Our Picks: Podcasts & Audiobooks

Sloss Real Estate’s Director of Leasing and Business Development, Lochrane Smith, also happens to be a book and podcast enthusiast, and subsequently our go-to person for recommendations. Today, she shares some of her recent favorites!

During this unfamiliar time, I have turned to some of my favorite podcasts and audiobooks to help me understand (and escape) the news of the day. Here are a few of my recent listens:

Freakonomics with Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt . I enjoy how this podcast explores economic issues in an informational, yet lighthearted tone. Recent episodes unpack the broader economic impact of COVID-19. “What Does COVID-19 Mean for Cities (and Marriages)?” struck the right balance between important information about the coronavirus as well as a little humor. One past episode has found new relevance: “Yes, the Open Office Is Terrible — But It Doesn’t Have to Be.” These days I would gladly trade my home office for our collaborative work environment at Sloss Real Estate!

How I Built This with Guy Raz. On this podcast, Guy Raz interviews the founders of successful companies and brands to learn their backstories. As a fan of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, I had anticipated a “How I Built This: Live” episode with Ken Grossman, the founder of the California brewery. Instead of recording in front of a live audience, Raz interviewed Ken Grossman over the phone. The speaker selection was a timely choice: There is a high demand for “to-go” beer, but at this time crowds cannot tour Sierra Nevada’s famed “wonderland in the woods” tap rooms across the country.

In the most recent episode, Raz interviewed Jeni Britton Bauer about Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. Jeni is no stranger to a crisis –  in 2015, her company faced an outbreak of Listeria in its ice cream. Jeni communicated the outbreak and recalled ALL of the product. I admire Jeni’s proactive leadership in managing the crisis. Now, I am especially eager to visit the Jeni’s scoop shop coming soon to Pepper Place!

ACRE Real Estate Matters Webinar: Impact of Coronavirus on Commercial Office Space with James Lomax. This was the most sobering podcast I have listened to this week – and all the more so because the news is local. James Lomax, Corporate Office Properties Trust director of Asset Management & Leasing, predicted a dire reality of what is to come in real estate over the next several months, though he waxed optimistic about a swift rebound. New food and beverage leases are largely on hold or delayed for three to four months. Lomax warned that demand for coworking space will wane as individuals instead invest in turning their home offices into more desirable places to work. Although companies may be more cautious about their expansion plans, Lomax’s overall message was that office tenants should remain largely resilient during and after COVID-19.

Boom Town by Sam Anderson. The NBA was a real bellwether in putting the world on notice that COVID-19 was no joke. When Adam Silver postponed the NBA season indefinitely, people paid attention. I love the NBA, and I miss the Playoffs. I recommend “Boom Town” to fans of any sport who need a little something more than watching marble racing on ESPN. The dramatic successes and devastating losses of the NBA team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, mirror the “boom” of the founding and growth of the town itself. As a mid-tier city, OKC wanted a sports team badly. Residents were so passionate about the Thunder that they tried (and failed) to increase their taxes to pay James Harden a higher salary.

The author covers other notable OKC moments and local heroes – from the devastating Oklahoma City bombing to the beloved meteorologist Gary England. The book concludes with the gut-wrenching departure of Kevin Durant and the ultimate loyalty demonstrated by Russell Westbrook. The writing is sharp, smart and witty. I get chills every time I think about this book!

Tiger Woods by Jeff Benedict. After Tiger won the Masters in 2019 (he’s back!), I polished off this audiobook over a weekend. The author’s extensive interviews with people close to Tiger pull back the curtain on the enigmatic golfer. My dad and I both finished the book in quick succession, and we agreed that we did not envy Tiger’s relationship with his own dad. After deleting “The Masters” from my Outlook calendar, I was thrilled to learn that the tournament has been rescheduled for November 9th through the 15th. I’m just happy to have something on my calendar to look forward to!

I enjoy listening to podcasts and audiobooks for professional development as well as for entertainment. I find inspiration in each podcast episode as I drive to Sloss Real Estate’s properties, get ready in the morning, and take long car trips with friends. I recognize that my interests may vary from yours, but I encourage you to explore the audio world to learn something new and interesting!