It was Academy Awards night last night. The biggest players in the industry came out in droves to show off their talent and good looks. For myself in the commercial real estate industry, I see a lot of parallels between bringing home an Oscar and bringing home the big deal. The whole industry relates back to ours. There is lots of entertainment value in our business. Since all of us have been through what they have, shouldn’t we be nominated, too?
Take the King’s Speech, for example. This was a story of King George VI, who needed a little help before he made his grand speech. He rehearsed to the point of perfection, and everyone held their breath as he spoke. We can all relate to that. Practicing for the presentation of our lives. We get out the Power Point with the drawings, the budget, the tenant improvements, the canned marketing speech. Making sure every last little detail is prepared and wonderful. Polish polish polish. And the work pays off, just as it did for King George.
Black Swan was another one of the award candidates. Two top ballerinas compete for the same spot in the ballet. They consume themselves with their goal, and in their case stoop to levels of absurdity. Those of us in commercial real estate – haven’t we all been there? Haven’t we competed against another broker for the same deal? As an owner, we compete with other owners all the time via rent structure, deal value, and location of our property. Ok, maybe not to the levels that they did, but, we do what it takes to get the deal, don’t we?
And we can’t do our job in today’s market without a lot of true grit. We may not have to look like Jeff Bridges did in the movie, but we do carry around a 22, a catch 22, that is – business cash flow is low because we are not doing as many deals as before and because average rents are down, so we can’t fund purchases that way, but banks won’t give us loans unless we put more money down on the purchase than we ever have before. If you define grit, you can define the qualities that it takes to be in commercial real estate today: determination, perseverance, bravery, tenacity, fortitude, and courage.
Sounds to me like those of us in commercial real estate have been through everything that the characters in the Academy Awards have experienced. So shouldn’t we be nominated, too?