Friday, April 29, 2022

Spring Abounds!

I love this time of year! My favorite golf tournament - “a tradition unlike any other” tees it up at Augusta, Georgia. We, this week, crowned a new NCAA basketball champion. Congratulations to the Jayhawks of Kansas. And, after a lengthy labor dispute, the dial tone of Major League Baseball games returned. A true smorgasbord of sports descends. Plus, flowers are fragrant, Easter hops in and hope abounds as 2022 is in full bloom. You may be wondering what any of this has to do with commercial real estate? Sit back and allow me to connect the dots.
A new beginning. Our year - as commercial real estate practitioners starts over every January. The slates are wiped clean and we start again with a new year of production. Much like a professional golfer or a major league batter - we begin with no earnings or batting averages. Left to our devices is our success or failure. By spring, the year unfolds as deals are originated, qualified and put into the pipeline. We have a strong sense how the year will continue. Akin to those tiny Crocuses that peak out from the winter freeze - transactions start to return.
Seasons are long. Embrace them. Seasons, like real estate deals, take awhile. Typical among sales transactions is a long gestation period. Three trimesters indeed! It’s quite common for a building search to precede negotiations. Once the right spot is located - which takes time - offers are submitted, responses generated, and an agreement is forged. The long dance of escrow commences. Due diligence - title review, financing, city approval, scouring of books and records, physical inspection and environmental investigations - is conducted. With the proper amount of motivation and pixie dust, a closing is in your future. As spring folds into summer, deals pop. Leases happen quicker although the contract negotiations can be brutal.
New life gives way to maturity. By late spring, the landscape of our year is growing nicely and we have a forward expectation of the fall harvest. By the time we scoot off to the myriad fall conferences in October - our production is largely completed. Sure, we can finish strong and close deals during the holidays - but the pace is slower than the spring and summer crush.
It’s quite refreshing to witness a “normal” spring in 2022. We’ve weathered much in the past two years - a pandemic lockdown, shuttered business, an industrial rebirth, office uncertainty, a fundamental shift in buying habits, a change in administrations, a war in Eastern Europe, rampant inflation, a supply chain kink, and more. Throughout, seasons have come and gone as the steady drumbeat of time plays cadence to our years.
Next month marks my 38th anniversary schlepping industrial buildings - parts of five decades. 38 springs, 38 new beginnings, and 38 rings on my proverbial brokerage tree. Ben Crenshaw won at Augusta in 1984, the Georgetown Hoyas were the NCAA champions, and after a long season - the Detroit Tigers edged the San Diego Padres 4 games to 1 in baseball’s crowning series. I’m a grandfather of five now. I’m content watching the seasons of their lives unfold in magical ways. Commercial real estate has allowed me the means and flexibility to be present. Is starting over every year something I enjoy? Not really. But this time of year, hope springs eternal.
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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