Friday, June 9, 2023

What Can The NBA Finals Teach Us About Commercial Real Estate

The NBA finals start in a couple of days. I generally lose interest when the Lakers are no longer in it - which means I’ve not cared for a week or so. Plus, there are so many other things to focus on this time of year - the start of summer, Dad’s day, graduation, another school year completed, upcoming vacation, three day summer weekends, and lots of gray days. Yeah. It’s hard to complain about SoCal weather but cmon. A day of sun would be nice. My thoughts returned to the NBA as the stage is now set. Miami v Denver. A television network nightmare. I’m guessing the suits would’ve preferred LA v the Celtics with their rich history of playoff battles. You know Magic and Bird were pining and hoping for a rematch. But here we are.
You may be wondering what any of this has to do with commercial real estate. Indulge me while I draw some comparisons.
It's a LONG season: Just like the NBA season, commercial real estate deals often require a significant amount of time to unfold. From identifying opportunities, conducting due diligence, negotiating terms, and finalizing transactions, the process can be lengthy and complex.
No lead is safe: In the NBA, teams can quickly turn the tide of a game and overcome large point differentials. Deals can have unexpected twists and turns. Motivations change, unforeseen challenges arise, and market conditions ebb.
Home court matters: In basketball, playing on your home court can provide a distinct advantage due to familiarity with the environment and the support of the home crowd. In commercial real estate - location plays a crucial role. The right address can significantly impact the success of a business.
Teamwork and Collaboration:
Just as NBA teams require teamwork and collaboration to succeed on the court, commercial real estate deals often involve multiple parties working together. Transactions typically involve buyers, sellers, brokers, lenders, attorneys, and other professionals who must work together to reach the closing table. Effective communication, cooperation, and coordination are essential for successful outcomes.
Strategy and Game Plan: NBA teams develop game plans and strategies to maximize their chances of winning. Investors and developers formulate approaches to identify and capitalize on market opportunities. They assess trends, analyze financial data and evaluate risks.
Adaptability and Flexibility: In the NBA, teams must adapt to various situations, including different opponents, match-ups, playing styles, and game situations. Required are the same in the commercial real estate industry. Market conditions, regulations, and economic factors can change, and successful professionals in the field need to be responsive and adjust their strategies accordingly. Adapting to shifting trends and finding creative solutions are crucial for sustained success.

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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