Friday, December 16, 2022

Six Lessons My Mom Taught Me About Commercial Real Estate

Mary Collom Buchanan Fore departed this life on Tuesday November 22, 2022. She died peacefully surrounded by family. She was 89. Ironically, the day was the 59th anniversary of a tragic event in our nation’s history - the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Mom was in Dallas the day that happened. The motorcade had passed, she’d waived to Jackie from a downtown department store and returned to shopping with my grandmother when they heard the sirens. Mom always liked the number 11. So it’s no wonder her last day on Earth was 11.22.2022.
You may be wondering what this has to do with commercial real estate? Please indulge me as I share some lessons I learned from Mom that prepared me for a career providing location advice to owners and occupants of manufacturing and logistics companies. 
Use your imagination. My Mom grew up an only child. With no siblings to harangue - she resorted to her mind to keep entertained. Sugar cubes became building blocks for igloos and empty spools of thread were transformed into end tables for her doll houses. I’ve relied countless times on my imagination to solve complex real estate problems and see everything for what it could be. 
Kill them with kindness. Mom was quite regal but treated everyone with a joyful smile. A crabby clerk got the same bright greeting as a high school classmate she’d not seen since graduation. Her theory was you attract a lot more flies with honey than vinegar. So now, I attempt to be nice to folks. I’m not as good as she - but I had a great role model. 
Give back whenever possible. Mom devoted her life to her three kids, our wives and husbands as well as her nine grands and thirteen great grands. But she was truly mom to all who graced her doorway. Whether it was a young friend with relationship issues or a wayward teen with parental woes - Mom gave back. Her true legacy lay in the civic involvement through countless clubs, ladies groups, and cotillions. Likely, my belief the universe is abundant, therefore share your time and knowledge freely had it’s genesis with Mom. 
Family first. Mom’s marriage to my Dad ended in divorce - largely due to the absentee nature of his involvement with us. Mom was a huge part of all of our lives here in SoCal even though she lived across the nation. Calls, cards, visits, and always present at key events was her cadence. My wife reminds me the kids don’t care whether you’re at a bar or closing a multi-million dollar deal - you’re away. My life has balance thanks to these two strong ladies. 
Don’t wish your life away. Mom would not allow us to say “I wish…”. Her response always followed - “if you can wish it - you can do it.” Today, I calendar a time to consider even my craziest ideas. I’m a man of action largely because I wasn’t allowed to wish my life away. 
Adversity can be your friend. Mom lost her Dad to suicide at age 22. Her mom was crippled at age 38 and relied upon my Mom for care in her later years. Mom was diagnosed with cancer in 1970 -when it was a death sentence. Dad left the next year and she raised us as a single parent. Never complaining, always with a positive attitude - she took each setback with grace and poise and with an outlook things would improve - and they always did. I embrace challenges in transactions the same way. What is God trying to teach me? - and a solution is close if you simply allow your positivity to reign. 
Rest well, Mom. We’re sad you’re gone but thrilled you’re in a better place. I love you! 
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

No comments :

Post a Comment