Tempe Happy To Welcome Zenefits – Many Others

It seems like the jobs just keep coming to Arizona and that is certainly welcomed news in Tempe. Companies like GoDaddy, Northern Trust, DriveTime Automotive, Reputation.com, Shutterfly and, of course, State Farm are some of the companies hiring and expanding in Tempe.

Zenefits Expanding in Tempe:

Zenefits at Hayden Ferry Tempe

Zenefits – Hayden Ferry

This past week, it was announced that Zenefits is expanding their operations in Tempe at the super-cool 3rd and final Hayden Ferry tower that is currently under construction. They signed a lease for 5 floors of the Class A tower and will occupy 135,000 square feet of space. Zenefits plans to hire 700 people by the end of the year, which will bring their number of employees to 1300 after adding to the 600 employees they already have at their Old Town Scottsdale location.

Zenefits will be joined by a lot more new faces along Rio Salado Parkway in the very near future. The new Hayden Ferry Tower is already 92% leased before being completed, and Marina Heights is not far behind with their addition of thousands of jobs. Yes, thousands. Depending on where you get your information, we’ve heard 6000, 8000, 10,000 and 12,000 jobs being added at the massive Marina Heights development. I am not sure exactly how many they are bringing, but I am sure that the area will be forever changed by the tremendous amount of development we are currently seeing.

Zenefits will benefit by this awesome location, the large talent pool of employees and the proximity to the airport, Mill Avenue and all that the super-cool 85281 zip code has to offer.

We’ve found a great talent pool in the greater Phoenix area. We’ve been able to hire a lot of ambitious, smart people and we want to keep tapping into that market. This Tempe location is great, too.” – Mark Woolway, Zenefits VP of corporate development and business operations

The City of Tempe seems pretty pleased with the amount of new jobs coming to the area. From the Tempe city council to the Chamber of Commerce, there has been a lot of talk about the expansion that is occurring. Of course, we’d be happy to help Mr. Woolway and his crew find new homes for Zenefits employees in the area. We can think of some pretty cool lakeside communities near their offices. Of course, another nice thing about the area is the fact that MANY choices are available within a short commute from their new offices. Scottsdale, Phoenix, Mesa, Chandler, Tempe all have a ton of options for people wanting to be close to their shiny new building on Mill and Rio Salado.

Mill Avenue Becoming More as Downtown Tempe

Mill Avenue: It is known far and wide by people of all walks of life. The iconic street has seen ups and downs, good times, more good times and even some bad times. It has history and it has a bright future.

Here in Tempe, there’s always a ton of talk about what is happening “on Mill.” There’s no explanation needed, there are no directions to be given if you say you are going to a bar, restaurant, shop or event on Mill. EVERYONE knows exactly what you are talking about.

While some might not be huge fans of Mill Avenue and people in south Tempe whine about north Tempe getting all of the attention, resources and favor of our leaders, the reality is, the economic engine that is ( or was ) the Mill Avenue District paves the way for more growth in the city and in the region.

Last night, we heard city leaders talk about plans and the vision to re-brand the Mill Avenue District. A new logo, new marketing blitz and a fancy new web site have been put in place to tell people about Downtown Tempe. No longer will they market the Mill Avenue District. The future is all about the larger area of Downtown Tempe. They have been using the #TempeRising tag on all of the major social sites for you to follow along.

Recently, we’ve seen some activity east of Mill Avenue where the House of Trick’s has been rocking it before anyone else really could. Some of this development may be in anticipation of the massive plans that ASU has for the area. For years there has also been talk of stretching the Mill Avenue District west over to the Farmer Arts District, but that has been SLOW coming. Sam Fox and a few others hope to change that as they open the super-cool Culinary Dropout at the Yard in Tempe. Fox restaurants is making an $11 million investment in getting people to come to the “other side of the tracks” west of Mill Avenue. The new venue opens next month joining The Madison and Over Easy. The Madison is a spin and yoga studio that is already open, and Over Easy is another great breakfast addition to the area that opens later this year. The venue will also have The Coop and The Showcase Room as places to hold special events.

Change is coming:

Like it or not, there’s a ton of change coming to the Downtown Tempe area. Thousands of new jobs are being added, BILLIONS of dollars are being invested in and around the area, and we’ll soon see a ton of new residents looking to enjoy the valley’s most urban lifestyle. The new Marina Heights and USA Place will certainly have an impact on Downtown Tempe, but they aren’t alone. We’ve seen a lot of other investment large and small. Soon our past will make way for other future projects. I shot this photo recently of a crane flying in the air near Monti’s La Casa Vieja. I thought it was a bit ironic since the famed restaurant has recently been sold, and cranes will soon be circling the air at 100 S Mill Avenue, where this historic building has stood for a VERY long time. Yes, part of the building is being preserved, but the future site will have some big shiny new additions.

Crane at Monti's

So, Mill Avenue is the new Downtown Tempe. 40 is the new 30 and life goes on. Call it what you want, change is constant and we’ll be watching. What do you think about re-branding of the new Downtown Tempe?

Looking Forward to Another NAR Tech Edge in AZ

OK, so I’m a bit of a geek. Not really a full fledged geek, but a geek none-the-less. This may be why I was excited to hear that NAR Tech Edge is  coming back to the Phoenix area. Basically, Tech Edge is a day where geeks like me get to talk about fun and effective ways to grow or maintain their real estate business.

NAR Tech Edge rocks


For anyone outside of the real estate business, NAR is the National Association of REALTORS. This year, they are once again bringing this series of conferences to seven different cities, and I get to be one of the presenters here in AZ!

“This one-day, high energy conference is geared towards agents who are eager to learn how current web-based and mobile technologies can benefit their business and clients.”

I’m fortunate to know most of the people that I’ll be hanging out with at Tech Edge. They are an awesome group of speakers, and I’m pretty sure none of them are doing it to sell something to the attendees. One of the things that drives me nuts about so many industry events is the fact that someone is almost always trying to get in our pockets. NAR Tech Edge is different. It’s a bunch of people from our industry sharing tips, tricks and ideas to help each other learn new things or different ways to do them. I promise, no one will be pitching the latest and greatest way to effortlessly get you to page one of Google in 5 seconds. You probably won’t hear anyone say that “for today only, your subscription to our super duper service is only $19.99 per month!” What they will be talking about are proven ways that agents have been using to build their real estate business. Just honest, up-to-date, and accurate information.

What: NAR Tech Edge
: Wednesday, September 24
Time: 9:00 AM to  4:30 PM
Where: SEVRAR Conference Center
1363 S. Vineyard, Mesa, AZ 85210
Register: NAR registration page

I’ll be sharing  my thoughts on social strategy, blogging and online branding. While these are three different topics, I believe you can use all of them to help build your real estate business, and I’ll talk about specific examples of how I’ve done that. To me, these topics are a lot of fun. We hear people talk about this stuff all the time, but I’m going to try to put a slightly different spin on it.  I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t have all of the answers. Heck, the rules seem to be constantly changing and the competition to be found online seems to get more sophisticated each day, but there are things you can add to your business plan to effectively enhance the online portion of your business.  For instance: Is social media just about what you had for breakfast? Can a blog help your business? What is YOUR brand? Do you own it? Do you control it? Let’s talk about this stuff.

Here’s a list of topics that will be covered, straight from the Tech Edge agenda.

Connecting With the Online Consumer 
10 Things to Know About Data Security
Email – Friend or Foe?
It’s a Mobile/Tablet World
Photo & Video Tips for Building Your Business
There’s an App for…Everything!
REALTORS Property Resource
Social Reputation, Ratings and Rankings
Business in the Cloud
Facebook for Fun & Profit
Content That Sells
Tweets, Pins, Check Ins & Social Strategy
Getting Your Blog On!
Learning to Love LinkedIn
OnLine Branding

I’ll be sharing some ideas about social strategy, blogging and online branding. While these are three different topics, I believe you can use all three of them to help build your real estate business and I’ll talk about specific examples of how I’ve done that. To me, these topics are a lot of fun. Many people hear people talk about this stuff all the time but I’m going to try to put a slightly different spin on it.  I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t have all of the answers. Heck, the rules seem to be constantly changing and the competition to be found online seems to get more sophisticated each day.

This is a list of the speakers for the 2014 NAR Tech Edge event in AZ. I always learn things when I hang around people who eat, sleep and breathe this stuff, and I think you will, too.

2014 President, Evan Fuchs
Nick Bastian
Dru Bloomfield
Amanda Sue Eberson
D. Patrick Lewis
Holly Mabery
Paula Monthofer
Terry Nolan
Bill Risser
Melanie Wyne

Tech Edge is Emcee’d by internationally known and world famous Bill Lublin. Heck, just come to hear what this dude has to say and you’ll be way ahead. He’s just cool like that. A BIG thanks to AAR, SEVRAR and AAR for making this all happen!

I hope you will join us, it is sure to be a lot of fun. In a REALTOR geek sort of way…

NAR Tech Edge AZ