Friday, February 28, 2020

Do YOU Resemble YOUR Commercial Real Estate Deals?

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I am penning this as I sit in an emergency vet clinic. Our Labradoodle, Hank, ingested some Sago Palm seeds yesterday. What ensued was all manner of Hell as depicted in the Exorcist - vomiting, periods of lethargy, and terror for the owners - my wife and me. Little did we know that Sago Palms are toxic and in many cases fatal to dogs that graze on their walnut sized seed pods. In times past, Hank's snacking choice would have resulted in sure death - but in today's world of veterinary care, he has a chance. For the record, Hank seems fine to me, but we are told liver damage may be in our dog's future - but enough of that.

The scene at the vet this Saturday is a study in humanity - comical! Enrolled are the aging, overweight red head - and her owner with the same diet and stylist, the plastic crated Pomeranian and his plastically enhanced master, and a wide assortment of licking, yapping, sniffing canines, felines and their apologetic tour guides. But with that preamble, what amazes me is HOW MUCH THESE PETS RESEMBLE THEIR OWNERS! Ok, with full disclosure - Hank's rangy gait, highbrowed nature, and stately manner have caused some to opine of our similarity - but I digress.

So, with the premise that dogs are like their owners, does the same relationship exist with you and your CRE deals? I choose to believe so. Indulge me while I provide three quick examples.

One of our top producers has as his client one of the largest home health care providers globally. He is extremely organized - as are his deals. Consistency, his hallmark - the typical transactions with his client, methodically consistent. Slow and steady, his MO - the transactions are plentiful and profitable.

Think about "that guy" whose office appeared on a recent episode of Buried Alive. ALL CRE offices sport one. You want a copy of the May edition of Site Selection - from 1994? - it's there beneath the rubble. This guy's deals are executed in a similar fashion - sloppy, with an awful lot of clutter.

I generally enjoy some complexity in a deal - keeps me motivated and feeling valuable. I can also justify the outrageous fees if I know I've solved a problem, created a winning strategy, or walked the transaction gauntlet with my client un-scathed. Does this make ME complicated? I'll leave that to you to decide.

Look in the mirror. Is that a commercial real estate deal you see?

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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