Friday, December 6, 2019

Hunters vs Farmers - a Parody

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Commercial real estate professionals must be transactional - they must close deals - to survive. However, the pathway toward those deals can be through the transaction treadmill or through fostering long term relationships with owners and occupants of commercial real estate. Today, I vary a bit through a parody that describes the difference between transactional and relational brokers. I hope you enjoy the comparison.

Once upon a time, in a land far away - before the Internet - there lived a buffalo hunter and a seed farmer. Buffalos were plentiful and slow, and would graze for hours on the grassy plains. Because the flat lands were populated by bountiful bison, the seed farmer found very little land on which to plant, cultivate and harvest his crops. Farming subsisted on small hilly plots here and there - unsuitable for grazing. 

Buffalo hunting was easy. These herbivores were huge and habitual. The hunter - without much skill or effort - in a couple of hours - could "harvest" all of the meat, hide, and hooves he and his family could handle. Others were attracted to the bounty. Times were good to be a buffalo hunter! Eventually, the hunting became more difficult, the hunters outnumbered the hunted and buffalo became extinct. Now what?

As the hairy hunted's haunts - the grassy plains - became less populated by the buffalos, the seed farmer found acres of fertile soil from which to extract the Earth's green goodness - crops. Although the growing cycle was long, the work tedious, the benefits and payback uncertain, the seed farmer continued to plant. When the Earth's bonanza was broadcast - the seed farmer was overwhelmed. Seeds beget seeds, the output grew (sorry) and the farmer was able to feed his family forever. 

Searching for new prey, the buffalo hunter happened upon acres of cultivation and decided to become a seed farmer - how tough could it be, right? After all, he was a mighty buffalo hunter. Unfortunately, the buffalo hunter failed at farming. The hunting chops he possessed - sitting around and shooting a large animal - didn't translate well to the skills required for seed farming - patience, perseverance, nurturing, tilling and harvesting.

The buffalo hunter eventually was forced to sell fax machines. Hmmm, how many of those are around today.

So, can you guess which one has a transactional focus vs building relationships?

Allen C. Buchanan, SIOR, is a principal with Lee & Associates Commercial Real Estate Services in Orange. He can be reached at or 714.564.7104. His website is

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