Ryan from Arlington Texas asks
You always seem to be ahead of the curve, and you do a wonderful job informing your listeners about the trends you see in real estate and current events.
Where do you like to get your news? What are some of your bookmarked websites (or other mediums) that you refer to most often?
Love the show. Thanks for all the great content.
This is a great question. I produce several different types of segments on the Real Estate Espresso Podcast.
- Evergreen content
- Trending Stories
- Journaling – These are stories from direct observation of my own projects
- Book of the month
- AMA episodes
Your question relates most strongly to those topics that are trending in the industry. These shows require the most research. They are those that somehow tie into something that is happening in the broader economy.
For that, I have numerous sources. I tend to stay away from the headline sources like the NY Times, and the Washington Post. I almost never look at USA Today or CNN or Fox News.
I find that when it comes to commercial real estate, the Wall Street Journal does a dreadful job. So I rarely look to the Wall Street Journal for real estate, but they are a source of good economic, and geopolitical information.
I have many go-to sources. They include the World Economic Forum, Business Insider, and the newsletters of various economists.
I go to the research departments of the major brokerage houses like Colliers, CBRE, JLL, and Marcus and Millichap. I use the economic research from the big 4 accounting firms.
There are a number of people I follow regularly, many of whom I know personally. I’m thinking of folks like Peter Schiff, Simon Black, Dr. Doug Duncan, John Mauldin, Ray Dalio, and Harry Dent.
While I may not quote them directly, the information I receive from them gives me a thread to follow. So for example, if the story is something on, say, demographics and the story references an updated data set in the census data. I’ll go find that census data, download it onto my computer, bring it into Excel and calculate a new slice of the data that would be relevant to our listeners.
In your question, you talked about my reporting being ahead of the curve. It’s true that I’ve made numerous predictions this year that have appeared in the podcast days or weeks before they’ve appeared in the news. Whenever that happens, it’s the result of some analysis. I rarely just report the news without adding any value. Thought leadership involves using my own intellect to add value. That’s an exercise in connecting the dots.
For example, on January 29, I predicted that we were going to experience a deep recession as a result of Covid-19. At the end of January, this was hardly headline news anywhere. Connecting the dots frankly was easy. If you go back to the impact of travel reductions in 2003 due to SARS, the GDP in the US fell 1.5%, solely from the impact to travel and hospitality. The scope of travel reductions and supply chain disruptions by the end of January were already looking to be larger in impact than 2003. Predicting a recession was as plain as day.
I’m going to go out on a limb and make one more prediction. I’m going to predict that once social distancing requirements are eased, people who have been stuck at home for nearly two months will be looking for a get-away. But it won’t be the charter flight to an all-inclusive resort. It’s going to be a while before people have the confidence to jump on crowded flights.
The vacation of choice will be a cabin on a lake, a chalet in the mountains, far from the crowd, or perhaps an RV vacation. If you own a short term rental within driving distance of a major center, you are well positioned to fulfill the demand that will return with a vengeance.