Tag Archives: specialty leasing

Using Google Trends to Find the Hot New Specialty Leasing Concepts

Image result for fidget cubeEvery year, in specialty leasing, there’s a new fad that everyone seems to want to jump on board for.  If you’re in specialty leasing like me, you’ve probably been getting a TON of requests from business owners wanting to adopt Fidget Toys.  These are really neat toys for kids to adults design to alleviate stress, anxiety, and give an outlet for people with ADHD.

One of the most popular toys is the Fidget Cube:

The cube has all sorts of fake buttons, switches, and other things that someone can absent-mindedly play with. They had a kickstarter campaign a few years ago that raised almost $6.5M.  Unfortunately for these guys, there’s now a wide variety of Chinese counterfeit versions of these hitting the market.  There are reviews on Amazon saying they’re cheap, plastic, break easily, and the buttons often don’t work at all, but they’re less expensive.


These Fidget Toys are most likely the current new yearly fad.  In 2014, Splat Toys was the popular fad.  In 2015, we had hoverboards, 2016 was LED Shoes.  2017 is Fidget Toys.  It’s looking like Fidget Toys is FAR more popular than hoverboards or LED shoes ever were, though.  I’ll show you why.

One of the most powerful tools you can use if you’re in specialty leasing is Google Trends. Google Trends allows you to see the popularity for any search result, a very strong indicator of interest in a particular search term.  If you search for “hoverboards” across the United States, it looks like this:


Not surprising, right? Public interest in the United States peaked in during Christmas of 2015, and we saw a pretty rapid decline afterwards. This gradual or rapid decline in popularity is what is refered to in the marketing cycle as “decline.” As seen below, a product is launched, then experiences its growth (like it did in the latter half of 2015), matured during Christmas, and then rapidly declined as they blew up in people’s homes and people realized they were trying to be cool while riding what is essentially a unicycle with Bluetooth.

product cycle

Now, if you look at the Google Trends search for “fidget toys”, it’s currently at its most popular point so far.  IMPORTANT TO NOTE – you can see that it already got to 100 and went down a little bit. So you may be wondering , “Okay Jym so you’re saying that we should be playing hardball with a product that’s about to hit its decline?”  No… the 100 score just shows the popularity peak SO FAR.  As months go by, you can come back and see April 2017 as having a lower score than it currently shows that it has, because these graphs are relative.  You can also compare one search result with another, like I’ve done below with Hover boards and splat toys.

combined trends

You can see on the yellow line that the 100 score Hoverboards had before now shows up as ~77 because it’s relative to the even MORE popular fidget toys.  If you’re having trouble finding the red line, that’s okay.  It’s so low that it barely even registers.  It also peaked in popularity in Christmas of 2015, but didn’t hold a candle to anything else.  As I said before, we can now see that the score of 100 just signifies its peak SO FAR, and as evidenced by the above graph, fidget toys are going to blow hoverboards out of the water in terms of popularity.

One Last Thing:

Not only is Google Trends a powerful tool to look at national trends, you can localize it.  Maybe something is really popular across the nation, but is it popular locally?  It’s important to understand the tastes of your shoppers.  Below is a search result for “Skyline Chili”, a popular (and AMAZING chili joint in my home town of Cincinnati, OH across the United States.  You can see it’s extremely popular in Ohio and barely registers on anyones radar outside of my beloved home state.



Alright!  That’s it for now!  Head over to http://trends.google.com and play around with it!  Type in some of the products your tenants are selling.  Do you see any risks or opportunities?  Remember, you can always click on the map to look at it by state, city metro area, and even specific towns!

If you have any questions or comments, let me know!


Cool Concepts – TrackR Bravo

Specialty leasing is a perfect job for me.  I have such horrible ADHD.  And I’m not talking about the kind people casually throw around as an excuse.  I have it bad and I always have.  It means I end up knowing a little bit about everything and I am really interested in lots of things all at once.  It also means I’m constantly losing my keys.

When I was in college, I came home to Texas for Christmas.  When I flew back to Salt Lake, I didn’t realize I had packed everything I brought with me… except for one teensy weensy little important item – my car keys.

I landed in SLC, took the parking lot shuttle to my car, dropped my luggage, and then…. you know those moments in movies where the main character has a sudden horrifying realization and the camera does this sort of weird zoom in and zoom out thing at the same time like this (fun fact – it’s called a dolly zoom or vertigo zoom)?


Anyway, that’s pretty much the exact face I made.  I ended up camping out in the SLC parking lot for 2 days living off of terrible airport food, waiting for a locksmith to come make a new key for my car.

What would have saved me a world of trouble at the time was this awesome little thing – the TrackR Bravo.  It’s a keychain that communicates with your phone via an app.  If you’ve lost your keys, you can ping them with your phone.  Your phone will even tell you how close you are to your keys.

I can hear you now screaming, “Okay, cool.  But what if I lose my PHONE?” That’s a good question, because I’ve lost that plenty of times too.  Well, if you at least have your keys, you can have your phone start ringing so you can find it.  Even if you’ve left it on silent.  Pretty nifty.  So if you lose your keys AND your phone, what then?  Well… just stop being a dummy.

I’ve been reaching out to TrackR to see what their retail plans are, but this would be PERFECT for specialty leasing.  Watch this info video to see just how cool this little device is and how badly I need it.

Shiftwear Customizable Shoes

In specialty leasing, I get a million calls a week from people wanting to start a business in one of my malls.  99% of the time, the concepts are super boring, being done everywhere, and I just can’t stand the thought of having any more in my mall (eg skin care, cell phone cases, hair straighteners, etc).  Then, once in a while, a really great concept comes along that gets me super excited.  If someone wants to do this concept with me, I’ll bend over backwards to get you in my mall.

Shiftwear is a really neat idea.  Do you remember that a few years ago, people figured out how to make flexible display screens? Well, the fine folks at Shiftwear, a new startup company currently on Indiegogo did the first practical thing with that technology and decided to slap a bendable screen on a pair of shoes.

The result is this beautiful piece of next-generation footwear.  Not only can the shoes show static images, but they can show videos.  And my favorite part?  The shoes recharge AS YOU WALK.  That’s right, the kinetic energy of you walking throughout your day recharges the batteries in these shoes.

Do you have a good idea on what to put on the shoes?  Well, you can download an easy-to-use app and upload it wirelessly to your shoes on the go.  Check out this video below.


This is easily one of the most exciting concepts I’ve seen in a good while, and you better believe I’m going to be looking for people that are willing to carry these.