Sep 17, 2018
Gene Spiegelman is the legendary two-time REBNY retail deal of the year winner, five-time top retail producer for his former company Cushman & Wakefield, and now Principal and Vice Chairman at Ripco Real Estate Corp. Clients of Gene’s over the years have included Gucci, Crate & Barrel, Trader Joe’s, Century 21 Department Stores, Eastgate Realty, Millennium Partners and Zeckendorf Development. With props out to one of his favorite bands back in the day, namely Public Enemy, given Gene’s knowledge of site selection, development, leasing, and acumen in negotiating complex retail transactions for both retailers and landlords, simply put, “He Got Game.” When Gene isn’t out being an agent of change for his client’s or rooting for his undergraduate alma mater the University of Maryland Terrapins, Gene enjoys spending time with his family, skiing and being on the water.
At 3:25, Gene Spiegelman notes that focus is the most important aspect of developing a career. He also touches upon picking a discipline and then becoming a master of that discipline. At 5:00, Gene discusses planning with patience in mind, and beginning each week (and year) with a plan setting out objectives to accomplish your goals. At 6:23, he shares how his real estate career started with spending a day driving around shadowing a broker friend of his out canvassing industrial real estate properties on Long Island. Gene started out on a $200 per week draw at his first brokerage job upon graduation from the University of Maryland. At 8:10, he talks about pursuing his masters in real estate at New York University in the early 1990’s. At 9:14, Gene advises that “The best way to acquire knowledge is to listen.” At 10:24, he points out his love for libraries back in the day, and how research, listening and taking time to process is how one can gain knowledge. At 11:42, Gene notes that the risk in his move from Cushman & Wakefield to Ripco was calculated. He felt that staying in place in a very large organization was more of a risk. What appealed to him about the move was that he could touch and feel the business at Ripco and make a difference. At 14:12, Gene describes why he enjoys mentoring at both a professional and personal level, as well as building awareness and helping others who have celiac disease or other digestive disorders. At 16:05, he touches upon the opportunity to work and mold something with a great set of people in the entrepreneurial environment at Ripco. At 17:55, Gene discusses how occupiers are controlling the conversation today, and Ripco’s relationships with the “tenant community” (working with Target, Best Buy, etc.). At 20:08, he suggests not to make the mistake of pursuing the deal and not pursuing the client - one has to look down the road and pursue the larger objective. At 21:27, Gene dives into why he likes Public Enemy. At 25:36, Larry Haber talks about the “JIMI” experience, and Gene notes the power of people feeling good about what they are doing (and thereafter the purchasing process that follows). At 26:43, Gene encourages patience, the will to make mistakes, and to learn from one’s failures. The worst thing is to sit back and do nothing. At 29:21, he believes that the majority of people are successful working in a team and giving environment. At 31:56, Gene said, “The best partners are partners that go in different directions. Those that each have individual skill sets and disciplines, and who pursue different areas of their own expertise that they bring back to center.” At 35:36, he talks about his interview style of getting to know the interviewee at a personal level from the get-go. At 37:15, Gene looks back to December of 1992, the transition point of his career interviewing at the Edward S. Gordon Company. At 38:39, he shares his career advice for students, and why pursuing a professional license and/or certification is attractive. At 43:56, Larry asks Gene a “what would you do” type of question. At 48:58, Gene notes that he enjoys spending time on his boat anchored overnight, and skiing with his family. At 50:25, Gene Spiegelman closes out the interview and advises why you shouldn’t stop believing.