s continuing now to evolve, to meet people’s needs. And then, of course, how technology is entering into that equation to ultimately enhance that in-person experience and the virtual experience. So I’m excited to dive in.

And what I’d love to get understand from you, from your perspective and to help share with our listeners, you know, how do you think your business is continuing to evolve, to innovate, to meet the needs of your audience? What factors are sort of driving or influencing the direction that you’re taking with this new endeavor?

JT: That is also a wonderful question. And I want to, there was something that you said earlier that I want to touch on first and then I’ll answer it. And also, I would love to hear your perspective.

You’re uniquely suited to be able to say, like, how is technology impacting these decisions around the office? So I would love to hear your side, too. You mentioned COVID and all of the media representing, oh, it’s just this one way or, oh, it’s just this other way.

And actually, a funny story, or at least an ironic story. I used to be, formerly was a volunteer with ULI. I was the vice chair membership for the Technology and Real Estate Council.

And we had our first meeting back from COVID. Everyone was so excited to be there. And we’re like, oh, we’re finally in person again.

And we get to have community, which was the whole point of a ULI council to begin with. Well, Sean Clark, who was our chair at the time, he was head of asset management for Avalon Bay, he basically had everyone go around the circle and say, you know, a little bit about yourself, just as an intro, if you hadn’t met folks in person before, and also answer a couple of questions. One of the questions was, do you think that everyone will go back to work in an office as it was before the pandemic?

Or have things really shifted? And this was before a lot of the return to work verbiage started being used all over the place. And it was pretty polarizing, as I imagine you would guess with a lot of stereotypical real estate investors in the room, to the point where only three people dissented and said, no, things are going to change, like we’re not going to be back in this like, old pattern of working that was pre COVID.

And it was myself, another tech founder, and then actually, a very and I won’t name names, but I was very impressed that he stood up and disagreed with everyone. And it was a very historically large office owner, and primarily only invested was office. And he stood up and he just said, you know what, the young people have spoken, and things are different from what they were when I was, you know, going into an office every day, and we have to learn to adapt.

So my firm is still very invested in office, but we are also exploring like, different ways to use the space. And we’re investing in other asset classes as a result. And I think it was very brave of him, honestly, to disagree with his peers in that way.

And I was very impressed. And I’m with you, I just I think that it’s short sighted for folks to be so strongly on one side of the spectrum.

DA: Yeah. And, and it’s changing so quickly. Listen, I do believe the world is forever changed.

I do believe that we’re at a very exciting point in time where we have, you know, options available to us. And, and, you know, the language that I like to use is creating places, you know, a destination of choice. I certainly believe in the value and purpose of, of the physical office.

But I think that people are going to come back for different reasons. And my own personal opinion, do I think it’s going to go back to the way that it was? Absolutely not.

Do I think it’s going to go back to, or sorry, settle on a new sort of new norm. And that norm actually might look a little bit more similar to the way that it was, not because we’re all sitting in our cubicles, you know, nine to five, but because we actually do find value and benefit and enjoyment in being together. So I believe the togetherness that is what we had before that factor is going to continue to bring people back and, and give people a compelling reason why they want to be a part of something.

You know, I like to say, you know, we, we, we work for companies and the word companies is about being in the company of others. So, you know, I, I really do believe that we should get away again from talking about where we work and just talking about doing great work. And I think that’s naturally going to bring us together.

So, you know, I have thoughts on what that looks like, but again, from your perspective and in terms of the people that you’re talking with, some of maybe the people that you’re engaging with, do you see their needs, their needs for physical footprint changing? Are they rethinking how that space is ultimately utilized? Are the requirements, you know, different and, and all, all to the end goal of, you know, how are they engaging with people?

How are they creating an experience? And what does that look like? Any thoughts on that from the people that you’re engaged with?

JT: Sure. Yeah. I mean, it is completely different to your point.

And I think that a lot of colleagues who I know invested in suburban office, they mostly discounted it and are like, well, this is probably not where people are going to be spending a lot of their free time, which is unfortunate that so many groups invested heavily in that particular segment. But as far as more of the core, like favorable locations, I’m with you that people crave human connection. They crave it so much.

And even though COVID may feel like a distant past, I don’t think we’ll ever truly forget it in the same way that, you know, our, our relatives were not able to forget the great depression, like this is a big shift in our mindset and how we operate. So in terms of, especially, I know on the tech front where a lot of my colleagues are in terms of how they’re using their office space, the hybrid approach is far and away the most common with the maximum amount of flexibility to where, and that’s, I think the best way in terms of, if you’re trying to hire the top talent, you’re not necessarily mandating, although I have seen a lot of folks mandating, you know, you need to be in the office two to three days a week. But I think that if you, it’s almost like the open vacation policy concept. Have you heard about this where firms do the open vacation policy and then people actually take less vacation.

Right.

DA: That’s my point. And that’s why I don’t think mandates are necessary. And I don’t think, you know, a hundred percent remote is necessary.

And I think if you give people the freedom to choose again, then I think it’s incumbent on building operators and occupiers to think about, you know, what does their space offer and what’s the compelling reason why people should be there. And again, my, my gut is that without the mandate and without saying we’re never going to have an office that people just naturally find their way back. I think it’s just human nature.

JT: I agree. Yeah. In terms of amenities, which I think was part of your question, I am not as familiar on specific changes that folks are making, especially on like buildings that have been around since the, you know, nineties or two thousands, or even the eighties in some cases.

But I’m curious if you’ve seen any of those changes, especially with the work that you do in terms of like how people are reconfiguring, maybe like common areas and things like that.

DA: Well, certainly on the amenity front, you know, we’ve heard, we’ve all heard about the flight to quality and we’re seeing, you know, class A buildings that are amenity rich, you know, being magnets for, for, for, for, for new clients, for new occupiers. And I, our perspective is that any building, a B, C or A, they all have opportunity to present themselves in a certain way. And technology can be that equalizer.

Technology can be what, you know, if you don’t have necessarily all the physical spaces built in, technology can be the equalizer to be able to access and connect to, you know, other spaces and places in and around buildings that further amenitize the experience. So, you know, amenities are important, but it’s also how you ultimately present yourself and how you engage with your community. And, and, you know, I think that’s where there’s an opportunity for all classes of buildings to continue to be competitive.

It just requires different levels of creativity and commitment. So again, it’s, it’s, you know, I don’t think it’s just the flight to quality that we need to be concerned with. And I don’t think we’re going to see all B and C class buildings, you know, go by the wayside.

I think that it’s incumbent upon the industry to look more broad based and think about how we can make the entire industry healthier and better to meet the needs. Cause not everybody wants to be in a 50, you know, floor story building. Some people like that more boutique building, 10 floors, smaller floor plates.

And that creates a different experience as well.

JT: I couldn’t agree more. And especially on the thinking through the tenant engagement front, I actually had a fun story. I make a habit of not knowing what even like relatively famous, maybe not like extremely famous.

I can’t avoid not knowing what Taylor Swift looks like, but I, for example, did not know what Kendra Scott looked like. And she had, you know, several floors in a building that I worked in once. And I rode an elevator with her and my boss at the time and was just like, Oh my God, what a cute dress.

Like you look amazing. And she was like, Oh, thank you. I don’t think she had too many people just like randomly complimenting her in that elevator.

So I didn’t know who she was. And my boss afterwards was like, do you know who you’re talking to? I’m like, no, not at all.

But that sort of authentic human connection, I feel like technology can help create in some ways, especially if you’re trying to meet with people who, let’s say you work in a building that is only 10 stories. There’s only so many other firms working in that building. Right.

And there’s probably some really interesting people, interesting decision-makers that you could connect with if you had a platform that made that easier. So I am definitely on board with technology can help facilitate those connections, especially because most people are not like me and they do actually know what people look like.

DA: Right. Right. Let me ask you a question specific to your new enterprise.

If budget and resources, if budget and resources were not an issue, and as you’re continuing to this brand out, what three new initiatives would you undertake to position this new platform for success over the next three to five years?

JT: Oh, gosh. Yeah. I’d have to think on that one.

I will say, and we might need to cut this part that I answered this as I was, as if I was a real estate firm, because I thought that’s how you’re going to ask it.

DA: So I can go back and rephrase it in that way, if that would be helpful.

JT: I think that would probably be good because I would need to think about it for a minute on my front.

DA: Okay. All right. So, so let me ask.

Okay.

JT: Okay.

DA: So, you know, if budget and resources were not an issue, what three new initiatives would you think need to be undertaken in this new commercial real estate world to help ensure the industry is successful over the next three to five years?

JT: That is an excellent question. And I like to think of it as if like I’ve a magic genie. I can ask my three wishes of quite fun folks that know me.

And I don’t know if you and I have talked about this too much, but I am a data geek at first and foremost. And so if I were in the real estate space right now, and my advice to a lot of real estate owners, managers, basically anyone who is a player, two things on the data front. And the first two the first one is around building your own data lake, getting access to your proprietary data, because you will need a moat in order to compete in three to five years, especially with my number two point with AI and how easy it is to use some of these.

And I know that’s a buzzword, but if anyone has used chat GPT, they’re understanding the magic of like just LLMs and how quickly AI has just skyrocketed in usability the last couple of years. So I cannot emphasize enough that if you want to have a competitive advantage in the space and use these tools in a way that differentiates yourself from your competitors who are going to be using the same third party data as you, you need to have accumulated enough proprietary data that will make whatever comes out, whatever you decide to use in your algorithms, create a competitive advantage for you. So those are the first two. And then again, if I were a real estate firm, I would actually be buying office up like crazy right now.

If money were no object, especially in like anywhere that is, maybe even if it’s not like in the core markets, but if it’s adjacent, like eventually it will spread back out. I’m not a huge fan of like the super far out suburban, but if you’ve got some somewhat adjacent to a city center or like a core favorable area where people like to locate eventually over time, you’ve just seen that that spreads, especially, I mean, I live in Austin, I’ve been there over 12 years now, and so many different areas of Austin have exploded over time. And if I had enough like budget to buy everything, I would buy some of these areas where I know eventually it will expand.

Yes, exactly.

DA: I think you’re bang on. So to summarize data, AI, and if you had money, you’d create an opportunity fund and you’re not the only one that’s thinking about it. And you know, at the same in the media and on the same, you know, the same issue or any given day, you’ll read about one real estate company that is giving the keys back to the bank on one property.

And at the same time, they’re raising a billion dollar fund to go out and buy properties. So I think you’re 100% bang on. I think, you know, through every downturn, it creates a buying opportunity.

And I think we are going to see that happen for sure. And obviously as interest rates either settle or begin to come down, that’s going to further accelerate that kind of environment. You know, we’ve already talked a little bit about it, but and I think we’re aligned that, you know, building operators are no longer in this space business.

They really do need to create these destinations of choice. And to that end, and we’ve talked about it again, that experience is really becoming a significant driver of how people connect to their buildings. And we think the office industry is, and needs to continue to think more like the hotel industry, you know, more with the hospitality mindset and recognizing they need to earn the loyalty of their customers every day.

So again, just curious from your perspective and your previous experience in real estate as well, through the lens of your new, you know, the new website, how are you seeing customer experience as a driver of utilization and engagement? You know, what, how is that, do you think affecting the industry?

JT: Sure. I, I mean, it is driving it to your point. I think hospitality has been the focus for some more boutique office operators for quite some time in my real estate investing days.

I know we specifically partnered with a firm who the co-founders had a background in hospitality. And so we were like, okay, this is like a boutique asset class. We, we had a thesis that we think will grow.

And it did very much to the point where I think you’re exactly right. It’s only, I think that the folks who are creating these funds and investing in this new, like market of office have to have a mindset of hospitality in order for it to be successful, regardless of, yes, you’re getting at a very favorable cap rate in a sense, but you still need to perform well. And I think folks that don’t do that are not going to see the levels of occupancy that they would need to see in order for it to be successful.

So then it goes to, all right, well, how do you do that? How do you design these spaces in this particular way? And there are so many talented architects out there.

I have a good friend and colleague of mine, Karen Zabarsky, who has been doing this for some time and is very talented at making basically office spaces seem like hospitality spaces. So I think it’s finding the right partners who can create those environments for you. And also amenitizing them, like we talked about previously in terms of whether it’s technology and having a tool that makes it feel more like you’re engaging with the space in many different ways.

Or, you know, it could be, I feel like in a lot of retail, luxury retail, especially we’re seeing more interactivity with more screens. And I know we’re trying to avoid screens post COVID, but some of the things they can do are really interactive and really cool. And I think the days of you just walk into an office building and it’s kind of like a stale lobby with like some signage that just says, oh, go here, here and here.

I think those will be long gone in the next 10 to 15 years. And we’ll have more interactivity, more, it won’t feel like advertising, but more advertising from the tenants who are in the building in such a way that it just, it feels like, I don’t know, you’re going to grab a coffee and yet you are seeing someone reading a book about this, I don’t know, cool new concept, this new product that a firm in the building is working on. Something to that effect.

More of that subtle marketing and advertising that we’ll see. But it’s opportunities to do that, especially if these offices have any sort of ground floor retail. And I think we’re going to see a lot more of that, especially with these urban places, urban office spaces. Anyway, little bit of a rant, but yeah.

DA: I agree. And we’re seeing the same certainly, you know, the lobby present that we could have a whole conversation conversations around the role of lobby in office buildings and and we’re seeing some very dynamic environments being created. And so your first point of contact is like you walk in and it’s like a wow, and there’s people engaging and socializing And I’ve seen we’ve seen coffee shops emerging in the lobby. We’ve seen, you know, different kinds of seating arrangements. So you’re right that that’s the first almost the first line of defense. And yet there’s this tremendous opportunity to rethink that space.

JT: Yeah, I couldn’t agree more.

DA: Put. Let’s take a short commercial break and we will be right back.

COMMERCIAL BREAK

DA: And now I’d like to welcome back to the show Jenn Tindle, Chief Comic Relief Officer at all about C.R.A. Comm. Okay. So before I go on, I guess I now have to ask officially. How did you come up with the title?

JT: Oh, sure. Well, actually, the first post that I made or the first article that I wrote, I drafted, it was meant to be like kind of a silly comic. A commentary on how venture capital firms view the real estate technology market as compared to how real estate firms view the tech market. And so many of the reactions that I got from that were like the laughter emojis on LinkedIn, or people were DMing me or emailing me saying, Oh, this was quite funny And I was like, Oh, I guess I am kind of funny or maybe I am entertaining. So anyway, that’s how I came up with the name was. It felt like I was drawing a bit of a comic strip to a degree, and then I, I hope I can bring a smile to people’s faces with some of the content that I’m putting out there and give them a different way of thinking.

DA: That’s great. So you spoke about all about Siri dot com at the beginning and talked about that the gap between technology companies and commercial real estate operators. And, you know, so, you know, there’s a lot of new technology being thrown at the industry, you know, a few hundred pop tech companies, you know, just five or six years ago to thousands in existence today But, you know, they’re all contributing to help to reshape the way building operators deliver great customer experience to their tenants and deliver a better product. So what are your thoughts? What are you seeing? Where where’s sort of the energy from, you know, through your lens as to how buildings, how their technology stocks are evolving to provide, you know, both operational efficiency, but at the same time, you know, directly impacting the way people interact with their spaces in and around their buildings.

JT: Sure. Yeah. I mean, the tech stack, it’s the most interesting tech stack that I have seen was actually on another tour of a building where the firm could actually and the the landlord, the owner of the building could actually help their tenants understand. They had sensors at every single workstation and understand, like, how many people are actually going in and working each day and are they using the conference room or are they using the space in a very efficient way, but also understanding in the sense from like not only is it maximizing efficiency, but are people actually enjoying going to the conference room more and more conference rooms or rearrange the space in that way? And I think just by tracking human behavior, which I know can creep some people out, they feel like Big Brother is watching over them. But there’s so much focus these days on data privacy. And I’m not telling you absolutely you should worry about how your data is used. I, I always make my colleagues and friends like I declined cookies all the time. Like I declined, declined, declined person. At the same time, I strongly believe that if you want to help your owners, landlords like optimize your space, knowing that at some point you will use the office, it just helps to have that information tracked. So that’s something that I’ve seen that’s just very interesting. And I know more firms are using that just to utilize the space better And that’s more of the, again, employee engagement side of the house, which I know you’re very happy. We could talk all day about the tech on the I mean there’s so much energy efficiency going on and then and lots of h-back efficiency that has been I feel like people have been working on that for like the last 5 to 10 years and the proptech space But I’m most interested in the employee engagement side as I know you are too. For sure. I would put that question back to you. What are what are you seeing? Besides, I know what you guys are doing at Halo, but also just in the industry. What are you interested in with other new tech that’s popped up?

DA: Well, I think it’s all about how we can make it make make the experience for people working live that much better, make it easier, make it more enjoyable. We are thinking a lot more about the end user. It’s not that we don’t think about the customer being our building operating partners, but I don’t think enough technology providers are thinking about the end user. I think they’re very focused on the building that they’re selling into commercial real estate and their tech needs to be built for commercial real estate. But in our case in particular, we think the tech’s really got to be built for the end user. The customer, if we implement our technology in buildings and we get 20% engagement, I believe we fail. We’re only successful as a week if we can engage a significant portion of that building community. And that’s going to be through technology that surprises and delights people and that’s thinking more like a consumer brand and less like, you know, a building technology platform. So we certainly spend a lot of time thinking through that lens and and will continue to be evolving our platform, understanding that And so I don’t want to say too much right now, but, you know, we’ve got a very exciting product roadmap that is really being influenced by how we think people need to interact with these environments, these built environments, versus how the building needs to impose, how people should interact with it. So that could be another discussion for us in the future, particularly as we roll out some of these new features.

JT: I am excited to hear about it, so keep me posted.

DA: I will. So our closing speed round is an opportunity to get to know you a little bit better, more on a personal level. So if I were in a way, looking back, what is one piece of advice that you wish someone had given you when you first started your career?

JT: Well, I guess the one piece of advice I really wish I had gotten early on in my career was to crave criticism and the reason I say this, as you know, as you’re building a company or doing anything in your career where you’re taking risks and you’re putting yourself out there, you have so many people telling you, Oh, that’s great, good for you. That’s amazing job. And you’re like, That’s not helpful. And felt like early in my career, I used to take it as a personal affront when someone would give me feedback that was a gold star 100% positive. But now I’m like, oh, my gosh, I need I need to know where I can improve and I crave it. And that is important for that.

DA: That’s a sign of wisdom. My friend. You know, we do get a little bit wiser as we get older and a little bit more appreciative of that kind of, you know, direct feedback. So that’s a good thing. So do you is there a favorite book or podcast that has positively impacted your approach to work in life?

JT: Yes. Influence by Robert Field Deeney It’s Influence. The Art of Persuasion is the full title. It’s actually also Charlie Munger’s, one of his favorite books. I read Charlie’s Almanac recently, and discovered that and that was so fun to see. Excellent book on the psychology of why people do the things that they do right.

DA: Okay, name one way in which technology has improved. How you live or work.

JT: All right. I have to go with notion, which is not a real estate technology tool, but I was introduced to it about a year ago and I love it. It keeps me so organized. I used to use a combination of other tools and it’s completely changed how I organize my schedule and all of my documents and my thought process. So big fan of notion of listening.

DA: Commercial real estate is continuing to evolve. We think it’s going to start to have a really direct impact on the human resources that make up the operating team of these of of the built world. So I’m just curious from your perspective, what new skills or what skills do you think will be sought after in this new world of commercial real estate to help buildings and building operators remain vibrant and relevant?

JT: Yes, I think one of them is something we touched on a little bit earlier. Actually, the two that I have in mind. And the first is that ability to create human connections authentically. That’s something that everyone’s craving and that skill to be able to do. So just off the bat, whether it is in a virtual environment, but even more so in that person to person exchange. The second is adaptability, which we did talk about at length earlier. It’s something that is so critical when you have just curveballs thrown at you, black swans, and you have to react and. How are you going to react in a way that is positive and makes you successful?

DA: Right. Last question. If you were not doing what you’re doing right now, what do you think you’d be doing instead?

JT: Great. Great question. I, I struggled. I struggled this. But I do believe I absolutely love studying the science of people and what makes them tick. And I think that I probably would have gone into research for that and would have enjoyed a career just studying why people do the things that they do.

DA: Right. Amazing. Jen, I have so enjoyed our conversation today. I think you and I could probably do a second episode very easily on a variety of subject matter. I look forward to continue to follow the content that you’re sharing, and I’m enjoying it myself on a personal level. So thank you and and thanks for taking on enormous opportunity of helping to fill that gap and bring the commercial estate industry closer to the the partners that are providing technology solutions And and as you’re continuing to build this out, I’d love to continue to understand where you think for me as a technology provider, that we can be more helpful to the industry and be more impactful to the industry. So let’s continue the conversation and let this just be the start of that process.

JT: Absolutely. Thank you, David.

DA: All right. Take care now.

JT: Thanks. Bye.

DA: I want to thank Jen Tindle for joining me on this episode of TEN and for contributing to the global conversation around buildings, being part of a robust ecosystem, helping to build great companies, and that they’re vital in the effort to cultivate and support great people and teams. The future of the workplace will likely take many forms, and we will continue to explore what that looks like together. Subscribe to TEN for more conversations with leading CRE industry professionals and experts who all have something to say about tenant experience and the future of the workplace.

We love hearing from you, so if you enjoyed this episode of TEN, please share, add your rating and review us through your preferred podcast provider. If you or someone you know would like to be a guest on a future episode, please reach out to me directly at david@hiloapp.com. And until our next episode, I wish you all continued success in building community where you work and live. Thank you.

Ryan Speers | Partner & COO | Workhaus | The future of work is flexible

Season 5 / Episode 7 / 41:20
In this episode, we learn that Ryan’s business is at the forefront of the hospitality and customer experience conversations that are happening as CRE continues to up its game on this front by offering essential amenities to help drive user engagement and enjoyment. Tune in to learn more about Ryan’s perspective on Workhaus being a tech-enabled business versus a technology business.

Lisa Davidson | Vice Chairman | Savills North America | An inspiring journey from Tenant Rep to Proptech investor

Season 5 / Episode 5 / 46:17
In this episode, Lisa sheds light on key market drivers influencing real estate decisions, such as the rise of amenities and spec suites. She describes the future of work as “accommodating employees with great space.” The impact that unique community spaces have on potential tenants as they are touring prospective spaces is something else she sees in the market.

Rob Kumer | CEO | KingSett Capital | Trends and success strategies in CRE

Season 5 / Episode 4 / 53:34
In this episode, Rob shares his 3 pillars for success in the office category and speaks about the importance of experience and the technological advances impacting all asset classes. KingSett is very focused on decarbonization, and energy management including deep water cooling and implementing new lighting systems.

Ryan Speers | Partner & COO | Workhaus | The future of work is flexible

Season 5 / Episode 7 / 41:20
In this episode, we learn that Ryan’s business is at the forefront of the hospitality and customer experience conversations that are happening as CRE continues to up its game on this front by offering essential amenities to help drive user engagement and enjoyment. Tune in to learn more about Ryan’s perspective on Workhaus being a tech-enabled business versus a technology business.

Lisa Davidson | Vice Chairman | Savills North America | An inspiring journey from Tenant Rep to Proptech investor

Season 5 / Episode 5 / 46:17
In this episode, Lisa sheds light on key market drivers influencing real estate decisions, such as the rise of amenities and spec suites. She describes the future of work as “accommodating employees with great space.” The impact that unique community spaces have on potential tenants as they are touring prospective spaces is something else she sees in the market.

Rob Kumer | CEO | KingSett Capital | Trends and success strategies in CRE

Season 5 / Episode 4 / 53:34
In this episode, Rob shares his 3 pillars for success in the office category and speaks about the importance of experience and the technological advances impacting all asset classes. KingSett is very focused on decarbonization, and energy management including deep water cooling and implementing new lighting systems.