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(Part 2) - How will you communicate differently? With Shannon Alter, CPM

by The Middle East Council of Shopping Centres & Retailers
October 4th 2020

This is Part 2 of our episode with Shannon Alter, CPM. On this episode we will talk about what to expect for the Retail Industry globally in the next few years. Ho... More

in retail. The opportunity is so great, you know, there's a lot of different things you can dio and so be open to that opportunity. Think about a plan. Not only your plan. A. I wanna flip houses. But what about this? What about this part of real estate acquisition development, management? Leasing? There's a ton of different things. Welcome to the voice on demand. Retail podcast by the Middle East Council of Shopping Centers and Retailers today is really special, where with Shannon Outer, a certified property manager and national instructor for both the Institute of Real Estate Management and American Management Association, she trained many professionals locally here in the U. A. E and internationally, including courses in Russia, India, Ukraine, Georgia, Canada

, China, South Korea, South Africa and in the United States. Part of her many notable experience includes a leadership role as a regional vice president for a nationwide community management company with over 180 branch offices. Last week, with Shannon Alter, we went through her journey and got inspired and learned the foundations needed as a retail real estate professional. On this episode, we'll talk about how to pay for way forward on this uncertain times and how to become leaders in the retail and real estate industry. There has just been so much fallout, especially here in the US You I'm sure seeing the number of stores or chains that have filing bankruptcy. This is only my opinion. I think that if the retailer wasn't strong to begin with, they're certainly not going to be stronger. Now, you know, I don't know if you've seen it where you

are, but certainly here in the U. S. You could tell, you know, sometimes you pass by a corner or a shop or a tenant building, you know, retails building, and it just keeps churning, even prick ove it. And that tells me something is wrong with the location or something's wrong with the retailer, right, because it keeps churning. And so I think part of that is on us. We need to be as selective as we can afford to be now with tenant mix and really choose the right tenant. Really choose the right tenant and we have to help. Sometimes the small retailers may not know how biggish store should I have. What should I do here? Maybe their target market isn't defined. So I think we have to go back to the basics. We have to go back to the basics of the foundation and the communication I observed the other day. I don't know if it's true. I think people who are busy now are just really, really busy. And so whether that's because they've reduced staff or they're trying to do everything virtually, I'm not sure

. But I think customer service has got to be like this. It's got to go up, Yeah, number one. Because even though some people say, Well, that's old fashioned, Of course we're giving customer service. No. I bet you that I can come up with some examples and so can you, where you've gotten services just abysmal. And I frankly think that when our when our customers start going back into the stores to just start gonna have time for that. And here in the U. S. Store, not all the stores are open, of course. So and not all the malls are open so that 1 to 1 is really important. And I'll give you an example. There's a big mega, high end luxury mall near me called South Coast Plaza in Orange County. And of course, we had another shutdown of retail. And so they figured out a way to do some things which are very interesting. So there's some very high end designer stores in there. A couple of department stores, as you would imagine, and what they did is they

took. I haven't seen it, but I saw it online. They took the top of level of one of the parking structure and made kind of like booths. So think of like an ICSC kind of booth kind of thing, I'm thinking, although I don't know if it's that big, and so they have, uh, curated selection of certain retailers who are in those booths. So if I wanted to go shopping ST Louis Vuitton or whoever Tory Burch, I could make an appointment with that retailer and go to that booth, which is outside at the top of the parking structure, which clearly is being used for no other purpose right now. So I think that my point in telling you that is, I think they found a way, although only with select retailers, not all of them to offer that 1 to 1 personal service So I'm in a Iram instructor and teach a lot of classes in all different countries, including the US, And I think that that as faras retail is concerned, as you know, it's

broad, but it's very specific, right? It can be fairly technical, as can office leasing and some other things. So I think for new people out there, you just gotta learn this stuff. As one of my old bosses used to say, D Y h, do your homework. You have to learn this stuff. You have to learn technically, what this means. How Doe I assess a retailer. How do I know if they're going sideways? Whatever that ISS. So I think you got to know your stuff. Do your homework and I think again, I think that communication is so important in my leadership sessions, we do some. We do a lot of role plays because I think people need to learn how to apply and whether it's managing challenging conversations, whether it's communicating in times of crisis. Whatever it is, it really comes down to that conversation, right, like the conversation you and I are having. So how do they do that? And what do you do if you have four generations in the workplace and

somebody's, you know, tied to their phone because I want to text you even though I'm on the phone with you or I want Thio, you know, approach you on social media. Those may be valid, but different situations. So I think you have to have what I would call a communication plan. And by that I don't mean on Li like a disaster plan. I mean, what is your communications strategy going to be and how are you gonna put it in place? And I like to use what I call Swat. So think of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats similar to what you might do if you were doing a market survey, right? You compare those things, Same thing you can do it on conflict management. You could do it on communication. So, with regard to communication, how do you if you're a new person coming up in the organization or the business? How do you and how does your cut your company communicate? What do you do? Really, really Well, as's faras communication and what

do you do that Hey, we really could be better here. We all have you know, during this current crisis with co vid, everybody has a lot. There are a lot of plans out there, right to recover. And, ah, lot of logistical plans. What do you do about the elevators? What do you do about the kitchen? Whatever it ISS. And so I think those air absolutely important, because safety is first on everybody's mind. But I think the next thing is just to remember the communication part of it that really counts. Definitely something everybody needs to think about and given effort in identifying all those parameters for themselves. And, you know, I mean, everybody for sure gives a lot of effort these days. They have to be patient and, as you said, do their homework, prepare their communication plans and review it all over again. And by the way, that was a really good example. Thank you, Shannon. And I think for people just entering the industry or or not, how you do things differently, what are you going to do differently coming out

of this crisis? So what's the opportunity to do something different? So for retailers, they're gonna have to have a Plan B. C. And so on right. And for us, as leaders and managers, I think we still have toe have that plan. Remember that, if maybe virtual handshake. Remember the do your homework, remember? So as you said, be patient and soak it up and think about. I think it's always important to think about that Plan B. You know, what are you going to do differently? 100% agreed, and actually it's really important for decision makers and leaders and actually speaking about them. I've heard about very nice things about your business leaders exceed yes, thank you, Justin. And my background is commercial, retail and even h o A's. And so I started this business. Really, I do speaking and training. So I helped leaders and managers with their goals of keeping their employees

and keeping their clients. And so, to me that again is all about communication. It's all about some people will say, Well, gosh, I don't need presentation skills training because I do it myself, and I don't do it every day. I'm a manager on the leader. Well, I would beg to differ with that. I would say we all present every day in every way. You might be presenting to your clients or to your members of the association. You might be doing a business case for your boss. You might be trying to get your employees trying to persuade them to do what you want them to dio, right? And so I think it's all about It's all about that communication. So that's how I help leaders. And I do obviously virtual sessions. Ideo webinars. I do strategic workshop sessions, and I also do a masterclass on a couple of topics. So that master class would be say, if I had five or a maximum of 12 of you way would all meet today on Zoom, and then we would do one

on one so that I can coach you successfully on whatever it is you need in that area, especially doing dealmaking and business, uh, negotiations. And basically, whatever they're doing throughout their lives, not only in business, by the way, but through anything. They do so for family or whatever. And I was thinking again as you were chatting there, another client that I spoke with, who I had done a master class for her in at the beginning of the year, so It's pre Covic January February, but I was doing it a combination of in person and Zoom just because we could and their employees were in several different states. So it's easier to do that. And when I talked to the client this week, so six months later I said, So what did you think about that? How has it helped you? And she said, Wow, you can't imagine She said it was four people, she said. They communicate differently the way that they prepare and how you taught them to prepare have really made a difference. So

, for example, one person was very nervous of getting up in front of a group of clients, and she would write pages and pages and pages of notes, and she wanted to say everything. So part of the challenge was getting her to be concise and highlight the most important things that you, as her boss, would want to see. So she prepares differently, and she she presents herself in a different way. Absolutely incredible. Shannon, thank you so much for doing this podcast with us. And honestly, I really learned a lot during this episode. Thank you as well for giving us some of your time out of your business casual. And I hope we can do this again sometime. And it's personally, really an audience. Pleasure to have you as our guest. Thank you. Thank you so much for having me, Justin. I appreciate it. Stay tuned with us. Only hear the voice in the band retail podcast. But the Middle East Council of Shopping Centers and Retailers e the retail Congressman a 2020 coming up this October 26 27 would

be the best venue for you as a retail professional to reconnect, start building new relationships and get updated about what's happening here in the mean a region. Visit w w dot M e C s c dot org for more information.

(Part 2) - How will you communicate differently? With Shannon Alter, CPM
(Part 2) - How will you communicate differently? With Shannon Alter, CPM
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