Monday, September 08, 2008
Hunker down and get to work...
|In my last blog, I talked about the changing nature of real estate deals in today’s challenging market. As I face the realities of these challenges each day, I keep coming back to a quote that I heard not too long ago: “Don’t try to avoid the storm. Learn how to work in the rain.”
As a regional manager of more than 100 brokers specializing in everything from retail to office to industrial product, it’s my job to help them figure out how to be successful in spite of the current economic storm overhead. This is not a challenge that is specific to real estate; rather it’s one that leaders in all industries across Orange County face in today’s economy. Unfortunately, there’s no magic bullet answer that tells us how to adapt and survive until the market turns around. Still, one thing is clear: We can’t do business the way we traditionally have for the past several years; we must change our model and focus on the new opportunities that will open up. It may sound cliché, but now is the time to work harder and smarter.
The business environment has, perhaps, been too easy for many the past decade, especially those who have never lived through a down market. The real estate business – and the economy in general – are cyclical, and those of us that have been in the trenches for 15 to 20 years or more, understand this concept clearly.
The truth is, those that have not been able to make money in commercial real estate during the past five years, will not likely survive the next five. When I was a young broker in the late 80s and early 90s, I recall my peers and I would regularly work 12 hour days, Monday through Friday, and half of the day on Saturday. Somehow, that work ethic has been lost in the complacency of a market where deals were a dime a dozen. This just isn’t the reality of the market any longer. Today, the only way to be successful is to hunker down and get back to basics. Those who put in the time, and are creative enough to find the opportunities and turn them into deals, will continue to thrive and prosper, while those who aren’t willing to do the heavy lifting may end up being part of the inevitable attrition in our industry in the next year or two.