Why spring sports are a lot like real estate negotiations – Press Enterprise
I love this time of year! My favorite golf tournament finds a new wearer for the green jacket. We’ve crowned a new NCAA basketball champion. (Congratulations to the Kansas Jayhawks.) And, after a long labor dispute, the tone of Major League Baseball games has returned.
A veritable assortment of sports descends. Plus, the flowers are fragrant, Easter is coming, and hope abounds as 2022 is in full bloom.
You might be wondering what all of this has to do with commercial real estate? Sit down and allow me to connect the dots.
A new start
Our year in commercial real estate begins each January. The slates are wiped clean and we leave with a new year of production.
Just like a professional golfer or a major league hitter, we start out with no winnings or batting averages. Left to our devices is our success or failure. In the spring, the year unfolds as deals are initiated, qualified, and put into the pipeline. We have a clear idea of how the year will continue. Like those tiny crocuses emerging from the winter frost, transactions are beginning to return.
The seasons are long. Embrace them. Seasons, like real estate transactions, take time. Typical among sales transactions is a long gestation period. Three quarters indeed!
It is quite common for a property search to precede negotiations. Once the right place is located – which takes time – offers are submitted, responses are generated and a deal is forged. The long dance of the receiver begins. Due diligence—title review, financing, city approval, cleaning of books and records, physical inspection, and environmental investigations—is performed. With the right amount of motivation and pixie dust, a fence is in your future.
As spring turns into summer, offers appear. Leases move faster although contract negotiations can be brutal.
New life gives way to maturity. In late spring, our year’s landscape is developing well and we look forward to the fall harvest. As we head into the myriad fall conferences in October, our production is largely complete. Of course, we can do solid and successful business during the holidays – but the pace is slower than spring and summer.
It’s quite refreshing to witness a “normal” spring in 2022. We’ve weathered a lot over the past two years – pandemic lockdown, business shutdown, industrial renaissance, office uncertainty, change fundamental in buying habits, a change of administrations, a war in Eastern Europe, rampant inflation, a node in the supply chain, etc.
Throughout, the seasons have come and gone as the steady drumbeat of time punctuates our years.
Next month will mark my 38th anniversary of building industrial buildings. Imagine, 38 springs, 38 fresh starts and 38 rings on my proverbial brokerage tree.
Ben Crenshaw won in 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 am a grandfather of five children now. I just watch the seasons of their lives magically unfold. Commercial real estate gave me the means and the flexibility to be present.
Is starting over every year something I like? Not really. But at this time of year, hope is eternal.