Catching up with Marc Blum

It has been a busy year for everyone at Next, including President and COO, Marc Blum. There is a new marketing direction for 620 N. LaSalle, an important asset for the firm. Marc has been very active in various social media outlets, from LinkedIn posts to participating in industry podcasts. The Next Perspective caught up with Marc to discuss his outlook for 2022, social media and more.

Look into your crystal ball, what do you expect in 2022 … from a general business perspective, for commercial real estate and for Next Realty?

I believe in 2022 we will continue to see labor shortages and inflation. The labor shortage will impact our retailers. Inflation will impact the cost to do business and could continue to impact the cost of construction. That said, our portfolio is well located and will continue to see strong demand, just as we have historically, through various cycles.

As the pandemic lingers on, what have you done, personally and professionally, to overcome the disruption it has caused?

Disruption, whether caused by the pandemic or some other event can be a great distraction, if you let it. Personally, I have put my head down and am working even harder to ensure our existing retail and office tenants have the best environment we can supply to allow them to thrive. For tenants who are struggling, we try to be supportive of their needs and help where we can.

In the ongoing marketing of 620 N. LaSalle, you’ve become extremely active on social media, especially LinkedIn. How has your view of social media changed over the last 3-5 years?

Social Media is a tool, but only one part of the overall marketing effort. It’s about investing time and making content that you believe engages your customer. While I support these initiatives, our customers still demand and respond favorably to good old-fashioned tactics like talking on the phone and personal meetings/interaction.

In the last six months you’ve also appeared on two podcasts. How did those come about and what was the impetus for your participation?

Business is often about connections and knowing the right people. Both podcast opportunities came about as result of long-term connections and networking with  friends of friends. The coworking podcast with Jamie Russo is timely and relevant to our business (especially at 620 N. LaSalle). Further, Jamie is a business school classmate of Eteri Zaslavsky, one of my partners. The Becker Healthcare podcast, with my close friend Scott Becker, focused on real estate private equity. We always thought it would be fun to do a podcast together and were glad we could make it happen.