Demetree Real Estate Blog

Top 10 Takeaways From ICSC RECon 2017: Part 2

[fa icon="calendar"] 08.05.2017 / by Michelle Heatherly


Find out what is shaping the future of retail and how you can stay on the forefront

While gearing up for ICSC Florida Conference & Deal Making later this month, I reflected on the great experience I had at ICSC RECon in Vegas in May. I’m now realizing I had a lot to take away! So much so, it spilled into two blog posts. You can find Part 1 of this blog post here.


6. It’s (still) all about relationships.

Real estate and retail is (and has always been) just as much about who you know as it is what you know. It is vital to continue to focus on your stakeholders and network: customers, prospects, clients, colleagues, vendors, partners… the list goes on. Your network is by and large your most important asset. Never forget that sales transactions happen between two humans. Your ability to build and maintain relationships will determine your level of success, in business and in life.

7. Keeping up with technology and leveraging social media are critical to the success of your business.

Social, real time and mobile represents a cultural shift, not just a technology shift. We have data readily available that we can use to provide the products, services and experiences our customers are looking for (keyword: experiences). Finding a way to integrate online and brick and mortar commerce is now a must, and will be a challenge retailers face. The buyer’s journey has changed: awareness, consideration then transaction. Social selling is not a transaction - it’s about finding a way to build and nurture those customer relationships using various social channels. Social media should not be used just to promote your business (one way communication). It’s an opportunity to create a dialogue (2-way communication) by sharing thought leadership and providing personal interactions with your follower and fan base.

8. F&B is emerging as the new rockstar and anchor.

Along with department stores, food courts are becoming a thing of the past. We’re seeing more and more food halls and grocerants pop up than ever before, and as anchors. Case in point: Eataly. Diners are looking for food that’s good for them, good for the environment and good for their wallet. We’re seeing a lot more community centric and multi-cultural food options; curated food; an increased utilization of technology, transparency, customization and sustainability. The demand has shifted from fast food to good food. The new focus is all about putting quality food on a plate.  There is more movement towards quick serve and getting away from wait staff. Restaurants are taking smaller footprints, but creating better experiences within those more intimate spaces.

9. Millennials and Gen Z are a force to be reckoned with.

Millennials are currently retailers’ largest demographic, the 20th century’s largest generation and the first digital one. A recent study by Accenture indicated there are ~80 million millennials in the U.S. alone spending an average of $600 billion annually. And, it’s being said that Gen Z will even surpass them. Millennials and Gen Z combined represent an enormous group with huge buying power.

A piece of advice for selling to these generations? Don’t be salesy. We see right through the BS (yes, I say we, because I’m a millennial too). We’re a different kind of shopper. We love shopping online, but still value the brick-and-mortar experience too. We require that you provide an omni-channel shopping experience, and it better be seamless.

Remember, many millennials were among the last generation to grow up without technology while Gen Z doesn’t even remember a time before the internet. What’s important to us? We value transparency, social good and real life. We like collaborative engagement.  We crave personalized and interactive experiences. We are high speed, mobile generations and retailers need to be too to keep up with us. Experiential marketing and experiential retail are very important to this audience, so start brushing up on these terms, fast.

10. Public policy and PR challenges continue, but we must continue to unite and fight.

We are PR challenged with the media continuing to give retail a bad wrap. ICSC is continuing to fight for public policy and tax reform for the real estate and retail world. We have to stand united and have a voice.

So, Just to Recap...

Here is the full list of top 10 takeaways from ICSC RECon 2017:

  1. It is critical to keep up in order to stay ahead in this industry.
  2. Professional development is a must.
  3. Retail is here to stay, just in a new way.
  4. We’re in an industry metamorphosis and have to adapt.
  5. Reinventing, redeveloping and repositioning isn’t optional.
  6. It’s (still) all about relationships.
  7. Keeping up with technology and leveraging social media are critical to the success of your business.
  8. F&B is emerging as the new rockstar and anchor.
  9. Millennials and Gen Z are forces to be reckoned with.
  10. Public policy and PR challenges continue, but we must continue to unite and fight.

Stop by our booth at ICSC Florida Conference (Booth #1716) to see the latest projects we’re working on and to learn more about our leasing and partnership opportunities for Demetree Global and Demetree Real Estate Services.


About Demetree Real Estate Services

For decades, Demetree Real Estate Services has been specializing in providing property management, leasing, development, consulting and construction management services to property owners throughout Florida. As Central Florida’s oldest, locally owned, full-service commercial real estate management firm, we believe that business is built on relationships. That’s why honesty and integrity are at the heart of everything we do. For more information, visit


Topics: Florida Real Estate, Commercial Real Estate

Michelle Heatherly

Written by Michelle Heatherly

Michelle is the Director of Marketing for Demetree Real Estate Services. She is committed to providing the highest level of service possible and ensuring customers have an excellent experience. Michelle has over 13 years experience in marketing and communications for both publicly and privately held companies.