Friday, February 7, 2014

10 ways to deal with #CRE adversity

Adversity...just what is it? A flood in your family room, a banker and a residential realtor mucking up a commercial real estate deal, a foreign client who speaks broken English negotiating a lease, observing a dear friend and colleague fighting for his life in a cancer ward...yes, yes, yes...and yes! Welcome to my week (not saying it is better or worse than yours...just my reality).

As I drove an hour to the City of Hope yesterday...to see my friend...for maybe the last time...I pondered adversity. This post is designed to help me deal with adversity (writing for me is therapeutic) and to share with you some ways that you can approach the adversity in your life (and deals) as well.

As a disclaimer, I provide Location Advice to owners and occupants of industrial buildings in Southern California...AKA I sell and lease commercial real estate for a living and have since 1984.

Examine the degrees: As I drove, this thought occurred...how absolutely arrogant and ungrateful of me to "stress" one moment about water damage, a deal, or a negotiation when my friend fights for his life? We have to appreciate that CRE deals are not a matter of life and death, never will be, and if we have misplaced a deal's importance as it relates to life and limb, we need to seriously back away and take stock of our priorities. Never was this truth (CRE deal's importance) more evident to me than when I consoled my buddy's 16 year old daughter, at his hospital bedside, and realized that she may never have her Dad to walk her down the aisle when she gets married some day...real world adversity, folks.

So what to do next?

Surround yourself with like minded friends, colleagues, and/or family: I witnessed yesterday my buddy's wife "sounding the charge of the light brigade" and requesting that we come and see her husband immediately. About 40 of us from the office responded, dropped everything, and hurried to the hospital. What we saw, while there, was miraculous...our friend awoke, responded, and felt God's love! If he survives, I believe it will be partially as a result of the outpouring of love and support that we shared. You can read about my friend's battle here. Prayers are encouraged and appreciated!

With degrees in mind...

Be grateful and have faith: Approach adversity with a grateful heart. I resolved it this way...would I prefer to not have the adversity...certainly...I wish that my friend and I were driving together for an hour to play golf at Torrey Pines...BUT, the adversity and our resulting outpouring of love and support may just pull him through! Also, no adversity, could mean that their is NO deal...would that be better?...I believe not. This is what we do...we anticipate, moderate, and solve issues that arise in life and in commercial real estate deals...and are handsomely paid to do so.

"The other shoe is bound to drop": Adversity will happen. Those that have been in the CRE biz for more that 45 minutes realize that problems will occur...it is just a matter of time. We start to expect issues to arise and a weird thing happens when they don't...we wonder when they will occur. Please realize that adversity can sometimes pre-dawn a break-through.

"Stop the bleeding": When adversity occurs, as it was in the case of our family room flood, it was important to turn off the water to the house to prevent any further damage. This comparison can help in a deal as well. The sooner you can prevent any further damage, the better your chances of reconciling the issue.

Remove yourself from the situation: Depending upon when and where the adversity occurs, take a break...go to lunch, go out to dinner, go home, go to a hotel for the evening, take a walk in the park, work-out, etc. This is tough! We are deal makers and problem solvers so we want to get at it! However, if you remove yourself, your perspective will change appreciatively once you return to the scene of the adversity.

Understand "their" reality: In the case of the banker and resi agent, I realized that they are just attempting to do their job, protect their client, and move forward. Resolving this in my mind has helped us advance toward an equitable fix.

Don't react hastily: Removing yourself from the situation will allow you to realize that there are several alternatives to resolving the adversity...a hasty reaction will not be one of them.

Seek counsel: Someone that you know has dealt with a similar issue or the adversity that your are experiencing...a friend has had a slab leak, another speaks Italian, still another...well you get the idea. Sometimes the counsel is closer than you believe...a spouse, close friend, or relative. Remember to listen to what they recommend. My friend is getting the best cancer treatment possible from one of the best cancer hospitals in the world...the City of Hope in Duarte, California.

Take it one day at a time: We never know what God has in store for us BUT we know He loves us and all that we have is today...so remember that when dealing with adversity.

photo credit: www.olamadsen.com