Attorneys are Human Too, a Podcast

Episode 26 The Future of Retail Featuring Barry Wolfe

October 21, 2020 Barry Wolfe Season 2 Episode 6
Attorneys are Human Too, a Podcast
Episode 26 The Future of Retail Featuring Barry Wolfe
Chapters
Attorneys are Human Too, a Podcast
Episode 26 The Future of Retail Featuring Barry Wolfe
Oct 21, 2020 Season 2 Episode 6
Barry Wolfe

Join Steve Wallace and Celena Muzic both of The Wallace Law Group, PL as they are joined by real estate broker Barry Wolfe.

Topic discussed include:
Barry's Career as an Attorney
What made Barry switch careers out of law
Future of Retail and Shopping Malls
Pop Culture Banter
Lightning Round

Show Notes Transcript

Join Steve Wallace and Celena Muzic both of The Wallace Law Group, PL as they are joined by real estate broker Barry Wolfe.

Topic discussed include:
Barry's Career as an Attorney
What made Barry switch careers out of law
Future of Retail and Shopping Malls
Pop Culture Banter
Lightning Round

Steve Wallace:

we have a pleasure today. We have Barry Wolf who is the senior managing director of investments and Marcus Millichap. He also is the senior director in retail, as well as a senior director in net properties. Hi, Barry.

Barry Wolfe:

Thanks so much for having me. I'm excited. This is awesome.

Steve Wallace:

he's a podcast host of Wolf bites. And today we're going to cross market this episode and it will also be an episode of one.

Barry Wolfe:

Absolutely exciting. I've never done that

Steve Wallace:

this episode is attorneys are human too. And like myself, you were an attorney, but you actually discovered the magic of getting out of the business. my first question to you is. When you were younger, what made you decide to become an attorney?

Barry Wolfe:

I don't know. My dad was an attorney, so I know that probably had something to do with it. Certainly, although he actually discouraged me from becoming an attorney. So that's part of the reason I got out of it. so I, it would probably was a lot of that. I, it was really, I was, and still am close to him and saw how, what he did. And I don't know, 18, 20 coming out of college. what the heck do you want to do? And. You just saw as an opportunity. It's just something I decided to go to law school and become, go down that path. And I don't regret it at all. as far as the moment or light bulb moment, why I decided to become one, I can't pinpoint. but I, yeah, like I said, I'm glad I went to law school. I think I got that law degree and, no regrets.

Steve Wallace:

Okay, so your dad was an attorney. So what type of attorney was he?

Barry Wolfe:

He was commercial real estate. and I actually worked to work with him at a law school, his law firm for about five years and did commercial real estate reps. I've been involved in retail, really since law school, where we, I worked with as an attorney with a number of different restaurant chains, doing leasing work and acquisition work, I work with some Kmart. So that kind of dates me Kmart and Walmart developers. What's going back in the mid nineties, Kmart and Walmart were kind of neck and neck. They were big box retailers, both crushing it doing well.

Steve Wallace:

Yeah, my best friend's mom was a manager at Kmart for most of my youth. So I remember always going in there to visit her. And then my best friend, he worked at the little Caesar's when they combined the little Caesars and they got rid of that disgusting cafeteria that they used to hang out there.

Celena Muzic:

I didn't know Kmart had all of this. Sorry. I said, I didn't even know Kmart had all of this.

Barry Wolfe:

Yeah, kmart was the Walmart before Walmart was all martyr. Yeah. You go back pre Walmart. It was Kmart and Sears and they were the dominant big retail players in the industry. And Walmart, Sam Walton came along and really changed that and evolved, and obviously grew to Walmart. Mark to what Walmart is today. And certainly in reality, just absolutely crushed, Kmart and Sears. And along with a lot of other, local retailers, that was a controversy with Walmart is what they did with a lot of local retail.

Steve Wallace:

Yep. They drove the prices down and push the mom and pop retailers out of business. Okay. So you obviously laws the family business. So what moment or what led you to, transitioning from an attorney into commercial real estate and the best quote that I say, because I'm always looking for opportunities to leave the business and I'll give a quote from. From Al Pachino and Godfather's three, every time I get out, they keep pulling me back in, and that's what happens to me.

Celena Muzic:

Oh, and to add to Steven's question, what is more lucrative?

Barry Wolfe:

I'll be honest with you. Real estate has been more Luker. then when I was practicing law, but I, there was a long time ago too. I've been doing that and I've been doing as a commercial real estate practice for almost 20 years now. I was in legal practice for eight years. I was working on my dad's farm for five years and I ran the legal real estate department for errands, inc. It was a publicly traded company for a couple of years, transition into what I do now. I just was, bored with it, to be honest with you. I did again, a lot of leaves he's seeing work and acquisition and just felt like every deal was the same and it just not what I personally wanted to do for the rest of my career. so decided to make it good transition and a change. And fortunately it's worked out well.

Steve Wallace:

Okay. So I just have a question because I'm pretty familiar with Aaron's leasing. So my question is, why, and it's that concept is called rent to own. So my question always was why do people rent to own when it costs a lot more than just going ahead and buying it? So that's it. That's the question.

Celena Muzic:

Yes. I don't get it. We don't get it.

Barry Wolfe:

No, it's a different model. And I, again, I worked there for a couple of years. I worked closely with the president of the company. And I, frankly, when I first interviewed, I asked him that question and I had concerns about, is it detrimental or harmful to some people because they are paying more in reality. And the situation is, reality that our customers are folks that. Can't go get credited at best buy or go get credited Macy. These are at rooms to go. So it really does serve a niche and a need. And it's folks that are lower to middle income. And again, just have they're looking to get whether it's furniture, computers, big screen TVs, for whatever reason they that's what they want. And they can't go get that credit at the national retail chain because you're right. It is. It is more expensive, but it's also not, they're not loan sharks. It's not to the point where it's that just. Seeing the amount of money, but yeah, it's just similar. Like why do people, why would you, why do people, we use credit cards? Cause it'd be a whole lot cheaper for most people to pay cash. It's the same sort of thing. it's just, yes, it's theirs. They're buying something they couldn't otherwise afford probably. And they're paying interest and yeah, I was just the, a lot of them society has the need or desire to own something that they frankly can't afford. why do people lease Mercedes when, instead of buying a Honda, when they can afford to buy a Honda cash, but they have to lease a Mercedes. Yes, a lot of that same sort of thing. They want something that they probably can't afford. that's a great explanation.

Steve Wallace:

That makes sense. And I grew up in upstate New York and we had those of those rent, a centers and errands leasing. There were a whole bunch of them and upstate New York. I just, cause it's obviously it's a more lower middle class type of area.

Barry Wolfe:

I actually sold several up in upstate New York and Albany and Rochester and some other areas.

Steve Wallace:

Okay. you started out in private practice, you went to in house to a public company. And then what was your first transition from going into the practice of law into the real estate brokerage area? We'd love to hear.

Barry Wolfe:

Yes, it was a job. it's kinda one of those things that, you just rip off the bandaid for letting there really was no transition. I moved from Georgia where I was practicing. I'm licensed in the state of Georgia. We moved to Florida. when we first came down here, frankly, I did interview at several different law. Firms. I was not licensed in Florida. I still had never taken the bar exam in Florida. So I'm not licensed in Florida. So I'm not a practicing lawyer at all. If I can still actually picture myself the moment sitting in some interviews, like in a waiting room, waiting to interview with some different law firms and just seeing the people coming and going. And honestly, I had this knot in my stomach. I want to do this. It's not what I want to do for the next 2030. 40 years of my life. And, of course my wife was supportive. We had one young kid and other on the way, and it just moved and just made the decision that I don't want to do this for the rest of my life. And frankly, my thought on real estate was to get into the development side. And I saw brokerage as the stepping stone to doing that. And in reality, just never made that leap. just got into brokerage and had been doing it for almost 20 years now. And frankly probably do what I did for the rest of my career.

Steve Wallace:

Excellent. So did you work at Martin? Was Marcus and Millichap?

Barry Wolfe:

Yeah, basically the entire time. So yeah, I've been at M and M since 2000, April, 2001. Okay.

Steve Wallace:

Yes, very strong firm, very national firm. So could you tell us a little bit about the differences between a national commercial real estate firm and just myself opening up Steve ABC commercial Realty? Cause I know there's a big difference between

Barry Wolfe:

absolutely. Sometimes people ask me, like, why didn't I never just go open my own farm? And I built a good book of business. I have a lot of relationships. I think one difference is, somewhere what you say, and then you could, I'm sure you could be at a big law, but there are positives to having your own practice. You're your own boss. You set your own hours, you do what you want to. I do on the brokerage side, it is a little different and that my being and with a national firm, I've got a platform with, other brokers, the buyers they work with. I really. I'm able to have a national practice. I closed I've closed deals. And I think in 43 States across the country, most of my businesses outside of South Florida, or certainly even outside of Florida. I've got deals now from California to New York, to Texas, to Oklahoma. So I'm just able to do work all over the country. And frankly, I don't have to worry about paying the rent or paying the insurance, or, in times these having to pay, meet payroll for a large staff. So it is, yeah. There's pros and cons to having your own business, whether that's a law firm or a brokerage business and, or having a national practice. And I just, I gravitated to the national it's worked really well for me. I said, I have no reason to ever reinvent the wheel, so I've never left.

Steve Wallace:

Excellent. I guess my follow up question to that is, we have a lot of listeners that are in residential real estate and a lot of folks come to Selena and I, and they're like, Oh, I want to transition into commercial because there's, it's so lucrative. So what advice would you have for somebody that's the, either new in the business or somebody that's making the transition from residential to commercial?

Celena Muzic:

Oh, and can you also tell us the downfall of just jumping into something like that? Because oftentimes it sounds like such a sexy business and it's so much money and now the show's also million dollar listing and commercial. I've looked, I've watched those shows and said to myself, what am I doing? I used to do that to me too.

Barry Wolfe:

At the end of the day, it's work. It's a job in reality. And yeah. And I understand, yeah, just like there was Al back in the day when I was in the business first getting in and probably use Steve as well, because there's LA law and everybody looked at that and it's Man, that's so sexy and it's this amazing job. And it's so exciting. And that's, that's not what the law practice is reality, and it's just the same as like billion dollar listing or, these sort of things. you shared, there are moments that are very exciting, but the end of the day, I'm spending hours talking to clients and reviewing emails and it's grunt work for lack of a better way to say it as much as anything else. So it's just a lot of hard work in reality. It's not. Yeah, it's not exciting or glamorous. It's just, it's like you guys do, it's hard work nose to the grindstone, work hard and represent your clients really well. as far as the lead something, I think for people to keep in mind, just the time, now when I always tell anybody that's getting into my business and Frank probably the same with residential. You probably need to have the resources financially and mentally and emotionally to probably go one to two years without making any money. I went, almost a full 12 months without making a nickel. so I had to have that natural wherewithal of some money being saved to pay the bills, pay the mortgage or pay the rent, or it depends on where you're living, put food on the table. so that's one big. Challenge and just, I transitioned into from a legal practice where you get a paycheck every two weeks and to a business that's a hundred percent commission based. So not to mention, I had to go get my own healthcare insurance for the family, but also. You don't know when you're going to get paid, in any commission business, there's no paycheck every two weeks. So it's kinda the old adage eat what you kill. So you've got to have that mental and emotional mindset to weather that storm. And, there are going to be periods like now, or the two, the great recession where it up and down and you gotta be able to weather that and make it through those time periods.

Steve Wallace:

Excellent. So one other thing, that's a big difference in commercial real estate versus residential real estate is there's CoStar and there's LoopNet, but there's not really like a standard MLS per se, for real estate. And especially with my understanding and please correct me if I'm wrong with a lot of the national firms, they have an exclusive right to sell and oftentimes, their listings that. you try to sell within your national brokerage firm. And I know CBRS and some of the other firms are similar to that. Could you elaborate a little bit on that?

Barry Wolfe:

Yeah. And that actually is one of the reasons I stayed with Marcus and Millichap, where we actually are very deferent is. We have a very open platform. every listing I have or every listing, anybody in our company has, is open to everybody within our company. So there is no such thing as Lucy, a private listing or anything like that. So we've got phenomenal inventory, phenomenal information because we openly share and share deals and share information. as far as yeah, you're referring to the lack of an MLS. You're correct. there's no national. MLS per se in the commercial sector, there are, as you say, there are websites like LoopNet that frankly, I think it was a lot better a couple of years ago before they were acquired by CoStar. that's a whole nother topic. so no, it just takes a building up of the things I've done myself or my business that I've been focused on for again. Yeah. 20 years is building up a really extensive and deep pool of broker relationships. I've got an email database of tens of thousands of brokers. I get my deals out to. I've got a, hundreds and thousands of brokers I talk to regularly with just so to make sure they're aware of my deals that I have listed and the vast majority of deals I sell. I work with an outside broker. I co broker by 95% of the deals I sell. So I'm splitting fees, 50 50. I don't play games with them. And that's one of the keys is I just have a totally level playing field with everybody. I was talking with a client actually this morning and for a deal we're just marketing. He said he saw my email blast. And I said, why did that just go to your small buyer pool? I sent me a kind of pocket list it for a little while before you go to the brokers. I'm like, absolutely not. that went to over 40,000 people. It's I went to you at the brokers as well. It's certainly we get it out. I get my deals out to anybody and everybody day one, coal brokers split the fees and that's just the way I market is how do I get the property sold for my clients at the highest price possible. And that's exposure.

Steve Wallace:

Okay. So the title of this episode is the future of retail. So one of the things that we really would like to know is, certainly before the pandemic, there were ripples and there were changes in the industry. So I guess the first question we have in Selena and I have a bunch of questions on this topic is what trends are you seeing right now? That have occurred as a result of the pandemic and specifically the retail industry.

Barry Wolfe:

Keep hearing this thing called the internet. I'm don't know there's some company Amazon, and I can hear about these guys. I don't know who they are. I can look them up. I know. I'll have to figure that out some point, e-commerce was growing. Playing, yeah, pre pandemic, is anywhere from about eight to 12% and trending, where e-commerce and online sales and that's, Amazon obviously, but also Walmart and target in particular have been putting tremendous resources towards online sales and online marketing. And they're doing a great job of it using their store as a last mile distribution or for. Yeah, customer pickup. I, you know what we're seeing during the pandemic or some new habits or folks that never did buy online are now buying online and realizing Holy cow, this is really easy. so we're going to see continued sale online escalating, but that doesn't mean that retail physical retail is dead. there's really, I've mentioned this even pre COVID and I was still say the same thing. I challenge anyone to find me a single company or operators shorter, maybe like a little niche player, somewhere out there in the universe that has been profitable. And it's. Survived more than a couple of months. Certainly even a couple of years with an online, only business model. It doesn't work.

Celena Muzic:

don't you think that's where we're headed anyways? Not at all. Cause you know, I was talking to my husband the other day, we drove by Publix and we said, Oh, we have to buy groceries. And we're like, we can just get everything on Amazon. And then we're like, why do we have all these. Publix locations, they should just warehouse it and just deliver everything. And that's it.

Barry Wolfe:

I think we will see that actually, I think we will see a drive throughs eventually at Publix or curbside pickup at the, the grocery stores here. But no, will it all go online? I don't, I'm not, I don't believe so at all. even Amazon, first of all, they're rolling out grocery stores. I actually have whole foods. They just rolled out a new brand as well, that, very slowly getting to roll that out. Amazon is adding. Physical locations. Why are they doing that? They realize online only doesn't work. It's not profitable. Amazon is also very unique. Most people don't realize the key to Amazon and the profitability for Amazon is Amazon web services. If AMA, if AWS did not exist full credit with us too, to Amazon, I think they realize this. So they've got the cash cow that is Amazon web services that has supported and gotten Amazon to where it is today. so Amazon is double company, but even they realized they need a physical presence. One of the reasons being you've got to have last mile, you've got to get it out to the two people you shipping returns are very expensive. So you really need to have it where people are either shipping from shorter distance or ideally they're picking it up themselves with which is buy online pickup in store curbside pickup, Amazon target, and Walmart are doing a great job of wellbeing using their stores for last mile distribution. so again, there's really. I don't think there's a single example out there of an online, only company that has been profitable. And I don't think that will, I don't think that's a surprise. I don't think it's a coincidence and I don't think it's going to change because of just the cost of online. Again, the cost of shipping and the cost of returns are through the roof. that's a very expensive proposition. so now Amazon will continue to do great. Amazon will continue to grow. They're the 800 pound gorilla, that Walmart and target and home Depot and Lowe close, and others are focused on, but the rest of retail is not dead or going away. I don't believe at all.

Celena Muzic:

and Walmart just released their online service to, comparative to prime service. So I feel like we're going to see a lot more of that with other companies as well. Cause I'm of the mindset, I'm a total millennial I'm like, I never want to pay for shipping. I'd rather pay for a membership and not pay for shipping.

Barry Wolfe:

No, and you're right. Amazon, Walmart just came out with Walmart plus target. We'll good. We'll probably eventually come out with something similar. Amazon prime has been a total again, yeah. Between AWS. Yes. Amazon web services, Amazon prime. That's what supports Amazon, is that recurring income? so now I agree with you, more and more people are doing online and, it's the old adage. It takes about 30 days to create a habit. And we've been in, locked down, not locked down per se, but, we've been in at home for six months now, give or take. So a lot of people, again that were not ordering online have been ordering online and realizing how easy it is. So I think they'll go back to stores, but it's a new habit. So we're going to see more and more business going online. And Walmart target and the others realize that Costco they've got to compete with it, but I don't think physical retail is going to disappear at all. In fact, I think a lot of people are just, can't wait to get back to stores and get to physical shopping. There's a social component to that as well.

Celena Muzic:

what do you think? Cause you know, looking around, what do you think of. All these big stores now officially closing their doors. And because they weren't able to survive, this COVID state where everyone's staying home, but we see stores like century 21 with which is a retail giant, just going out of business and more and more. And I actually. Saw, like I get all the emails about the mall nearby. And there's so many stories of just going out of business. Yeah. The big boxes.

Barry Wolfe:

Yeah. a lot of those you need to recognize, and I understand what you're saying and I'm not going to sit here and argue. We're not going to have store closures at all. We will. There's going to be more store closures. There's going to be more bankruptcies in the sector. We're not through this at all. But one thing to keep in mind is a lot of the retailers that have declared bankruptcy and have closed during this period were companies that are struggling going into this period. This was the last, the death nail is the nail in the coffin. Sears, all these companies that again have gone out, were dying already. They were going to die. And I think in some ways it's actually a positive is what we've done is we've taken probably. Five years worth of protracted death and hanging on there and just smashed it all together in about six to 12 months. And we're going to get rid of those players, which will positively, be more opportunity for market share for the survivors. the other thing, a lot of those companies were highly leveraged. Maybe they were just not doing well going into this. They were owned by private equity firms that leveraged them to the hilt. So some of these that went out were either already dying or were too to have too much debt and they couldn't make it through a period like this.

Steve Wallace:

And that's what happened with, we talked about it earlier. Kmart and Sears were basically, it was a head, there was in the restructuring of one of the, one of the numerous bankruptcies that they have. They basically turned it into a hedge fund and that's. Ultimately what happened? So I have two questions. My first question is I was a child of the age. my mom would load me and my best friend, Bobby into the car. She'd drive us to shopping town mall. She dropped us off. She come back four or five hours later, so we'd go there, we'd get our pizza. We'd go to the arcade. We play video games and then we go see a movie. So my question is. That's an experience that I have millennials don't certainly don't have an experience like we have gen Z and my children, certainly my kids hate them all. So do you think that ultimately the mall is dead and my romantic eighties experience with the shopping malls, my children or grandchildren won't have.

Celena Muzic:

Oh, and to tack onto Steven's question, do you think because of. Of that. And what Steven just explained, do you think this will be the return of mom and pop retail?

Barry Wolfe:

So I hope so. I'd love to see that mom and pops. It's a challenging time because mom and pops are again, you're competing with Amazon, you're competing with Walmart, you're competing with target, competing with Costco. I think that's going to ultimately depend upon what do we, as a society. I think is important. And it's going to take an effort, frankly, for the mom and pops a lot of them to survive. We're going to have to realize as a society, the importance of them. And how important they are to our economy and make the effort to go to those and support those mom and pop retailers instead of sitting on our couch and ordering it, on our smartphone or on our computer. Cause it's easier. If we, as a collective society, all just gravitate to whatever is easiest and that means Amazon or Walmart or target. The mom and pops are in really in trouble. And I think that's going to be really devastating to our economy longterm from an employment standpoint and certainly to our society. I hope we be all right. I think that way, and don't just gravitate to whatever is easier because then mom and pops are in trouble. I do think, as far as you're talking about the malls, it's interesting. My kids still loved them all. They haven't really met, but I don't know if you have boys or girls that probably does make it. Okay. So I have two girls. They love to shop. I hate to shop. I said I still do enjoy the mall. They haven't frankly been during COVID. I think class a malls will survive. I think class B and C I'm also in trouble. A lot of them will not survive. I've seen data out there is projecting. 30 plus percent of malls don't make it through the cycle. I, it's funny, like when I go to a mall and I try to avoid as best I can, because again, I just, I hate shopping me too. I really hate shopping at malls. I know it's not like the times recently. And by recent, Kobe, I haven't been in a mall since COVID, but over the last year or two, even if I'm walking through a really nice mall, like one. You've probably been to Boca town center down this way. it's a really nice mall. So I would certainly call it a class, a mall. It's one of the top Simon malls in the country. so even when I walk through there, I just find myself feeling like this is stale. This is boring. so I just. I don't see it. I think malls, I do believe class a malls like that will survive, but I ain't even there yet. They're going to need to change things around revive somehow I just find, and you grew up in upstate New York. So that probably had something to do with it, shopping outside. So yeah, it's months of the year. It's probably not a whole lot of bond, but in the rest of the country, Again, it's just boring to me, walking through a stale environment with air con. I think a lot of people are going to look around and I just, I don't like this, so I think they will survive, but there are there challenges ahead for the sector? I do believe. it's interesting because Simon. Keeps buying up these defunct retailers forever or 21.

Steve Wallace:

Yeah, that was actually my second question. My second question was, what are your thoughts on Brookfield and Simon purchasing? JC Penny's that's near and dear to my heart because my children's grandmother works at JC Penney's and. And I'll say a C, but probably a D mall Boynton beach mall. And we'll talk about that in a moment. I'll stop.

Barry Wolfe:

They don't personally get it. I, again, it gets back to my opinion of the malls and I, again, I think the type tier malls will survive. there'll be a lot that doll. And I just, I kind of preface anything I say yeah, on the mall sector, particularly related assignment. I, if I post something online or otherwise I'll say. Let's suppose that Simon are certainly far smarter and more knowledgeable about the mall sector than I will ever be. They got more data than I'll ever have access to that being said, I do look at it and feel like they're just getting deeper and deeper into the mall sector. And I do question it frankly, again, they know more than I do, but I gotta admit I'm skeptical. When I look at them buying. JC Penney. And again, it feels like they're just financially deeper and deeper into that sector that I wonder if survives. So I can't, I'm not real bullish on the moves they're making, again, I'll preface that by saying that they know more than I do,

Celena Muzic:

I think balls nowadays it's I think it should be more of not just not a shopping experience, but an experience overall. For example, like Aventura mall. And again, I'm a millennial. I like to order stuff online, but I do going to Aventura mall. They have a lot of restaurants, they have a little outdoor, so I would go there to eat right now. But I w yeah, they have Tesla in there. So if you want to check out the newest models of Teslas and they have, what I've noticed is that they've taken a lot of empty spaces that used to be stores and turn them into experience like they had the Nickelodeon slime experience and then they had, the candy Topia experience. And that to me is actually really fun cause I can take my nephews and I enjoy myself and I can also by myself. Sure. they have the giant slide they build. So I think should really go into that direction as opposed to just.

Barry Wolfe:

I agree. That's why I was saying, when I walk around now, it's boring. It's stale to me again. I'm not a shock, but I agree with you. I think that they've need to. Fresh in this up, they need to add things. It's not just strictly shopping. And I agree with you. I think those will be the malls that survive that do add some experience. going into COVID we all talked about the malls that were thriving were the ones that you mentioned you love to eat. I do too. the ones that were doing well, like again, Boca town center, it's got, they've added a ton of restaurants to the periphery of the mall, and those will be the ones that do well that kind of have that focus on dining and, Entertainment and experience. And it's ironic that, Kobe, we're all talking about experiential retail going into this, and that's what was surviving, fitness and experiential retail and the six months, that's, what's gotten crushed is cause you can't, we can't experience anything. We can't get out and do anything. We can't, restaurants have been challenged off. Fitness has been really challenged. So that's been the really unique aspect, all of the, of all of this, but I do. Believe that going forward, or we will again be talking about experiential retail and dining and fitness. I'm optimistic over the long term short term, they're gonna be challenges. Okay, Selena and I are going to ask you one more business related question, and then we'll get into a little pop culture and then, our lightening round them before we're done. We'd love to have you promote any listings that you have, or just speak on a couple of interesting projects that you're working on. Sure. Okay. Selena, do you have one more business related question for Barry?

Celena Muzic:

Yeah. I actually want to know how COVID is impacting your work. Or is it at all? Because we see I've spoken to some realtors that are friends of mine, that I have one friend that says I don't want to meet with clients or show anything because I'm scared of coven. And then, and I'm in my head. I'm like, then you're not going to make any money. And then there's other people who have just worked through this entire. scenario. So I want to know how that's affecting you per se, in that way. And communicating with people,

Barry Wolfe:

we're doing a lot of what we're doing now. So a lot of have had a lot of zoom calls, FaceTime calls, video calls, phone calls, just, old fashioned phone calls, obviously. So I have not had. I'm trying to think. I don't think I've had a single face to face meeting since March, since mid March. I usually attend about a dozen conferences every year. Go on lots and lots of meetings, travel to meet clients. And normally I would have been on the road meeting clients probably a dozen times between, in the last six months, give or take. And there's been zero of that. So we've supplemented that number one was just a lot of hard work. So yeah, talking to a lot of people, making a lot of phone calls, staying in touch with people, checking in how they're doing their family's doing. Showing genuine and real concern for them. And yeah, again, using the technology that we have doing these sort of video calls, frankly. activity level, I would say transaction volume will be down in 2020 compared to 2019 2018. but not dead. I personally have sold a closed on, 28 properties since the COVID. During the COVID period and yeah, no, I appreciate it. It got several others under contract scheduled to close, so we're just, we're continuing to stay very busy. It's been steady, but again, there'll be off. we won't close as many deals this year, as we did the last couple of years, the industry is off as well, but it's not dead. I remember 2009. Transaction volumes compared to the prior year or two years was off about 90%. the market was just dead.

Steve Wallace:

I remember I was at Rudy McCloskey at the time I was twiddling my thumbs.

Barry Wolfe:

So for a couple of years, that market was just dead. I we're not experiencing that right now. I mean it's off, but it's not dead. which is a positive, we're staying busy. One of the challenges that debt market has but it's open. Up to a certain degree. March 2nd, half of March into April, you couldn't finance a restaurant deal. No lender wanted to touch a restaurant deal. That's evolved. They're still being very careful, but there is for a lot of tenants or a lot of deals. There are funny, there is financing out there it's still not easy. so we're, there's still send 31 exchange is getting done. So we're can, I guess the short answer is we're staying very busy and active and continuing to push through all of this.

Steve Wallace:

Okay. Great. So you mentioned 28 deals. So my last question to you is could you highlight one of the more challenging deals that you worked on and how you persevered to get that deal at closing during the covert timeframe?

Barry Wolfe:

Interesting. I love horror stories. Yeah, no, it's interesting. Actually, I've got a, I'll bring up a race. We just closed last week at a medical marijuana deal. We closed, the deal we went to contract, that. Deal was terminated. at the end of due diligence, just some issues with construction, timing and more timing issues. The buyer still liked the deal. we took it back to the market, but frankly, he just stayed in touch with the buyer and their broker. And just as things evolved in the deal. we were actually able to, after, probably about a month, put the deal back under contract and move someone's closing. So I've done that. We've also had a couple of deals. We got sold in this period that had been on the market previously with other brokers that were not able to get them sold. That's always fun when somebody else can't get a deal sold, they come back to us. I've had several of those also. They're always enjoyable.

Steve Wallace:

Okay. So here's my pop culture question where Selena and I ask you one pop culture question. Okay. So during the pandemic, what show or shows have you been binge watching?

Barry Wolfe:

None. I don't binge watch anything. I. I really, I don't watch much TV at all. I'll probably watch an hour of TV a week and it's usually like right before bed, if I just need to vege out, I pull up an episode of scientists. I don't know. Again, I'll hear,

Steve Wallace:

I love sitcoms Goldberg. Goldberg's is my nine year old son and my favorite show.

Barry Wolfe:

Yeah, I'll hear a Netflix or Hulu stuff that's going on. And I don't know anything. Just anything that's popped gummy. You can ask my wife if it's pop culture. I don't know about it. I just, I'm still at of I'm. So out of it that if it happened since 1980, something is referring to the Goldbergs, then it's beyond me.

Celena Muzic:

Okay. Okay. then here's my question. Who was your childhood? Celebrity crush and favorite band? Gosh, again, even back then, I wasn't in a culture. celebrity crush, I don't know. I guess it was not when I was a kid, I guess it would still be, Rachel from friends. yeah. so I'd say that who would still be a celebrity crush and, what did you say? Some music, ban. I'm not a big music guy, so I don't really, I guess go back like the Beatles maybe, but that's. Predated me as a kid. I didn't grow up in the sixties, but was still like, I have Sirius XM. So if I'm not Sirius XM is I keep it on the 70. If I'm listening to music, I'm not listening to a podcast or something it's on the seventies channel cause anything the eighties, nineties without two thousands. I don't know of it. It's off my radar screen. Jennifer Anniston is very relevant now, but he brought a tear to my eye and office space. That was an Academy award performance. I love her and Potter that one is done in last 15 years. I don't know that either watch horrible bosses with Jennifer Aniston.

Barry Wolfe:

That was a good, I can see that. That was funny. Okay. So you caught a little bit. Okay.

Steve Wallace:

So now we're going to go into the lightning round and I'll take this one, Selena it's this or that? Without thinking just one or the other. Okay. Or no, not Tuesday or just one or the other. Okay. First one is burger or tacos, a taco Coke or diet Coke. No, I haven't had a soda in probably 10 years, so neither good. I quit soda since January. And look what happened. We're in a global pandemic. Maybe I should go back to, I'll tell you. I'll do an ice tea or a beer. Okay. So next question is mountains or beach mountains, this or that? That and last but not least drum roll please. New York pizza or Chicago. Oh, Chicago. no Chicago hands down. Oh, okay. Not this.

Celena Muzic:

This was true. no, I have to add the main question. Michael Jordan. Sorry. Sorry. Michael Jordan or LeBron James. Okay. I guess I got to go Jordan. I've honestly, I've never seen LeBron play a game. That's just, again, anything that's like.

Barry Wolfe:

In the last 20 years? I don't know. I don't. If LeBron James walked up to me, I would not recognize them. I know the name, but see, the key is wasting my time doing all this nonsense. Barry's out, making money. That's see. I need to stop with my pop culture nonsense. I still, I want to watch them and just make a nickel. I was not honestly a big Jordan fan. I've nothing against 'em. I was as a kid, dr. Jay. I was a big dr. J Dominique Wilkins, those guys, Jordan just never did it for me much though. He was phenomenal. I hear, I can't remember the name of his show the last days. What's that it's called the lounge. They just did on ESPN. I've heard. That's fantastic. I think you should watch it. it's on Netflix or ESPN. It's called the last dance. I've heard. That's how we develop this question because we started the podcast in June and that's when. When everything was hot and heavy with the last dance. Gotcha. Cause we were always arguing in the office that too, you know that too.

Steve Wallace:

Cause I'm a LeBron James. I err to LeBron James. Okay. Barry, thank you so much for being our podcast. If you can let us know how we find you online, cause you have a very great.

Barry Wolfe:

Yeah, probably best way. It's on LinkedIn. I'm really active on there. Just like me up Barry Wolf on LinkedIn. I'm on there a ton and I'm happy to chat or talk with anybody.

Steve Wallace:

And then if you could just promote one or more of your current listings that you have, we'd love to, we'd love to see if somebody, one of our listeners can buy it. Yeah. God, if you're.

Barry Wolfe:

Yeah. my website, Wolf retail group.com. Although we're reworking that we've had some issues lately. yeah, I've got several actually exciting medical marijuana deals. If that's an airspace you're interested in, I find it really interesting. I've got multiple medical marijuana deals and another one we just brought to the market as a highway 55, which is a burger chain out of North Carolina. We're doing have on the market, their first freestanding location they've ever done. So that's an exciting one too. Excellent. thank you so much, Barry. And we'd love to have you on again. You were very interesting and informative guests and we are happy to, to cross promote our podcasts for this episode. Thanks so much. I appreciate it.