Thursday, December 29, 2016

Starbucks Expanding

Starbucks opening more domestic stores, stores in China, and their new high-end Reserve stores. 

ICSC Article

QSR Magazine Article

2 Minutes Left & You're Down a Goal

The holidays allow me some time to work on a post or two that are more philosophical than newsworthy.  This article is one of those posts. 

In case you haven’t noticed, our business requires we move at an extremely fast pace.  So much happens, so fast, it’s like sports.  Just like in sports, you need to work like there’s only 2 minutes left in the game and you’re down a goal.  Imagine you’re playing under those circumstances, I’m going to bet you’re hustling.  Who likes to lose?  I hate it.  It drives me.  The thought of not giving it your best, the thought of losing, turns my stomach.

If you are a broker, your income is purely commission.  Can you afford to go slow?  Can you afford to get in late?  Can you afford to operate at 75%?  You may need the alarm in the morning, but it shouldn’t be what gets you out of bed.  You shouldn’t need to think whether you need to stay a little bit longer to make one more phone call or send one more email.   We are only on this “ride” once.  Do your best!

Clients, referrals, good teammates and your reputation are all precious.  You have to treat clients with the respect and give them the service they deserve.  Otherwise, someone will be happy to do it for you.  When you hire and work with the best teammates, they make the long grind playing with urgency so much more fun.  Even if you are working at your maximum, you will still achieve more clients and they will be happier when you’re having fun.  The right team is wonderful and they provide you the motivation necessary to work at such a faster pace and be so much more productive.  Someone once said to me, “many hands make light work”.  It makes sense, doesn’t it?

Play (work) with purpose, play with urgency, leave nothing on the field.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Monday, July 4, 2016

Archaeology, Clean Out, & Watch Your Time

This video was prompted when I was cleaning out one of the filing cabinets in my office.  We, Equity Retail, purchased and constructed our office in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania and we are preparing for the move.  Thanks to everyone both in and out of my company who contributed to all those deals. 

Archaeology, Clean Out & Watch Your Time

Friday, June 3, 2016

2 Minutes Left & You're Down a Goal

Life is like sports.  Sports are like life. 

In the comercial real estate business, especially as a broker, you have to operate like your playing sports, there's 2 minutes left in the game, and you're down a goal.  Your clients deserve that type of effort and commitment, and you never know what deals will fall out of the pipeline.  If you're going to be in this business, wark as hard and fast as possible.

Down a Goal Video


Thursday, May 26, 2016

Vegas ICSC Tips & Tricks

  1. Get in one day early and spend some time with a client.
    1. Use any extra time to gather your thoughts about the show, clients, push a few more emails, prepare for the coming year, etc.
  2. If you’re coming in from the east coast, stay up as late as possible on the first night to adjust to the time zone change as fast as possible. 
  3. Figure out how to work in your email offline (Ex. Gmail Offline), so you can push email on the plane without needing an Internet connection.
  4. Don’t forget noise canceling, over-the-ear head phones for the flight.
    1. You don’t need to spend a fortune to get a decent pair.
  5. Try to schedule a fun event with clients that doesn’t center around a dinner or cocktails. 
    1. Do something unique.
  6. Make sure you eat.
    1. It’s easy to go from one event to the next and not eat correctly. 
  7. Watch how much alcohol you drink.
    1. Conference attendees can start out at a booth cocktail party at 4 PM and get up from the restaurant table at 11 PM or 12 AM. 
    2. That’s a long time for drinking.  Be careful.
  8. Drink as much water as possible.
  9. Be careful how and where you schedule your meetings.
    1. It’s a big convention center with a lot of distance between the halls. 
  10.  A tablet (iPad, Android, etc.) works great for carrying everything you need for the entire show. 
    1. I haven’t carried paper for 3 years now. 
    2. Evernote works great for recording anything you needs and it syncs with all your devices and desktop. 
  11. Print three copies of your schedule and carry it in 3 different places.
  12. Don’t use your phone or tablet to check your schedule. 
    1. The battery won’t last through the day and into the night.
    2. Carry a portable rechargeable power source for your phone.
  13. Go to the airport early to go through your convention notes and business cards. 
    1. Catch up on emails
    2. Return calls
    3. Put yourself in a great starting position for when you return home and to the office. 
    1. Carry lip balm.
    2. Wear comfortable shoes.
    3. Exercise routinely before the show.
    4. Spend some time at the hotel gym and burn off all the new-found calories.
    5. Use business card scanner on smart phone.
    6. Recap meetings on the flight home before some of the details escape you.
    7. Most Important: Call loved ones and or family back home!

What would you add?  Post a comment or send me note and I will update the list.
P: 610-645-7700 x108

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Make the Diffficult Call

I recently posted a video about making the difficult call.  If you have a hard message to deliver or you need to give someone bad news, don't delay the phone call.  When you make that call to the friend, colleague, client, consultant, vendor, or family member, the conversation in and of itself helps strengthen your relationship.  It's the right thing to do.  The person on the other end of the phone may not like the reason for the call, but they, deep down, appreciate that you picked up the phone. 

If you don't make the call or delay the call, you are telling the person your relationship really doesn't mean that much.  You're telling that person the discomfort of the call has more power over you than your relationship.  That's awful.  You can do it.  Pick up the phone. 

Make the Difficult Call

Rob Samtmann

What's He Doing?

I am going to give something new a try.  There's a lot going on in my world and Equity Retail Brokers' world that some people never see.  Unless your are an existing client of mine or the company, people just don't get to hear how I feel about certain topics and they don't get to know some of the best things about our company. 

So, I am going to try distributing some short videos, randomly and roughly produced, about all things business and commercial real estate.  Let me know what you think.  Post a comment or shoot me an email.  I would love to know if the videos are at all valuable.  Thanks, as always, and take care. 


Thursday, April 21, 2016

Case Study - Springfield Shopping Center


Springfield Shopping Center was originally anchored by a free-standing department store. The balance of the property is still comprised of a free-standing bar/restaurant and a “reverse, L-shaped” sizable strip of stores.  The center itself and its leasing were patiently waiting for a new anchor and renovation. The owner, Kimco, successfully secured Giant Supermarket to fill that anchor position and concurrently performed a renovation of the property. Solidifying an anchor allowed Kimco and Equity Retail Brokers to execute a game plan that would help to provide a fresh face and new direction for the property. The original challenge for Equity Retail Brokers was to try and lease the available space prior to having the new anchor and renovation completed. Once both were in place, there was a new, very good story to tell.


My partner, David Goodman, and I were responsible for leasing this shopping center. Our approach to leasing shopping centers, especially Springfield, has always been very methodical. We regularly maintain an Excel tracking sheet listing all the calls for the center and all the prospective tenants. The spreadsheet is our day-to-day working document from which we operate, not something that is just updated periodically.   

To identify potential tenant candidates, we completed a void analysis that showed the missing use categories not represented in the center. Then, we contacted all the missing tenants in the respective categories.  Keep in mind, as with most leasing efforts, not all tenants were immediately available when we reached out to them. We worked through the lists, then worked through them again a few months later, making calls, sending emails, and mailing post cards directly to area tenants. Our methodical approach married well with Kimco, as they required a monthly marketing call to bring them up to speed, relay any feedback, and agree on the coming month’s next steps for marketing the remaining vacancies. Our company also has a strong reputation for teamwork. We generally know each other’s listings and work to help each other, so it is not unusual for an idea or concept to come from someone not responsible for the property. 



David and I were collectively responsible for and completed 13 leases at Springfield Shopping Center, with David carrying the majority of the workload towards the end of our leasing tenure. Consistent with our team approach at Equity Retail Brokers, one of Equity’s other partners, Brian Wherty, was also involved in the Verizon lease since Brian and Rob represent Verizon Wireless Corporate in the Philadelphia market. At present, the center contains a wide variety of tenants with their various uses, all helping to generate traffic for each other. The center, its revised tenancy, and that ever-so-important anchor are all now working in unison to maintain a successful grocery-anchored asset.


"I have enjoy working with David and Rob of Equity Retail Brokers and would highly recommend their services.  They demonstrate consistent dedication to our centers and approach leasing with refreshing creativity.  Our centers have certainly benefited from their tenacious approach to repeatedly seeing transactions all the way through to completion."  Nina Rogers, Kimco

It was our pleasure to have worked with Kimco, and specifically Nina Rogers, on this project. Equity Retail Brokers and Kimco proved to be a successful duo and we look forward to the next opportunity to work together. 

It’s time to lease another project. Each tenant and every property present their own challenges. I would appreciate the opportunity to work with you to tackle the next set of obstacles.

Rob Samtmann Principal


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Walmart Closing 269 Stores

The closings include...
102 company small format stores
23 Neighborhood Markets
12 Supercenters
7 stores in Puerto Rico
6 discount centers
4 Sam's Clubs

Shopping Center Business Article

Monday, January 11, 2016

Mall Anchors are Fading

The following article is a good accounting of the current state of affairs for mall anchors.  There is some information specific to the Philadelphia market, but there is enough national information to make it a worthwhile article. Article

Target Announces New Stores

Target announced its new stores in 2016 and 2017.  Most will be urban stores in New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, and Chicago ranging from 19,000 SF to 45,000 SF.

The only full-size store will be opened in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Argus Leader Link