Jon Fishman is the founder of Bizydev, an NYC-based business development group that creates value for clients and partners through client introductions, strategic partnership formation, capital connections, and creative marketing and innovation. Jonathan has spent over 15 years acquiring and managing over $2b in real estate properties, and he enjoys leveraging his experience, LP/GP relationships, and approach toward value creation to make a real estate project come together.
This episode is sponsored by Juhll. They are a full service digital marketing consultancy that has over 20 years of experience helping your business grow sales online. They've helped most of their clients grow more than 50% year over year by helping them meet their digital marketing goals.
Juhll Digital Agency works with companies who are doing $50 million in top line revenue that have a marketing budget of $2 million. They build your company from the ground up and they also help you in creating a strategy that will work best for your team.
"I think you have a lot of great businesses right now that are going above and beyond...they're giving back and how they're showing love for the health care workers in the frontline." - Jon Fishman
"The professionals that took it serious, we're not...watching Netflix all day. We're literally out there trying to crack the code." Jon Fishman
"I think the biggest difference between '01 and 2020, in terms of hustling and creativity, is really the existence of technology at the level it's at today." - Jon Fishman
"Spend time building your pipeline. Don't focus on the close or the sale." - Jon Fishman
"You don't have unlimited options when times are tough. So you kind of have to reevaluate what's most important." - Jon Fishman
Welcome to Snyder’s Marketing Showdown and original Juhll Agency production. In this show, you’ll discover which elite business executives hold the strongest hand in business marketing and operations. Listen to epic, no-holds-barred showdowns debating the latest groundbreaking strategies this side of the internet WARNING This show ain’t for rookies. So check your ego at the door with your host president of Juhll Agency and founder, operator, investor in Banks.com Chris Snyder.
Chris Snyder 0:43
Hello everyone. Chris Snyder here host of the Snyder showdown on the president at Juhll.com and founder of Banks.com. We usually talk with industry leaders and entrepreneurs about what’s working and what’s not with their growth programs. Although we decided to pivot the show Hear how industry leaders are guiding their teams through this tough time of COVID. Of course, we still cover all the same business issues. A quick message from our sponsor, Juhll is a full-service digital consultancy and we focus on helping executives solve their toughest digital growth problems. While working as an extension of their executive team. We quickly identify the biggest problems impeding growth, we propose solutions that give you the best opportunity for success. And finally, we work together to get the job done. We have our own private network and team that comes in to execute the plan. Of course, we manage the whole process. To learn more, go to Juhll .com or you can email me directly chris [AT] Juhll.com Okay, without further ado, I want to introduce my guest today is Jon Fishman. He’s the founder of Bizydev, a New York City-based business development group that helps tech product and service companies grow other businesses and achieve their revenue milestones. Before founding Bizydev, Jon spent more than 15 years acquiring and managing a portfolio of over $2 billion in real estate on behalf of New York’s most notable property managers. Bizydev creates value for clients and partners through client introductions, strategic partnership formation, capital connections, and creative marketing and innovation. Thank you for being on the show. Welcome, Jon.
Jonathan Fishman 2:31
Thank you for having me. Chris. Half. All right.
Chris Snyder 2:34
All right. All right. So let’s get jammed in here. So you know, I love to learn a little bit more about you, where you grew up, how you grew up. Tell us where you went to school and tell us how you got started in the career that you’re in right now.
Jonathan Fishman 2:49
So, working backwards. I’m 40 years old grew up in an area called Westchester which is about 30 minutes north of Manhattan, New York City, ended up going to the University of Wisconsin — Madison. I graduated in 2001 with a degree in International Relations, so it’s a kind of a hybrid political science and econ. And then I moved back to New York City, Manhattan in 2001. And I had two friends that were signing a lease, they had jobs. And they had, we were doing a shared apartment, so they needed a third roommate. I didn’t have a job yet. And I decided to put my name on the lease, which was really my first real estate transaction in my career. And I was living in Manhattan, the summer of Oh, one interviewing, you know, trying to network figure stuff out I picked real estate as a category I was going to focus on and had a lot of stuff brewing at the time. And then unfortunately I was here living in the city on September 11. 2001 and everything got shut down, and ended up getting my first job, probably four months after in January of 2002. Working for what was at the time, the largest commercial brokerage company, real estate brokerage company in the city. And the department I was in was the research department. So it wasn’t too exciting. It wasn’t a sexy group to be a part of, but it was a job and I was happy to have one. And I really feel like I started from, you know, the real bottom, you know, I was making, you know, $35,000 a year, I was not really necessarily appreciated for what the work I was producing, and the value and, and it was a very, like humbling and grounding moment in my life, even though it was my first job. And so I ended up kind of staying there and kind of trying to figure out is this what I wanted to do? You know, real estate, the category I think I was comfortable in, but I knew that department and even that type of company wasn’t necessarily where my long term goals lay. And in order to kind of build a better foundation, I ended up going back to NYU to get my real estate masters and kind of build a better foundation in real estate, particularly understanding how to invest in real estate and, you know, things that were outside of just the sales process or the brokering process. Yeah. Sorry.
Chris Snyder 5:29
That’s super interesting. I want to unpack something real quick because, you know, picking up someone from the East Coast and putting them in the middle of the Midwest in Wisconsin. That that is a really interesting move. I just got to ask you, how did you go to the University of Wisconsin from you know, from the East Coast?
Jonathan Fishman 5:56
Definitely, there’s a story behind it, but You know, my high school had about 300 graduating students in 1997. And I would say a lot, you know, a large percentage went to some of the best schools in the country. And, and growing up, I think I had, you know, a solid foundation and balance between academics and athletics and social. So while I took education seriously, I don’t think it was number one on my list because I had these other passions. And so, you know, I was competing not only against the rest of the country, but particularly from my own high school. Yeah. And where I applied and applied to I really was looking for a school that had like a nice combination of things that were important to me academics, and athletics. And Wisconsin really had a lot of that to be, you know, open book on this podcast, which I mentioned to you before is the first time putting myself out there in a podcast format and being interviewed my real discussion That I originally wanted to go to it was the University of Michigan. Yeah, that was a little bit more predictable and there was a precedent from my area going to Michigan probably 20 or 30 times as popular as Wisconsin, some of these other big 10 schools. And for whatever reason, maybe it was fate I got deferred from Michigan, December of 96. Which was a really like, again, a humbling moment. I kind of had put my chips in, you know, in that basket, and then I got the acceptance letter from Wisconsin and there was no turning back. I felt like it, you know, checked a lot of the boxes. I was a little bit of a trailblazer. And when I showed up that was constant my freshman year, I met two guys that lived on my floor that ended up you know, being two of my best friends, my roommates for three years after the freshman dorms, and the people I met there were amazing. I had a great you know, four-year experience. And I think really the key of going to school in the Midwest as a New Yorker is how do you fit in? Yeah, no, there’s two styles are the people that think they’re going to do it the New York way, no matter what’s around them, or kind of be more like a chameleon and blend in and kind of, you know, I think there’s an appreciation from the, especially the state schools with people that are from other locations. And coming from New York. I think if you handle yourself in a respectable way and treat people the right way, you know, if you’re like that everyone’s you know, it’s equal, you know, we’re all on the same plate. You know, we’re all on the same level.
Chris Snyder 8:38
It’s always like that, you know, I had an interview. I mean, most of the people on this show, they’re here for a reason. It’s because in general, they’re good people. And they’ve done you know, what it takes over the course of their career to kick and scratch and fight and get to where they’ve, they’ve, you know, gone, in so you know, I appreciate that backstory. So Fast forward, you know, back to New York in signing that lease where those guys the first people who you signed the lease with. Were those also people that you went to school with?
Jonathan Fishman 9:15
These are like friends for life kind of people or one was a friend for life from growing up. And then they actually both went to Michigan, kind of bringing this story full circle. And the funny story when we moved in is I was actually gay. It was a two-bedroom apartment that had a living room where you could put a wall up. Yeah, sure, ice wall. And they were both at work, as I said, so they had jobs. This was let’s say, you know, the summer and I was home. So they’re like Jon, meet the guy that’s installing the wall. And we kind of agreed on where we’re going to put the wall. Let’s say the living room was 25 feet long and we’re going to put it at 10 feet. When the installer came in. He said to me, where do you want the wall? It was kind of my opportunity with my roommates, not home, to expand the size of my apartment. My room. So I went from what was going to be a 10 foot shared room to probably a 14-foot room. That’s good. And when my roommates came back, you know, they were like, I can’t believe you did this. And it was no, again, no turning back on that on that.
Chris Snyder 10:14
That’s good. Well, I think the other thing that you mentioned and I, similarly, we’re similarly aged, but you’d mentioned the 2001 crisis. We also had, which we all know, September 11, and you actually lived in New York, I lived in LA at the time. And then we have the 2008 crisis, and now we have the 2020 crisis. So I think it’d be maybe interesting to unpack, you know, in both of us went through this at the same time, right. When you’re getting your career going. You’re in the middle of a crisis, right. So tell us a little bit. You chose real estate. You went to a great school, you still had to hustle. But now you got hit and by the way, in a crisis It doesn’t matter if you go to Michigan or NYU or tell us a little bit about how you hustled through that first crisis and maybe how that transition you into being better able to deal with the 2008 crisis the mortgage and finance crisis.
Jonathan Fishman 11:17
Yeah. And I think, you know, as we’ve worked and our lives have unfolded, kind of an acknowledgment of a crisis changes, right. So we were I was a kid when 2001 and I was graduated from college, I was, in a way living in, in a fantasy world, you know, life was so easy when I was a student and, and now I’m living in the big city. I think the biggest difference between oh one and 2020 in terms of hustling, and creativity is really the existence of technology at the level it’s at today, you know, trying to communicate 20 years ago, with a business leader during a time of crisis was all but impossible, you know, was very difficult. How do you? How do you identify the right people? How do you get in touch with them if they’re not in the office? And how do you get their attention? And so there were, I think, more barriers and obstacles to finding the opportunities. And, you know, there’s probably someone that in 2001 was looking back as compared to 1984 some other crisis they experience and saying, we didn’t have X, Y, and Z, but as someone that’s, you know, was 20 at the time 21 at the time. I just had to figure stuff out. I think, you don’t have unlimited options when times are tough. So you kind of have to reevaluate, like what’s most important. If someone’s sitting there going, I need to work I need income, then that’s all that’s important, what they do, how they do it, who they work for, what their title is, that’s secondary and tertiary. So I think, you know, if you kind of apply that logic to what we’re dealing with today. I think the tools that are available and the access is off the charts, right? We all know that your marketing you know, expert and your team and we’ll get into kind of the work I’m doing. I think that you know, you have the technology but then you’re also the roadblocks are the obstacles is everyone has so much stuff and content and communication that they’re absorbed in? How do you stand out? But I think that if you could get to the person in a much easier way, the focus today needs to be like, how do you if they get 10 emails a day? Why are they going to focus on your one or if they have 10 resumes in a week because it’s may and they’re trying to find a job? What stands out? Is yours look different? Do you communicate you just like is it you know, better times and when you send it to them? Are you doing it by phone? Are you doing it with a video? So I think that creativity is really what allows someone to hustle and be successful hustle without, you know, practicality is like, you know is like that, you know, the hamster expression you’re like, you know, full speed neutral or something. Yeah, I think strategy, creativity, relevance, all of that kind of stands out to get people’s attention.
Chris Snyder 14:17
Yeah. You know, I, you know, I love it when people say work smarter, not harder. But I think that although, although I think that’s something nice to say the problem with that statement is that there’s a lot of people that are smart. There’s a lot of people that are working hard, and there’s a lot of people that are just doing things, like just being smart and not working hard. If the talent doesn’t work, it’s not gonna work. Right. And so I think that, you know, all of us, especially in this time, I’m working more now than I ever have, I think, but the opportunities for that work are obviously going to be delayed, right.
Jonathan Fishman 15:01
Right, like, yeah — I think the definitely agree and you know, a lot of people that have like a product or a service and they’re saying nobody’s making a decision, maybe their products super expensive right now, or it’s not just what people are focused on, I would flip it and say, spend time building your pipeline, don’t focus on the close or the sale. Yes, you because what’s gonna happen is if you don’t build the pipeline, you know, it’s easy to say, no one’s making a decision. There’s nothing for me to do. Right? How do you even if it’s just calling people or emailing people, or reading about a category that you want to expand what you’re doing into? I think it’s pipe, you know, pipeline build-up is what you got to think about, so that when the, you know, times do get better whenever that is, you would at least have been putting all this work as opposed to then having to scramble and being back to square one. Yeah, get back the time that we all have right now.
Chris Snyder 15:58
Yeah, I agree with you 100% And I think if you put your head down, you know, this thing started for us in mid-March. I don’t know when it started for you. But if you put your head down for six months, and you do the kinds of things that you and I are doing right now building relationships, getting attention, gaining awareness getting smarter. I think when this thing dies down, there’s going to be an unlock there for the folks that took it serious. Yeah. The professionals that took it serious, you know, we’re not sitting on our ass watching Netflix all day. We’re literally out there trying to crack the code.
Jonathan Fishman 16:34
Yeah, I think there’s a balance during these times. Like I when you say watching Netflix, like, I like in general to watch movies or great shows. So it’s all about how do you balance your day, you know, like, I’m playing NBA today with my five-year-old son. Is that a waste of time as compared to being able to do business? Of course, but I’m saying “hey, I get to spend time with my son. We’re forming a bond on something that’s practical and safe to do together.” Then I’m like, Okay, I’m now understanding from like, what is this whole movement with eSports and gaming, I’m now a participant in that. So as again, as a 40-year-old, I could understand that better than most other 40-year-olds, I’ve never played a video game or haven’t played people online or see other tournament’s work. So it’s kind of like a little bit of an education for me and for people that are doing stuff that is fun, even Netflix, like, what type of content are they putting out there right now? What are the shows that are, you know, they started this new top 10 Netflix ranking? Like, why are those 10 shows the most popular are Netflix, right? Yeah, if you’ve watched any of these shows, some of them are just like, yeah, shocking that that’s that.
Chris Snyder 17:43
Yeah, I do my fair share of watching and you know what, I think you made a great point there about Okay, is it watching the watch or what is your frame of mind and if you’re if you have an entrepreneur frame of mind, you’re going to do exactly the things that you just discussed in Which actually leads us to a very important topic, which you’re gonna invite us to today, which is this whole category, which I believe is newer of this whole category of business development. So you just kind of started to introduce us to the fact that look, even when you’re sitting on your ass watching Netflix, or you’re spending quality time with your children, in your mind, being a business, develop professional business, and being a professional means something to me probably means something to you. But being a professional means that it’s kind of always on. So why don’t you introduce us to the world of business development, your company, how its structured and how you think about this space?
Jonathan Fishman 18:46
Well, first of all, business development as a category is, is definitely like, I feel like I’m on the frontier in what we’re doing in terms of, I’ll give you like a great example. on LinkedIn, now, let’s say a year and a half ago or a year ago, I was starting to update my public profiles related to this new business. And on the drop down, I like literally struggled for multiple days in terms of what industry or what category I’ve there was literally no choice for business development. Yeah, there was a choice for a law, you know, legal lawyer, there was a choice for a doctor medical, there was a choice for advertising, marketing architect, whatever it was, and I, you know, part of that made me realize that I think it is a big opportunity and what I’m doing, but business development, I kind of view is like a hybrid between things like sales and marketing and entrepreneur being entrepreneurial and connecting the dots. We can put a definition around it and there are people smarter than I am in terms of exactly, you know, what it’s intended to mean. But the nice thing about it is it could go in a lot of different ways. directions. And I think the great people that are really great at business development, allow those directions to unfold as opposed to trying to stay in a definition or stay in an explanation. And so I’m able to kind of craft my explanation about business development, to who’s on the other side of the conversation. If I’m just writing down my, what is business value, there’s one way I would describe it. If I’m talking to you, Chris, that’s a business owner, a podcast or an entrepreneur, and I listened to where your business is that I could craft my business development offering or storyline so that it suits like, you know, so we can maybe form an ally, ship or relationship. But I think in my personal life, I’ve always been a business developer at heart. I’ve been someone that I feel like I’ve always tried to be a good listener, a good friend, a good person, and then really, without being intentional, try and help people and by doing that, Over and over and year after year, the relationships got stronger and more interested in. And in return, the goodwill that I was able to build, even outside of just the real estate category was something that made me feel comfortable that when I was like coming up with a new business idea that I was going to spend the next 20 or 30 years doing that business development as a category, natural uncomfortable to me. And at the same time, you’re a business owner, you don’t meet people every day or companies every day that are putting themselves out there as a third party business development offering. And so I’m trying to marry my skill set and what I love doing paired with what I think is the whitespace and opportunity and building out like a service business. That’s not just my like the biggest obstacle I really have is demonstrating that most service businesses, people are compensated based on time. If you’re again a lawyer, if you’re a creative agency and billable hours if you’re a tech developer All those buckets, the client wants to feel like they’re paying for time, right. And there’s obviously tiered pricing on time in what we’re doing if I spend one minute or 100 hours, and we create the same value on both of those at output, or that input, and the output is the same, you as the client, or you as my partner, should be happy with the result. And I think that’s really what I’m spending a lot of my time doing is educating people and people that I want to work with and do business with. That is the value we’re bringing value and its value may be a little bit different than they could create on their own, or that they have the time to do you know without busy dad’s involvement.
Chris Snyder 22:46
Yeah, that’s really interesting. So the way I think about it is because I’ve been *air quotes* in business development my whole life, I guess. It just hasn’t been ever defined as a class. Right. But why would a company why wouldn’t a company just go out? Find a business development person and at a high level, a class of enterprise Biz Dev, I mean, you’re in the 250 to $300,000 a year range if you’re any good at what you do. And even sometimes even more than that. So why would a company consider, you know, so you told us a little bit about what it is, but how does it work? And what are the advantages of having, you know, a business an outsourced business development firm or an agent, I guess, if you will, relative to having employees or staff or how does that work?
Jonathan Fishman 23:45
Yeah, I mean, I think I like to start off by saying, We’re not a replacement necessarily for an in house Biz Dev person or group got, there’s different again, different scenarios. There’s business Today where the CEO is doing everything from sales and marketing and business development, and management and operations, so if a company doesn’t have dedicated Biz Dev staff or a leader, we’ve got a slot in and be that like, right hand or left hand to the business owner, and they feel comfortable that we could like start being out, you know, in different markets or different industries, selling the idea of what they have to, you know, the offer. At the same time. Companies that are established may have a head of business development or a team that’s dedicated to that type of work. In those cases, whatever our titling is, the work we’re doing is hand in hand with that team, you know, we could be in an amplification, we could be a, you know, a segue to other things that they may not have access to. And the business owner has signed off on that kind of collaborative effort. So you know, some people’s feedback is out there. Source means that you know that they don’t have it today, I think it works both ways could work when there is no one internally working in that capacity. And then when they have in real estate, it’s always been a team approach. So he’s doing that on their own. Even the developer that owns a company by himself, and is doing things solo still has an architect still has a general contractor still, as engineers, as a marketing and third party marketing and sales team. I think it’s like the team approach to me always wins. And it’s like finding the balance between those different types of, you know, companies situations.
Chris Snyder 25:36
Yeah. So it’s really just paying for the expertise, the much-needed expertise when you need it. And, and you guys go in there, fill up the pipeline, I suppose. Make all the introductions, I suppose. And then So how long did these arrangements last? And then furthermore, I think you touched on this a little bit earlier about what we’re seeing supposed to be doing during the COVID-19 shutdown, which is the obvious answers to build relationships and fill your pipeline. So tell me how long these kinds of relationships last. And then tell me what people are looking for during COVID-19. And how you’re helping your clients.
Jonathan Fishman 26:17
Sure. I mean, I think, just in general, because it’s not straight sales, right? Business Development is like it could be a there’s a sales element to it. But usually, you know, there’s I’m working hand in hand with a sales team or with the CEO that’s going to help close the deal with me or on their own business development work, depending on what is on the other side of service, a product or technology takes a little bit of time to go from A to Z, you have to go from where we are you and I talking to someone introduce you to sell and we could do that in a minute, right? So but to get that person to respond, to frame it properly, to set up a call or a meeting, to send a proposal things take time. So I would say no matter what I’m usually thinking that a six month, you know, type of commitment both ways, is a good starting point. My goal is to work with people, you know, for an extended period of time, like time is really irrelevant if we have a value creation goal. Yeah. And if we get there at some point in time, we’re, you know, everyone’s gonna be happy. But I think if the other side doesn’t really invest, and believe that things take time, it’s a recipe for disaster if I was doing month to month deals, and everyone’s like, Well, what do we sign this month? And we’re in month one, that uphill battle is like, probably not worth fighting?
Chris Snyder 27:42
Yeah, yeah, we get the same, you know, I mean, we’re in similar businesses, we do different things. But I mean, look, I tell people all the time. If I could just come in your organization and in the first two months generate a million dollars worth of cash flow while you paid me, you know, 15–20–30–40 40 grand, what? Like, why the fuck would I be doing it for you? Right? It doesn’t. It just kind of doesn’t make sense. And I think honestly the last 10 years have given everyone this sense of everything happens so easily. Up until this point we have, I looked at the news today, we have 30 million people that are unemployed. I think our buyers are going to change fundamentally going to change the way organizations are structured are fundamentally going to change. And I think now more than ever, we get back to the relationship component. We get back to people who are professionals that you have to anchor yourself to, you have to trust them. And you guys have to work together for a number of months and maybe even years to build something meaningful.
Jonathan Fishman 28:47
Yeah, yeah. And to your question about like, what am I doing in this COVID environment with clients or friendships, relationships I have. I think it’s being you know, I like the expression “you don’t find time — you make time,” right? So, we live in, I’m in New York City, you’re in LA, right? Everyone over the last, you know, number of years with technology with, you know, everyone being wide in terms of what their interests are and just, you know, nonstop movement and dizziness. I think that people had a tough time finding time in their minds. You know, that was the excuse like, I just when people say to me, I, you know, I was too busy, I didn’t have any time. Really what they’re saying is they chose to do other things, which was totally fine. During the COVID environment. I think people have time, right? There are businesses that are just hitting the I don’t want to speak that everyone has time. You have kids, you have responsibilities, but you definitely have more time than you did before. All this happens, right? In most cases. And like as an example, right people I know that live in Long Island and Westchester and Connecticut and New Jersey that were commuting to New York City, whether they drove took a bus took a train, we’re spending on average two to three hours a day commuting. Yeah, the time that that’s one bucket. The other bucket even before that is the amount of time they were allocated to their kids in the mornings, and the rush and the sequencing they had to go through every day and the repetition, then you layer in all of the, like the transportation, you know, when you’re when you actually arrive at your place of work, and now you’re going to meetings, you’re physically moving during the day, if you add all of that up and just look at one 24-hour block that person before versus what they time-wise before what they have today. There’s a huge delta of found or additional time. Yeah. So with that being kind of the logic that I think is clear when I explain it, but like, you know, most people would understand that how do you create that relevance when you’re doing your outreach, if you’re coming in as I’m just, you know, reaching out to see how you’re doing, am I coming to somebody with an idea? Am I coming to them with a need, like where I actually have the need and I need their help the people at the time so it’s now it’s like framing it properly, being authentic? I think if you’re too salesy when people just like can’t make a decision, like we’re saying before, listen to what’s on the other side. If you’re saying to me, you know, listen, we have a product that’s perfect for e-commerce companies that are in the, you know, PvP or the supply chain business related to like the medical system. Like that’s something that’s actually practical and applicable right now. And how do you still be authentic and not in someone’s face, but I think the other side’s actually pleasantly surprised that that’s being put in front of them, or that’s an opportunity they could focus on right now. versus if you had, you know, If you were selling like high end, you know, Windows for ground-up real estate construction, just kind of looking at your background here. Not that that’s high. And that’s probably 100-year-old building. But if you know if you’re in that business where there’s no construction, like you can’t actually complete any construction in the city right now, or it’s limited, and it’s expensive, and there’s it’s coming from Europe, it’s coming from Italy, where, you know, things are even more shut down. Try that in the US. That’s a very difficult conversation if it’s solely focused on sales. And so the art of what I’m doing now is really maintaining my business as is, but trying to kind of work with the groups that are the most relevant and interesting to the other side, that there’s actually, you know, significant demand that’s there today. And I think going forward, and then also identifying new categories, new trends that we’re all seeing unfold with this new world. You know, that we’re kind of becoming accustomed to.
Chris Snyder 33:02
So that’s so that’s that is. That’s really great what you were saying there. And I want to ask a further question about that. So you got your start in commercial real estate, you’re you’ve created a category for yourself, called business development, and you’re really looking at the category. It seems like from an opportunistic or supply and demand standpoint, where are the opportunities? So what does that mean? Because I think unequivocally you could consider yourself to be a real estate expert, a commercial real estate expert. You’re in New York City, which is probably you would know better than me, the biggest real estate business on the planet, right? There’s probably major cities internationally, but certainly in the US. And now how do you, how do you take what you learned in commercial real estate as a vertical because it’s a pretty specific and technical thing. And now you’re going to extend that to one of your exams. Was PP? Or how does this work in this category? Are you getting stretched into different verticals? How do you get up to speed fast? Is it possible? How does this work?
Jonathan Fishman 34:11
Yeah, definitely something that sits in my brain every day that I understand that, you know, not that I can’t give you an on the spot answer but kind of taking what’s inside and sharing it with you and your list, you know, listeners here. I think again, it’s a bit you know, I don’t want to use like a boring cliche, but Business is business. And I’ve been in business for 20 years, I’ve worked with really smart people. I’ve worked with really hard-working people. I’ve worked with really strategic and, you know, creatives, marketers, technology, all these different buckets during that time where I was always trying to be a sponge and learn and so my you know what I’ve learned, let’s say non-academic after my years of you High School in college and, and NYU. I’m applying that to what I do today. The foundational like business understanding how to put a deal together, how to raise money, how to how to market yourself, how to how to build a community, how do you operate at a level that still makes you money where you’re not just doing you know, all you know, all or nothing? How do you work with people? How do you work with internal teams, external teams vendors I so I that’s the experience that I kind of draw from to transition to business development.
Chris Snyder 35:36
Right? Got it.
Jonathan Fishman 35:37
Definitely, like, Where does my passion lay? And like where am I just personal interest in business interests outside of the real estate category, those have always been as much outside of real estate as it was in real estate. And that’s what allowed the companies I worked for and started you know, helped create, to be really known for their for its innovation or forward Kay. And those are non-real estate ID mashups that we recreated and approaches we were taking hospitality what they were doing, let’s say in a W Hotel format 15 years ago and saying what makes W at that time stand out as a brand to their consumer. Where I owner-operated real estate in New York power, we’re not necessarily copying what they do, but like really digging into what makes them stand out. And what can we do to stand out that would be relevant for someone that’s providing a rental apartment to a New York City, the person that’s, you know, working 12 to 15 hour days and just wants quality, peacefulness, and experience when they have downtime.
Chris Snyder 36:43
Got it, Got it. So where do you think? And I think honestly, it gets to maybe first principles, right? How do you want to behave as a human being, you know, you’re a business person, obviously, artists or you know, other people do different things. You’re clearly your business person and you feel like the first principles of business, these relationships, putting together contracts, whether it’s in real estate or otherwise. You know, these are very first principle things that can transition into other aspects of business and in life. I’m curious to understand, I’m sure you’ve you’ve kept up with commercial real estate a lot. I mean, look, you just said that the three-hour commute or the two-hour commute is a pain in the ass. It’s probably unproductive. It’s, it’s it’s likely going to take a hit. Where does this leave us with commercial real estate? In your opinion? I’m sure you still follow it. Yeah. Where does this leave us?
Jonathan Fishman 37:48
I mean, it’s such a big question and I’m happy to dig in a little bit but I think real estate the kind of like gold there’s no global index, how is real estate performing? Obviously, right? I think you got to look at geographies. So we’ll call it big gateway cities versus secondaries. So the New York, LA Chicago, Miami, maybe Dallas or one of the cities in Texas versus secondary cities, and then from within each city, obviously each asset class so, you know, I’m to give a New York City real estate perspective, which obviously is my, my, that’s where I live, it’s where I’ve worked for my whole career. Retail today, other than supermarkets, or maybe some, like, I don’t even know if they’re open walk and medical or things that, you know, are deemed essential businesses. Most retail today is shot. And because it’s shot, it’s suffering, right. And a lot of it was suffering before in different ways. And this just was like, you know, this magnified all the pain that they were facing. So like retail in New York, is really trying to figure out how do they survive and then how do they slowly start to reinvent itself, how does it start to reinvent itself? And then you go to like the office building world. offices are shut down for the most part, right? businesses are working remotely. Businesses are suffering right now. Do you want if people want to go to a shared workspace in a WeWork or a hotel or convene, or one of these groups that’s out there? Or is that, you know, the open space format? Is that changing to more of the private offices, which we moved away from, but office, I think is really a function of like, where the economy goes and how businesses come back from COVID. And say, Listen, you know, and there have been stories about this, but I think maybe it’s one of the big accounting firms or law firm said, Listen, we’re working our let’s make simple math. Our lease is a million bucks a year. And we have, you know, 200 employees, and we’re in Manhattan. And we’re now a remote, you know, workforce and when we look at what Producing from that work, you know, in a remote way with Zoom and email communication and Slack and all these tools were still effective net, we probably could be more profitable this way. That crew may not go from a million-dollar lease. And let’s just say that represents 10,000 feet to zero, right? Because there’s still nice things about being in person with people and having a meeting space. But they’re looking hard at how do we reduce costs and still create the same output and that may come through with how much space or how they format their space, and then just like to land it on the residential side. You have rentals and you have condos, right. The tougher one is condos right now, you know, people I think there’s at least the papers are reporting on this and you speak to your own friends. I’m curious what you think, are people nervous at a certain age about life coming back? They’re not in Manhattan today. Let’s just say they’ve moved to their country home or their family home or they’ve gone to Florida rented a place. Are those 67-year-old people even interested before that scene of coming back to New York? Because that was a big part of the condo buyer pool. Yep, that goes with our people. You said 30 million layoffs. Whatever the numbers add today. Can people afford to buy an apartment? Do they want to make a long term commitment? So that category is under a ton of pressure. And then I’d say like multifamily rental, which is really the main business I’ve been in. At some price point, everyone still needs a roof over their head, right? It used to be that the old ratio is that you could afford or be approved to rent an apartment based on 40 times how much you made. So if you made if you rent an apartment for $4,000 a month to qualify on the surface needed to make 160 grand yep yourself or as a combined household income. Yep. If people are making taking a 25% pay cut, right or they’re making less money or they got furloughed or laid off just by default, multifamily, you know, rents likely will shift down. Right. But maybe they stay at the same level because more people and then two people want to have roommates the same way do you want to a 700–800 foot apartment? Do you want to live with three people?
Chris Snyder 42:18
Right? Oh, my God, not even 25 years ago? I don’t think I would have I would have opted for that one. Well, look, I mean, I think that based on what I read and what I listened to, and I happen to agree with this, I think a lot of these things and I think you said it yourself. Some of these businesses retail they were suffering in advance of this and the transition to e-commerce was already well in flight. And based on what I’m seeing and reading and hearing this is only accelerated the inevitable. Does that mean that I don’t want to go to a sporting good score and actually touch a baseball bat or a lacrosse stick or a fishing pole? Or a snowboard? No, that’s not what that means. But does it mean that the space needs to be so goddamn big and absorbs so much of the the margin that they need to keep it there that way? So you as a consumer could walk in and on the same day get your snowboard. I mean, if it doesn’t make sense, you should probably go in, get fitted, understand where you’re at and then get the board delivered the day after two days later. And we don’t need the immediate satisfaction of buying it that day and walking out.
Jonathan Fishman 43:38
Right? It just doesn’t Yeah, it doesn’t make sense. I’m a big fan of Bonobos. They have a great e-commerce experience not walking into a store and I don’t know how many markets through them, but I’ve seen their stores particularly like in New York City. They were on Madison Avenue and like in the 50s and they to your point You would walk in the store, they’d have all the sizes that you could think of, they’d have all of their current inventory that is that save the most appealing to the customer. The salesman knew how to explain what would fit you well, you’d actually listen it you could try anything they weren’t out of sizes they weren’t out of styles, you can actually understand what it’s gonna feel like and look like on your body. And then for knows, I believe no shipping cost was arriving at your house or apartment the next day. Perfect. That even though that’s not taught, you know, no touch friction, unless that is has to be a model for how certain retailers are going to adapt. And they were ready. Now to your point. They’re moving the timeline of implementation up. But I think that they’re, you know, the touch until there’s a vaccine and not just that in existence, but completely by rolled out and distributed to the masses and, you know, um, you know, doctors are actually like taking the vaccine and injecting it into the human being on you know, in mass or on scale. The touchless element of retail is like, that’s where it’s at. If you could today walk into a psych who I’ll give, you know, like all the touch screen checkouts like at a coffee place. Do you really unless you have gloves or a key or something that’s that account. Most people don’t want to touch it.
Chris Snyder 45:33
And no I say do you have Apple Pay and then I won’t even sign the receipt unlike look there’s no reason for us to be touching each other exactly else anybody else touches.
Jonathan Fishman 45:42
Right? Yeah and Apple Pay, by the way, is what most people use for whatever reason. I’m pretty high tech. I have an iPhone and I understand that I just wasn’t I was like getting accustomed to touching the screen on checkout or point of sale. I always found it awkward when they had the tip question, right and yeah, I will always tip in if a setting says you should tip on the first one and settings that don’t I try to like, you know, show appreciation through the tip. And I always felt there was a funny exchange when the person is basically saying, looking at you in the eye. You know the cashier, you have a moment to press tip whatever amount and you press zero, they must be saying like, you know, What an asshole.
Chris Snyder 46:26
Yeah, yeah, well, no. And it’s interesting because they preset those machines as well. And I think in some cases, I’ve seen those machines start at 20% and go to 25%. Clearly, in these circumstances, if you can afford it, and you buy a cup of coffee at a local shop that you know, is not a big chain or a conglomerate, and you spent $4 on a cup of coffee. Don’t do it every day, but I would encourage everyone to give them eight bucks just because honestly you’re not going to get that unless you have your own stuff at home that you’re really happy with.
Jonathan Fishman 47:02
Yeah. And there’s no better feeling and like this is again when you kind of talk about relationship building. I personally have never had a, you know, the best feelings I’ve had is when you have like the unanticipated bunch of us tipping and out of nowhere or a group that typically does not receive a tip and recognizes, you know, recognizing the value they bring to my life or my family’s life and doing something that shows appreciation. Doesn’t have to be money, it could be a gift, it could be creative, you know, even when I go to dessert places in the city that I think are the best you know, cookie or cupcake, I don’t necessarily need to eat it for the enjoyment of the taste or the food. I get more enjoyment buying two or three of them and bringing them home and the and the doorman or the staff that’s in my building, being like, you know, I got this for you. Yeah, because I like to show appreciation but to is he appreciate, you know, he appreciates that jack. Sure. And then we have that bond over that food or whatever that, you know, connection.
Chris Snyder 48:09
Yeah, well , and you have to be, you know, I think that you have to be genuine about what you do and not everything you do you need to get something back and not everything you do. You need to do it while you’re taking a selfie and then posting on Instagram and YouTube to make yourself feel good about giving anyone anything. If you don’t want to do it, don’t do it. If you do it, just do it because you want to don’t expect anything in return and don’t publicize it. Right? You’re great. Right?
Jonathan Fishman 48:39
I think you have a lot of great businesses right now that are you know, are going above and beyond, you know, to the 10th degree and how they’re giving back and how they’re showing love for the health care workers in the frontline. You know, people in this fight. I think the balancing act for groups that like we’re active on social media Is the people that run those accounts for them, whether it’s a social media manager or a marketing team or whatever, I think there is such a delicate balance on how you showcase that. To your point, if it’s like, if it truly is authentic, and that’s where they’re Solas. You know, do that and showcase it that way. If you’re doing it for, you know, positive attention, doing a good deed, but also like, why not get a benefit of, you know, putting yourself out there letting people know what you’re doing? Because you don’t have to be doing that. How do you softly position it where the other side’s going? I will always remember what this pizza place what I saw them doing on social media during these times and the appreciation from the hospital workers. Like how do you nail it on the marketing side of that? So as we’re saying it’s authentic, but still deliver some type of message about what you the brand or the company stand for?
Chris Snyder 49:58
Yeah, I agree. 100% Well, Jon, I’ll tell you what, I think we could go on for a couple hours. And we could cover a lot of topics. We’re at the end of the time. So I just want to give the audience a final kind of a final plug here. You know, where can we find Bizydev? And how can we get a hold of you?
Jonathan Fishman 50:21
No problem. so Bizydev, it’s B I Z Y D E V. It’s kind of a play on words for BizyDev. And so Bizydev.com we’re, you know, physically based in New York City, but you know, the type of work we were doing even before all this head, you know, there’s there’s many remote elements of creating value for companies. And I think that we’re at a time where even if your business is kind of trending flat or down, you know, you can have the groups that see an opportunity groups that are flat groups that are trending down, you know, as a company, we want to Obviously, we’re always open to meeting new people and new groups, and really listening to what their business objective objective is the way that they see it. And then we could layer in if we see it the same way if we see new opportunities, you know, we’re pretty confident that we could provide some element of growth and kind of like when you look at you know, the amount of investment versus the return, we always want people we work with to be exponential where, you know, by investing some money and time in the in hiring us to work with them there on the back end being like that was the best money or that was money was spent and kind of in just like a final word, it the work we do is all about the relationship between our company and the company we’re working with representing not aligning with partnering with we could do the best job at business development teeing up the most amazing opportunities, putting them in front of the right people setting up the right partnerships. Best innovative idea brewing through whatever it may be, that collaboration with the other side is equally if not more important. Who are the business owners that are like, Listen, I have a great thing. But I’m not physically based in here. I don’t have your experience. I don’t have your network. I’m not focused on this every day. How do we layer in you and your team to kind of help us get to the next level? If we’re doing a million dollar, you know, a net income today. And we want to get to two. And we feel like this is these are the verticals you want to penetrate. How do you help us get from A to A to Z? Are we as a company raising money right now and they need to show better, right, you know, top line or bottom line numbers, and how could we, you know, help them do that. But it’s not a, you know, one size fits all model. It’s really, we crafted to who we’re working with, and I think we would pleasantly surprise businesses that may feel like they don’t know how they align like I would say give us you know, get in This environment whereas to my point earlier, we will make time, right, we can find the time but we will also make the time to at least meet you and kind of thanking you, Chris for having me on this is, as I said, my first podcast where I’m being interviewed, I’m usually in your seat. So it’s kind of, you know, I want to be asking you questions. I’m sorry, I didn’t get a chance to ask you too much. But they do a flip that when our when our podcast comes out.
Chris Snyder 53:26
yeah, no, that’s great. Well, look, everyone — Jon is personable. He’s a professional connector of dots business developer outside the box doers. This guy does a lot of this work himself and he has a team behind him. He’s a natural-born detective. He’s, you know, in my opinion, New York City’s one of the greatest cities in the world. So if you want to get in touch with Jon, I believe he’s J O N. Jon, at Bizydev.com Jon, thanks a lot for being on the show. Wish you all the best of luck and you York City and be well.
Jonathan Fishman 54:02
Thanks, Chris. Appreciate it. Great.
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