I am passionate about several things in my life...my faith, my family, my vocation of commercial real estate...and GOLF! The first three are easy and probably shared by many of you. The last one...my passion for "playing" golf is much more difficult to foster due to the time required, the expense involved, and the fact that my wife and daughter are not passionate about it (all three of my sons and son-in-law are passionate...if I pay:) Consequently, I watch a lot of golf on TV and read a lot of Golf Digest. As my boys and I watched the US Open last weekend, a thought occurred to me...professional golfers have many similarities to commercial real estate practitioners. Indulge me while I attempt to explain:
None of us are guaranteed a paycheck: Unlike most jobs...even most professional sports...we as CRE brokers and professional golfers "eat what we kill." You realize this when you see a tour pro grinding over a four foot putt to make the cut or a CRE broker sweating a deal issue. Nothing puckers your backside more than the the thought of missing the putt or quering the deal.
All of us start from zero each year: Pro golfers are not under guaranteed contracts like other pro athletes. CRE brokers may start with a book of business, listing inventory, occupant requirements, BUT we still must close deals...lest we starve.
Those of us that "get it in the hole" the quickest and most often, win and make the most money: pretty simple...as written by David Mamet in Glengarry Glen Ross..."coffee is for closers!" True on the PGA and in cubes around the CRE world.
Nothing matters except the five inches before and the five inches after the strike: Ever wonder how Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk manage to ALL succeed while approaching the golf swing SO differently? It is because the ONE thing that all do the same is they contact the ball consistently...the five inches before and after the strike...all that other stuff doesn't matter...so long as you consistently strike the ball. The same is true in commercial real estate deals...all that matters is the frequency with which you affect successful occupant and owner agreements.
Egos abound: If you've ever attended a broker open house or a PGA tour event...make sure you have a LARGE hat...lotsa big heads there.
Authenticity is refreshing: I love Bubba Watson's self help approach to the game and my buddy Paul Earnhart's ability to qualify...no one does it quite the same...and I love it!
You must do the mundane things consistently and well to succeed: You gotta hit the practice balls and make the contacts...simple but not easy!
The barriers of entry are enormous: A PGA tour card is one of the most hallowed in sports. A Champions Tour card is the most difficult to achieve. Virtually anyone can get a real estate license...if you pay $150 and pass a test. BUT to succeed in CRE, you need staying power and a thick skin!
Signing off until next week or until my next tee time!
By: Allen Buchanan
Principal | Lee & Associates
Follow Allen on Twitter @allencbuchanan
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