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South Florida Multifamily Update, Who is Your SPOC?

Episode 338: 10-15-15

On this week’s show, Anthony Burns and Brian Bandell discuss the current market for multifamily housing in South Florida, and Bruce Turkel discusses your SPOC and why SPOC is so important.

South Florida Multifamily Update

In 2012, Anthony Burns co-founded DevStar Group, a leading real estate development, brokerage and investment firm headquartered in Miami, Florida. He focuses on the luxury residential market.

As the SVP of investments at iStar Financial, Burns was responsible for originating complex commercial real estate debt facilities as well as managing a $1 billion commercial real estate portfolio consisting of land, office, retail and multifamily product types in Southeast Florida.

Brian Bandell – journalist and novelist – is the longest tenured writer at the South Florida Business Journal. Brian is the winner of 13 awards from the Florida Press Club and 12 awards from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is also a professional novelist with Silver Leaf Books, which has released his thriller about murder gone viral “Famous After Death” and a science fiction murder mystery “Mute.”

We give a South Florida multifamily update and discuss the current market dynamics for luxury multifamily housing in South Florida.

Who is Your SPOC?

Bruce Turkel is CEO and ECD at Turkel Brands. He has helped create some of the world’s most compelling brands including Miami.

Turkel has worked with Hasbro, Nike, American Express, Charles Schwab, Citicorp, Discovery Networks, Bacardi, Sol Melia Hotels, Azamara Club Cruises and many more great companies.

He has spoken at MIT, Harvard, TEDx, and hundreds of corporate and industry conferences.

Turkel appears regularly on FOX Business and has been on CNN, ABC, CBS, and NPR. He has been featured in The New York Times, Fast Company, Communication Arts, and AdWeek.

We discuss who your SPOC is and why that person is so important.

Episode 338: 10-15-15   (To download, right-click and select “Save Link As”.)


Jim Fried: Fried on Business is live. South Florida multifamily update. We got Anthony Burns from DevStar, Brian Bandell, journalist and novelist, he’s the award winning writer of real estate for the South Florida Business Journal. We’re going to talk about the South Florida multifamily market in the first half of the show and the second half of the show reserved for branding guru Bruce Turkel. We’re going to talk about who your SPOC is and why that’s important. The stock market went up, I’m full of energy. Stick with us. We’ve got a great show. Yours, AC!

[commercial break]

Jim Fried: We are back and we are here with the South Florida multifamily update. We’ve got a developer from DevStar, we’ve got Anthony Burns. Anthony not only was a member of the military, he went to the Military Academy, but he’s battled through the condo wars, he knows what’s going on, they’re building a big project up in Aventura. We’re going to talk to him about that and more and we’ve got Brian Bandell. Brian is the lead business writer, award winning guy over from South Florida Business Journal. Brian is going to be on, he’s going to be acting as our pundit today.

Brian Bandell: Exactly.

Jim Fried: Alright. So we’re ready to go. First of all, I want to start with Brian. Brian, set us straight to the market. You talk to all the developers, all the people in the different parts of the business. What is your feel today on where the market is and is going? I gave you the easy one.

Brian Bandell: There’s still tremendous amount of construction even though that The Herald wrote today that the boom is coming to a close. It’s not coming to a close certainly. Sales and new units aren’t as fast as they were previously but when I’m going through development applications, there’s a huge amount of applications for new condos, for apartments all over South Florida, from downtown to Miami Beach to North Miami Beach to Fort Lauderdale. There’s a tremendous amount of activity, a lot of it on higher in prices so we’re continuing to see this activity going. For anyone who is getting around downtown a look at the cranes, believe me there’s no shortage of construction going on.

Jim Fried: There’s not shortage of construction going on and I’ve got a friend right here, Anthony Burns who’s in the middle of that construction. How many units are building right now with that project, Anthony?

Anthony Burns: We have 468 currently under construction along with 112 slip Marina.

Jim Fried: Plus some beautiful common areas right there on Biscayne Boulevard just in the south part of Aventura. It’s great stuff. So it’s featured on million dollar listing Miami. But Anthony, Brian talked about the fact that there’s a lot of construction that’s planned. Let’s see somebody gets construction and he starts tomorrow. What are they up against?

Anthony Burns: The major challenge that everyone in the market is facing right now in the construction front is the scarcity of labor and the construction costs associated with that. What that means and I echo what Brian had said in terms of a lot of applications etc., but what’s going to actually put the brakes on that? And what I think the market, I also disagree with what The Herald said and why the market I think is still in a healthy position is that while there maybe is slowdown in terms of the number of buyers, that slowdown is going to naturally regulate the market. And that natural regulation, which has been really forced upon the development community by the financial markets and the inability to get construction loans unless you’re already substantially sold out, is going to naturally put a brake on the system so that the buildings and projects that may have gotten the applications approved, if they actually don’t get the sales they’re not moving forward and therefore you’re not going to actually have an overbuilding issue.

Jim Fried: Then it sounds to me like we’re in somewhat of an equilibrium and there’s an entire buyer pool that you’ve alluded to but they remain unaddressed. I’m speaking about the people that maybe make $200,000, $300,000, $400,000, I’ll even say $500,000 a year and live here. Those people can’t buy a place to live. So I got to believe that there’s still a lot of rope out there for you guys to build deals with if you create a structure that helps the people that live here buy a unit. Brian, are you hearing any evolution in the market place where that may occur?

Brian Bandell: Rentals. The people who live here are mostly going for rentals or single family homes. The problem with condo market, if you live here is the Fannie Mae hasn’t approved a lot of the condos here. So even if you wanted to buy a condo here you couldn’t put 20% down with the Fannie Mae back loan, you couldn’t get an FHA backed loan. It actually is easier to get a single family home and put 20% down or an FHA loan with 3% down than it is to get a condo loan because the buildings aren’t approved but they’re building very high in the rentals in South Florida, Downtown Miami, Downtown Fort Lauderdale, they’re going for rentals, some of them $2,000 a unit.

Jim Fried: $3 a foot, it’s got to be if it’s bigger than the entire in the stories, the number of the week is $3 a foot, rents you’ve got to get and the way they’re going that is just they’re making the unit smaller with keeping the same number targeted for a gross rent. You’re right. But let’s swing it back a little bit to Anthony now. Sorry, did I cut you off?

Anthony Burns: That’s cool.

Jim Fried: ”Jimmy cut me off, you’re a turkey”. But Anthony, high-end condos are coming, you’re being sold to foreigners, in your project I guess a lot are from Brazil?

Anthony Burns: Yes, we have a significant number from Brazil followed by Columbia and Venezuela.

Jim Fried: So if these people don’t live in them, are they planning to put them on the rental market? If they are, who’s going to run them?

Anthony Burns: At the end of the day there’s two worlds on terms of the pre-construction condo market right now. There’s the product that is being sold to people – let me take a step back – most of the condos that are now being bought is the result of capital flight. That is then broken in the two different buckets, the first bucket being the folks that are truly putting their money into what they view as an investment property meaning it’s a smaller condo, many of them most likely located in Downtown or Brickell and the rental matrix actually yields some small return on their investment after they’ve paid off the expenses. The other side of the coin are the condos that are where they’re actually intending to live. Those would be more on the beach, larger units such as ours which are truly a second home although capital flight is a consideration for these people. They’re actually going to live there. And so for projects like that it makes it much more difficult to actually make the rental economics work. So that’s really where you’re seeing and so for the folks that want to actually have an investment here, they’re going to mostly stick to the smaller condos, the ones that are in the more urban areas-

Brian Bandell: Yes, the Downtown, the Brickell, you see a lot of buildings like Brickell has, almost half have been rented out so there’s sort of glorified apartment buildings.

Anthony Burns: If you also look at the, it’s interesting if you look on the MLS for some of these new condos that have been leased, a significant number of the units are already back on the market trying to be flipped and that’s an obvious result of the fact that these were the first ones in the cycle, those people bought in the $300,000, $400,000 a foot range and now Brickell is trading at $600,000 a foot. So these people are trying to realize a lot those gains which will also be another down or pressure on the pre-sale market.

Brian Bandell: Yes, as the new units, they’re being put on the market for $750 a square foot, so can you buy a $750 a square foot and then rent it and make money? Because all these people, it’s easy to make money when you bought a $400 a square foot, but $750, what harder to make money, you got to charge a lot.

Anthony Burns: The people that are buying the already completed product, those people are looking that it can hopefully cover their costs. They’re looking to try an expatriate capital, put it in United States, in our hard asset and maybe they break even, maybe they have to feed it a little bit but at the end of the day they’re not looking to try and actually make a return off of that. Down the road, there’s that $700 turning to $800 or $900, maybe there’s some capital appreciation.

Jim Fried: I want to interrupt the Brian Bandell show to ask a question.

Brian Bandell: Okay, I’m sorry about that.

Jim Fried: No, Brian, I love you. Actually, all I really want to do is make it like three guys have a lunch and talking around and just having a good time. Anthony was making some great questions, that’s actually stuff you don’t really hear, Anthony and find a new ones about what’s trading why and the rental and the bigger units and such like that. It’s something I always wanted because they’re building a lot of these big units in Edgewater and I’m wondering where all these people are going to come from because there’s not a lot of people that can afford all these units and then I live in a building in that market. I live in a rental building, a purpose rental building in that market and I’m seeing a lot of roommates. And I hear about, people on Brickell that one person comes up to the condo board and four people move in. It seems to me like what we’re really going to see is an increasing unit internal density, I don’t know how else to say it. More people, more heads than they play it on.

Brian Bandell: Yes, but not more parking spaces, right? That’s the problem.

Jim Fried: No, and not more pool. And that’s exactly right. They park on the street outside my building and then I see them walking in. I don’t know how to resolve this.

Brian Bandell: A lot of the new buildings are being made with fewer parking spaces than before because of the new zoning coats. So it might have maybe 1 and 1/4 parking spaces per unit but more people living in the units because of the price. Now it’s if two-bedroom unit has two different people or two different families in it, or maybe 2-2 a bedroom sometimes or college dorm styles.

Jim Fried: My next door neighbor, I got a note slipped under my door, somebody needed a three-bedroom, they’ve been living in a two-bedroom for years in our building, they got two kids. Is anybody going to move? Nobody said yes. These people moved into the unit next to me, spent thousands of dollars on upgrades on the unit, probably going to live there for 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and it’s five people in two bedrooms and they’ve got to be going crazy. It’s a tiny unit. It’s interesting, it’s going to be interesting what happens to the fabric of our community. That’s something I wanted to talk to Anthony about. I’ve got two minutes left in this segment. How are you creating a culture in your community that will help them to maintain their project values? And it seems it’s probably easier for you because it’s a second home. Go. That’s a hard one.

Anthony Burns: Yes, quite a philosophical question. I would argue we’re one of the most unique projects in the Miami Dade County, condo projects. And the reason being is that we’re Marina community, we’re 13 acres, 8 of which are as a marina with 112 boat slips, full fuel capacity, internet, wi-fi, telephone, state of the art marina and that, by definition is going to really impact the community and the lifestyle that we’re creating in Marina Palms. You can go and live in a condo in Brickell or Downtown, you don’t live in that condo building. When you live in Marina Palms, you’re living a lifestyle because it’s based on a marina, it’s based on the water and the boating culture and that’s really something that we’re looking to foster.

Jim Fried: That sounds great. I’m getting the signal from AC that it’s time to wrap up this segment. Hopefully you two guys can stick around some more. I’m going to let Brian Bandell show evolve because the guy has some pretty awesome questions and at this point I serve it up to AC to help me to get happy again. Let’s go!

[commercial break]

Jim Fried: We’re back, we’ve got some great guests today. We’ve got Bruce Turkel standing on deck. We’re going to talk about branding and who’s your SPOC and it has nothing to do with Nanoo, Nanoo. That was not Spock, that was Mork. But right now we’re talking condos, rental apartments and multihousing market with our good friend here on the show, Anthony Burns from DevStar. He’s building 400+ units on the water of Marina Palms lifestyle community and then we’ve got Brian Bandell. He’s our resident pundit for real estate. He is the award winning journalist at the South Florida Business Journal. We’re back at it. Let’s talk about new place that people haven’t been talking about anywhere really in the news. That’s the new North Miami Beach. I grew up there, I’m in NM Beach charge, so is Bruce.

Bruce Turkel: Pitch high.

Jim Fried: The heck with you. You’re at high tide. I’ll meet you at my pie if it only existed. I do but they just tore it down. Anyway, hey I can tell some great my pie stories but then we’d have to turn off the mic. So in any event, we’re going to talk now about the new North Miami Beach, the mayor is all behind this, they got a big CRA, I’m seeing lots of deals, they just bought the strip club, they’re going to make gazillion units out there. What’s going on in North Miami Beach? It’s just south of where Marina Palms is. You’ve been watching, Anthony. Give me your thoughts.

Anthony Burns: North Miami Beach three years ago prior to the mayor George Vallejo taking office was really a city that was stuck in the ’70s.

Jim Fried: Riding the storm out.

Anthony Burns: They believe that if they don’t build that they will not come. The problem was that Sunny Isles was exploding, Aventura was exploding, the North Miami Beach was caught in the middle and getting all the downside of the traffic, the congestion and none of the tax revenue. There has been a new change in the city, the city has been a wonderful partner for us where we were one of the first projects, large scale projects that started a few years ago. Now they have done some rezoning, they are very development and business-friendly administration. And North Miami Beach is going to transform. Five years from now the Biscayne Cordo where North Miami Beach is is going to be completely different animal than it is today. And that’s going to be for the benefit of the entire city. I don’t have enough good things to say about what mayor Vallejo has done, he’s a friend of ours and he is really going to transform that city.

Jim Fried: Brian, what do you think about what’s going on there because there are some really interesting things on the board by some really interesting people.

Brian Bandell: I’ve been following that progress closely and there has been a lot of activity in the North Miami Beach, they set out the bay when they changed the zoning, they allowed 32 stories in some areas and also mixed use, not just this is commercial, this is residential, put commercial and residential together very much like the Downtown. And developers are going definitely after that bay. You’re out Marina Palms, you have your Harbor project by 13th floor and just last week I read about three new giant projects. The River Walk was proposed 1.5 million square feet on Biscayne Boulevard, 730 residential units in one of those buildings plus 177 hotel rooms. And then there was another apartment building proposed on Biscayne on 349 units. A tremendous amount of activity going on in North Miami Beach, I think people realized that they can get a nice waterfront unit there much less expensive than Miami Beach and Edgewater.

Jim Fried: For me, what always the issue was right there was it was the hole in a donut, it was between everything, you couldn’t really easily get to jobs. But now there’s jobs there, Anthony?

Anthony Burns: Not only there’s jobs there but look at where 163rd is, it’s 826, it’s Biscayne, it’s really the epicenter of one of the busiest traffic areas. And if you live up there, you’re also next to where some of the future commuter rail stations are going to be. So there’s a lot going on up there, it’s a great neighborhood and it’s a great area to live and depending on what time you want to go to work, it’s not actually that bad in terms of traffic.

Brian Bandell: I remember there is a big office market in Aventura and Aventura is very expensive so you can live relatively better in North Miami Beach, drive to Aventura to work.

Jim Fried: You’re just a savant . The stuff you give me is just pearls of wisdom. I love you, you’re the best. So, Brian, we talked a little bit about North Miami Beach which is Anthony’s hometown basically where they’ve been building out for a long time. What do you see as another node that’s evolving because you write about this stuff? Where’s another place that you’ve seen some increased story activity, idea in currency I threw out in NBA topic? How about that?

Brian Bandell: Definitely in Downtown Fort Lauderdale there’s a tremendous amount of apartment activity, especially in the Flagler Village area just north of the Downtown on second street. Also now we’re getting our first new condo Downtown, The Coulter Group is proposing what would be the tallest building in Downtown Fort Lauderdale with the condo and also hotel as part of it. We’re seeing a lot of activity, we might soon see a new office building Downtown by Coker Group. I think we’re going to see all the residential come Downtown Fort Lauderdale and that will then breed other kinds of development, probably some more retail to make it a more complete live-work-play type of environment.

Jim Fried: It’s fascinating because usually the way that I always perceive the markets would develop would be office then resi then retail. And what we saw, that’s the way Brickell did it. The key that Brickell were tipping off was run Harvey Taylor did is publics. We’ll talk about that on another show. We’ve only got four minutes left. What I’d like to talk about – I got a couple of minutes with each – Anthony, what do you see with the condo market slowing down? What are some of the opportunities you see for the people that have made their money in multihousing? Will they switch to a different model and maybe a lower yielding apartment model or will they hoard they acorns and just do condos again?

Anthony Burns: It really depends on the risk profile. You have some developers that are going to make a lot of money in this cycle and they’re going to double down just like we saw in the last cycle. They’re going to continue to double down buying land that’s more and more expensive, construction costs that are more and more expensive and at some point Miami is a cyclical market. And regardless of what we thing is going to happen, it’s unlikely that there’ll be a completely new paradigm and there’ll be a downturn and some people are going to get caught. There’ll also be the bucket of folks that take some of this capital, they’re going to position themselves to take advantage of those opportunities and the folks that got over their skis. And that’s what we saw in the last cycle and that’s what somebody that wants to make a bet on that I think we’ll see in the next cycle.

Jim Fried: I did my best deal this cycle was when I sold a site that was planned for office condo last time to an apartment developer this time and then flipped it a couple of years later while it was processing. And you’re absolutely right. The opportunities are going to be where they are today. Brian, what do you think we’re going to see here coming up in the next couple of years?

Brian Bandell: I feel that development will continue but at a more moderate pace. It’s going to be Darwinism, the winners and the losers. The buildings that are better positioned, that have prices that make sense for the neighborhood will find buyers and be built, the ones that are overpriced for the neighborhood and the developer isn’t as experienced probably won’t find enough buyers to move forward. So if I’m going to buy a $1 million unit, would I rather buy at Edgewater or would I rather buy on Miami River without quite a view of the water? Do I want that $1 million unit five blocks inland, or maybe it’s inland but it’s in Brickell and in different neighborhood? Will I maybe pay a little bit less to be in North Miami Beach instead of in South Beach? So I think it’s really going to depend can the developer get their competitive price because if you’re overpriced for your site, for your product, you’re going to have a really tough time.
Jim Fried: Brian, you’re absolutely terrific. I’m going to have to give your your $3 after this. You’ll only get $2 because you’re a developer, you have lots of money.

Brian Bandell: I can have a $3 bill.

Jim Fried: Yes, exactly. Alright, AC is giving me the signal that it’s time to wrap up. Brian, you work for the South Florida Business Journal. How do people find you?

Brian Bandell: You could find me at, on Twitter @BrianBandell or @SFBJRealEstate.

Jim Fried: And Anthony, if somebody wants to buy a smoking great condo with a super boat slip, how do they get a hold of you?

Anthony Burns: We have a 10,000 square foot sales center located at 172nd in Biscayne. We’d love to have you come by.

Jim Fried: And you’ve got great coffee and terrific sales people too. I want to thank you too. We’re going to come back. We’re going to do this tomorrow. I’m going to fill up..this was amazing. AC, it’s yours. This is great. Bruce Turkel, back after this. We’re going to talk branding, we’re going to talk about who’s your SPOC. I’m going to say Nanoo, Nanoo again. I guess I just did. And we’ll be back after this.

[commercial break]

Jim Fried: I feel nice like sugar and spice and that’s my cue to come back. I want to direct everybody to our website because we’ve added a new category. There’s now a menu up there, a menu at the top for legal interviews. We had Cesar Alvarez last week as guest 1,000, so go there. I want to bring back Brian Bandell for just a second because Brian not only is an award winning business writer but he’s also got books he publishes and they’re pretty cool. Brian, what’s this one hour that people kill people for internet? What is that?

Brian Bandell: ”Famous After Death” is a novel I put out by Silver Leaf Books this year and it will be featured at the Miami Book Fair. You might have noticed all these crazy videos online. Some people call them snuff videos, murder videos, people who are killing are now putting that online, they’re recording it. They’re putting it on social media. You saw this happening with the murder of the two journalists in Virginia last month. The killer had his cell phone scrapped to his head and he posted that video online. As I was seeing this beginning to happen I wrote a novel called ”Famous After Death” about three teenagers in Miami. They start out playing pranks on people and put it online but then a police officer is killed in one of these pranks. So they put it anyway but they do it anonymously in a way so they’re not identified in a video and at this point the police officer trying to catch them and they’re trying to do bigger and more crazy online murder videos.

Jim Fried: Stop right there, I don’t want to give away the punchline but I did go through the thing, it’s pretty cool. Online, some of those teasing things, it’s well done, Brian. We got to have you back on the show. We’re going to talk more about your books but more than that I love the fact that you got these great interviews that you can do. I could take a break while you’re talking, you’re awesome. Thank’s for coming on the show.

Brian Bandell: Absolutely. Thank you so much and I’ll be at the Miami Book Fair on 22nd November.

Jim Fried: We’ll be there too. I’m looking forward to seeing you there, Brian. Thanks so much for being on the show today.

Brian Bandell: Thank you.

Jim Fried: Alright. Now we’ve got Bruce Turkel. Bruce, what’s happening, mister?

Bruce Turkel: It’s good to see you, Jim. I feel like you’re yelling at me but I’m kind of enjoying it.

Jim Fried: I don’t need to yell.

Bruce Turkel: There you go. I like that. I like when you do that low voice that you do.

Jim Fried: Low and sexy.

Bruce Turkel: That’s way down low and sexy. There you go. I love that. That’s you look up the word ”mellifluous”. Your picture is there.

Jim Fried: Alright Bruce. We told you that we’re going to talk about SPOCs. I make the SPOC thing, I talk about the Mine Mill but it’s really not about Star Trek, it’s really about something that’s always been important for me in business and that’s what you’re going to tell us right now what SPOC stands for.

Bruce Turkel: Here’s what happened. I got a letter from my bank that they did not have record of my windstorm insurance. As you can imagine in South Florida, windstorm insurance is expensive and you can understand why somebody who lends you money for a mortgage you’d have it on the property that you’re collateralizing your loan with. So I got a letter from them, it says: ”You do not have windstorm insurance”. So I respond: ”Of course I have windstorm insurance”. And I send them the information. About two weeks later I get another letter from them: ”You do not have windstorm insurance, please send us a record of your windstorm insurance”. I do it again. And about three weeks later I get another note from them: ”Since you do not have windstorm insurance, windstorm insurance has been purchased for you”. And then it’s got some insane price that they paid because of course, they don’t care what the price is. Now I was getting a little tired of calling the mortgage, bro, go in the company, I don’t have time to stay on hold so here’s what I did. I called my SPOC, I called my insurance agent. His name is Ralph Cabrera from Cabrera Insurance. I didn’t even call him actually. I scanned the letter and I wrote on it ”Hey, Ralph, can you take care of this?” and I sent it to him. And I got a note back that said: ”I’ll take care of it, no need for you to do anything else”. He then gathered all the information, he made sure the bank had and the bottom line is that he took care of it. He’s my SPOC, Single Point Of Contact. And by being my SPOC, he’s made it completely unnecessary for me to ever talk to another insurance agent. They called, they sent letters, they sent all kinds of proposals but why would I ever do it? He takes care of everything.

Jim Fried: So Single Point Of Contact is what SPOC stands for. Now in sales, what I’ve come to learn is that when I’m calling on somebody and they begin to do business with my firm, they don’t want anybody else calling from my firm, they don’t want to muddy the water, they just want to deal with me and for me to be there single point of contact.

Bruce Turkel: For everything. I have a buddy Mike, amazingly successful guy, serial entrepreneur, he’s made a ton of money and Mike has now gotten into a certain kind of car. He loves Mercedes Benz and he buys them at the dealership in Coral Gables and his salesman is his SPOC. Anything Mike needs, SPOC provides for him. Anything he needs. If the car breaks down, if the car needs service, if anything happens he calls one person, he’s got him on speed dial on his cell phone and it’s taken care of. He’ll never go anywhere else. I understand that we promote someone else on your show.

Jim Fried: No, it’s okay because I have that same relationship there. I have the exact type of person at that place and they taught it as being part of their family so it’s kind of the same thing, nice to have one person who takes care of everything.

Bruce Turkel: Everything and therefore you have no need to go anywhere else. It’s such a great brand technique because as you build your brand and you do all the things we’ve talked about on the show so many times.

Jim Fried: You mean that we repeat, repeat, repeat.

Bruce Turkel: Repeat, repeat, repeat.

Jim Fried: Number 1.

Bruce Turkel: That’s number 7.

Jim Fried: Sorry but that’s the bottom line.

Bruce Turkel: Number 1 is all about them. But as you do all the right things, if you provide this level of service, you don’t give the competition the opportunity to sneak in. You don’t let the camel get its nose under the tent because you, as a SPOC are providing everything your customer needs.

Jim Fried: So really then it’s really a ”soup to nuts” type of service, it’s really making sure – I’ve got it – when they think of the issue, you’re the brand they think of.

Bruce Turkel: That’s exactly right. Now, take that a step further when they think of the issue. Because they only think of what it is you do whenever they need something. But you think about it all the time, you already know what they need. Why don’t you provide it before they ask you for it?

Jim Fried: You mean actually pay it forward or anticipate their needs and actually make them feel good and that you’re focused on them?

Bruce Turkel: Exactly right.
Jim Fried: You mean that it’s all about?

Bruce Turkel: All about them. The title of my new book and the first point of our seven points of brand building that we talk about week after week after week.

Jim Fried: And I love it because we repeat, repeat, repeat and it is always about them and I use these techniques that you talk about almost unconsciously, I really don’t think about them and order anything, I really just try to do the right thing.

Bruce Turkel: As long as you do that and you do it for the right reasons, people will respond. Your brand will grow, you’ll understand what your authentic truth is, more importantly, your customer, your consumer will understand what your authentic truth is and if it resonates in their life, they will become your customer.

Jim Fried: When we talk about stuff on the show, I internalize it and I’m thinking about the example in my life and how I do it and how I can change things and it’s just fabulous, Bruce. Thank you for giving’s like a therapy session. It’s great. It’s actually business advice that a person can use immediately.

Bruce Turkel: None of you out there on your radios can see is that Jim is now laying on his back across the desk, he has his head up and he’s telling me about his problems.

Jim Fried: No, I don’t have problems, I’m just talking to you about the things that I really enjoy which is building my brand and being myself. And when you say the magic words, the magic words to me are authentic self. When you say authentic self and a person can actually have a role in the commercial world by being themselves, that’s Maslow, that’s self-actualization.

Bruce Turkel: Absolutely. That’s where it comes from, it comes from Maslow’s hierarchy of means getting your customer up to the top, they’re no longer worried about shelter, they’re no longer worried about clothing, the necessities, now they’re going from needs to wants, that’s where the sales are, that’s where the profits are and that’s where you can shine. You can’t be all things to all people. What you can become is the right person, the SPOC for the right customer.

Jim Fried: Really what you’re saying is that I shouldn’t worry about trying to sell to 150 people that don’t want to need my message, I just have to find the 20 people that authentically need and respond to me? Sorry I’m yelling.

Bruce Turkel: One of my buddies that I run with four days a week, we talk about his business all he time. We spend a lot of sweaty miles together. And one of the things he keeps telling me is ”I met with this one person and they only want to pay this and they only pay that and I don’t know what to do, I’m lowering my prices”, and I’ve talked to him for years about determining the difference between his customer and his non-customer. If you try to sell to the non-customer, what are you going to do? You’re going to lower your prices, you’re going to reduce your services, you’re going to reduces your quality and you’re not going to sell product. But if you focus on who is your customer based on what is your authentic truth that you offer, that makes a difference to them, they will pay you a price, they will appreciate your service, they might even say – ready for this? – ”Thank you Jim”. Then you’re done because you have built a relationship that benefits them and becomes a mutually beneficial relationship.

Jim Fried: The last deal I closed the people actually did say ”Thank you for helping us”. It was actually one of the most wonderful moments in my life. And for more wonderful moments, stick with us because we’ll be right back. AC is giving me the finger again, so AC, it’s yours!

[commercial break]

Jim Fried: We are back, we’re having a great time. AC is a great sport back here. We’re here talking to Bruce Turkel about your SPOC. It’s not an alien thing, it’s about being a single point of contact for somebody, somebody that you people can depend on and we were talking about how you’ll love to connect with people at their authentic level, their real level. Bruce, we’ve talked about your seven points of marketing and such, everything from it is all about them, all the way back to repeat, repeat, repeat. How does that tie in with the SPOC concept?

Bruce Turkel: It’s very simple. I believe that when you build these brands, you have an umbrella, you’re doing the things we talked about, all about them, make it quick, make it simple, hearts to minds, make it emotional, make it sensual, make it ownable and repeat it. However, you can’t do that if you haven’t figured out the strategy of what it is you’re trying to promote. Most of us promote what we do, we promote the function. I install windows, I change oil, I mow lawns, I write poetry, whatever it is. The problem is, that’s what everybody does. And if you’re going to complete simply at a level of providing function, you have no competitive advantage. If I only need my lawn mowed, I can go to you or the next guy or the guy after that. However, if you figure out the way to become my SPOC, my single point of contact for everything I need in my landscaping needs and you do it on a level that I resonate with depending on who I am, all of a sudden, things start to happen. For example, my wife is really into landscaping and plants and we have fruit trees, we have vegetable garden, she has bees, she has orchids.

Jim Fried: I need to meet her.

Bruce Turkel: You do need to meet her, she’s up here. Look at the picture over here, she’s a beautiful woman.

Jim Fried: She’s lovely. She’s caring from what I see, she’s also like an emergency room nurse or something?

Bruce Turkel: She was an emergency room nurse and now she’s a nurse practitioner and does hospice care. She’s a wonderful woman.

Jim Fried: I want to meet her.

Bruce Turkel: So she talks to our landscapers and they walk together and they talk about the leaves and they talk about other plants. At the same time, I don’t care about any of that. I care that it’s going to be done on time at the right price and that it’s going to look good.

Jim Fried: And not wake you up.

Bruce Turkel: And not wake me up. When a landscaper makes his presentation, clearly he has a different message for her than he has for me. But neither one is about the function because I just need someone to dig holes and put in trees and he can get that done anywhere. No different than your real estate business, no different than AC behind the board. Those boards are really complicated with all those buttons but there’s lots of guys who can move the buttons around. But he picks the right song, he puts in and right out, he keeps you excited, he’s the wing beneath your wings and because of that the show moves. It’s because you guys have figured out your authentic truths and how they work together. And your brands working together make the each of your brands stronger.

Jim Fried: And by being on Fried on Business we’re going to do so many great things together with Bruce and his stuff and everything. AC, you wait just like everybody else who comes through this studio, we’ve got a future together too.

Bruce Turkel: So here’s what can happen. Every time you do that, then AC behind you is going to say: ”Oh, yeah”, except he knocked it lower than I just said.

AC: Oh, yeah.

Bruce Turkel: There you go. So he’s going to point, you’re going to say ”Oh, yeah” and we’re going to build this.

Jim Fried: I love it. There you go. That was like NMB and Beach high trying [crosstalk] We just had to celebrate for a minute. So, Bruce, we’re going to wrap it up, and how much time do we have left, AC? We’re having too much fun, I lost track. Alright, we’ve got a minute and a half left for Bruce and I got a branded thing with my branding thing. So Bruce, what are we going to leave people with this time?

Bruce Turkel: We’re going to leave them with something that has nothing to do with branding. I’m going to sell something, I’ve never done this on the show before. Saturday night, Books&Books, Coral Gables, my band Black Star is playing. We’re going to have the full horn section, we’re going to kick, we’re going to play old school R&B, we’re going to play some classic rock and some blues. We don’t play anything that has a video. So come on out, Books&Books on Aragon in Coral Gables, 8 o’clock, Saturday night. We’re going to have a great time. Other than that, if you want to know about brand building, my website is simply my name, and I have a blog I write every week on branding on different things you can do in your business to make a difference and I hope you will take a look at it.

Jim Fried: Listen what we got up on there, Bruce. There we go, that’s a little bit of Bruce. That’s Bruce branding my show. I want to thank everybody that was on the show, I want to thank Anthony Burns, I want to thank my favorite star and co-host Brian Bandell.

Bruce Turkel: He was awesome.

Jim Fried: I guess I got to thank you too, Bruce, and I got to now thank AC for raising a price for me here.

AC: Oh, yeah.

Jim Fried: I want to thank KIND Snacks, South Florida Wealth and Business Magazine, the CCIMs, Terek Maddox, UHealth, Warren Henry Automotive, I want to thank the NFL Alumni, Miami Dolphins, Social Media 305, the Miami Marlins, of course Bruce Turkel again, Lauren’s Kids, the Aztec Group, The Bergstorm Center for Real Estate Studies, I also want to thank – my God, I got two pages of sponsors – Xpresso Marketing, EarlyShares, Magnum Energy Solutions, Engineered Tax Services, my gosh I got a lot of great sponsors, and we’re going to get more. And of course I want to thank you, my listeners because without you I wouldn’t have a show, Bruce would be talking to nothing so join our community – I’m sorry I’m yelling, Bruce – give us feedback and comments, tell us who you want to hear from. You can reach me @JimFried, @FriedOnBusiness, Facebook, LinkedIn, Youtube, the website keeps getting more popular, that’s If you missed today’s show it’ll be up on our website,, this is Jim Fried for Fried on Business. Look for us on 880 AM next Thursday at 6:00. Why? Because I love doing this. That’s why. We’re going to have great guests. Remember, this is not a rehearsal, this is your live. The person that wants to do something finds a way, the other finds an excuse. Now go out there and make it happen. Thank you everybody.



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